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Old 12-12-09, 05:16 PM   #1
vec
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restricting o2 intake while riding (detrimental?)

well lately, i've been riding quite a bit. it's kind of cold outside, and i wear a bandana over my nose and mouth to keep my throat warm. anyhow, my o2 intake is restricted a bit from doing that, and i figure it should help my body utilize o2 more efficiently (just to justify to for myself for doing what i am doing). now, i do not know if this might be bad for me or not. i do get a bit light headed, but it feels pretty good after the ride when i get to breathe all the o2 i can get. any thoughts? will i be okay for doing this? is it actually helping my body be more efficient? am i killing my brain cells?
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Old 12-12-09, 07:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by vec View Post
well lately, i've been riding quite a bit. it's kind of cold outside, and i wear a bandana over my nose and mouth to keep my throat warm. anyhow, my o2 intake is restricted a bit from doing that, and i figure it should help my body utilize o2 more efficiently (just to justify to for myself for doing what i am doing). now, i do not know if this might be bad for me or not. i do get a bit light headed, but it feels pretty good after the ride when i get to breathe all the o2 i can get. any thoughts? will i be okay for doing this? is it actually helping my body be more efficient? am i killing my brain cells?
well the first issue I see is that you may also trapping co2 which may also account for the light headed feeling if its enough to restrict o2. There are plenty of studies on the benefits of high elevation training as per the lack of oxygen on the body but I'm not sure if a bandana over your face will have a similar effect. I think the bandana is probably too porous to restrict oxygen and can probably protect against dust at most. You can actually buy yourself a mask online that actively restricts the amount of air you can breath in but unless you are taking in pure oxygen you could also be increasing the concentration of pollution into your lungs
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Old 12-13-09, 01:17 PM   #3
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The only thing limiting breathing while riding is going to do is make you ride slower, or pass out. You aren't going to increase your vo2 max by doing this. If you limit ventilation volume, you are increasing what is called the anatomical dead space, as your ventilations become more shallow. Every time you breathe, your are moving a certain amount of air that isn't accessed by your alveoli, or is stale air. If you breathe more rapidly, you are actually increasing the fraction of each breath that this dead air accounts for.

Swimmers use this tactic, but it is highly specific to their activity. They actually try to go as far as possible off of walls w/o breathing. The only way you'd experience this on a bike is if you're into some weird BDSM bike thing.
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Old 12-13-09, 06:45 PM   #4
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The only way you'd experience this on a bike is if you're into some weird BDSM bike thing.
Or if you're riding behind a flatulent companion.
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Old 12-13-09, 07:51 PM   #5
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well damn... i thought i might have been on to something but oh well. thank you for clarifying.
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Old 12-20-09, 12:29 AM   #6
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I really think it's good to keep the air coming into the lungs warm when you're outside in the cold working out. Cold air that reaches the lungs can cause some kind of bronchospasm, which can lead to shortness of breath (or cold-induced asthma). It's always good to get the air warmed up and humidified before it hits the lungs. I think it's good to do.

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