Top 5 Takeaways about Breathing and Oxygen from The Oxygen Advantage
1. Your respiratory system might not be as strong as you think.
Take a Bolt test and learn yourself.
The Bolt Test (Body Oxygen Level Test) is a simple method of measuring the sensitivity of your carbon dioxide sensors and the efficiency of your breathing.
My score is 28 sec, which puts me above the average, yet I can still improve on it.
How to Perform The Bolt Test
- Take a regular breath in through your nose and allow a natural breath out through your nostrils.
- Hold your nostrils with your fingers to stop air from accessing your lungs.
- Time the number of seconds until you feel the first evident urge to breathe, or the early stresses of your body begging you to breathe.
- Release your nose, stop the timer, and breathe in through your nose. Your breath at the end of the breath-hold should be calm.
- Return to normal breathing.
- 40 seconds – ideal BOLT score for a healthy individual and to reach your full potential
- 20 seconds – a common score
- <10 seconds – your breathing receptors are especially sensitive to carbon dioxide, you find difficult to maintain calm breathing during rest and experience breathlessness during physical exercise.
2. Breathing through the nose is far more superior than through your mouth.
Your nose will regulate the amount of air you take in, and your body will learn to be more efficient. Bigger, deeper breaths cannot deliver more oxygen as your blood is probably already fully saturated with oxygen.
3. You can simulate high-altitude training
You can simulate high-altitude training when walking around the park and gain a competitive edge over your competition by controlling your breathing.
That’s good news for anyone in training for an endurance event, like a marathon or triathlon.
4. Overbreathing leads to exhaling too much carbon dioxide.
This is bad because the level of carbon dioxide in our blood determines how much oxygen your body can use.
This phenomenon is called hypocapnia – haemoglobin holds on to oxygen, resulting in reduced oxygen release and therefore decreased oxygen delivery to tissues and organs.
5. Nose breathing calms you down
Nose breathing calms you down by triggering parasympathetic nerve receptors in lower lunges. It is opposite to mouth breathing which prompts us to hyperventilate and trigger sympathetic nerve receptors which result in the fight or flight reaction.
How To Improve Your BOLT Score and breathe better?
- Breath only through your nose
- Tape your mouth during the night to prevent mouth breathing while sleeping
- Exercise holding the breath while walking, jogging or exercising.
Learn more about the nasal breathing and Oxygen Advantage techniques from the book.