Blood oxygen levels are not only critical for good health, but essential for peak athletic performance. Low levels of oxygen have been shown to contribute to physical and mental fatigue, poor endurance, lactic acid build up and a decreased ability to heal.
Many approaches to increase blood oxygen levels rely on therapies which expose the blood to higher concentrations of oxygen. Although these methods may provide some short term benefits, they fail to provide significant long term improvements needed to increase the blood’s ability to carry more oxygen. Therapies that only rely upon exposing the blood to oxygen, such as breathing oxygen from concentrators or hyperbaric chambers, or artificially increasing the number of red blood cells such as with blood doping, fail to recognize the most critical part of blood oxygen saturation: the red blood cell’s ability or inability to carry greater amounts of oxygen. Exposing the blood to oxygen does not guarantee it can deliver it to our tissues.
The job of the red blood cell is to transport oxygen throughout the body. To effectively improve your body’s ability to utilize oxygen, the red blood cell must have an optimal surface area, shape, and composition so that oxygen can bond with it. When the blood cell has these components, it can carry more oxygen, even when exposed to lower concentrations, for example, when breathing air at high altitudes or heavily polluted city areas.
To increase your blood’s ability to carry oxygen, debris in the blood needs to be cleaned up. The cleaner the blood, the more effectively it can transport oxygen to essential body parts such as muscles and the brain. Achieving peak performance requires foundational changes that need to occur at the red blood cell level. Effective athletic optimization and health programs need to address health at the blood cell level. Commonly related problems include “red blood cell agglutination,” or “clumping of blood cells,” as well as debris in the blood. Debris includes high serum protein levels, and oxidized solids such as plaque, uric acid and fibrin, all which decrease the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Blood tests to identify these conditions can be done in our office via live blood cell analysis, and out of office via our comprehensive functional blood chemistry analysis.