Increasing carbon dioxide tolerance can give us physical, mental and emotional benefits. There is only 0.03% carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today. Healthy human beings require about 5% carbon dioxide in their lungs. This means that the body has to produce and store carbon dioxide in the lungs and blood. When consistently over-breathing the amount of carbon dioxide in your body will fall below the optimal level. This will destabilise the body chemistry.
Emotional Benefits of Improving Co2 Tolerance:
- It has been proven that people with high carbon dioxide tolerance have lower levels of anxiety. There is a very close correlation between CO2 tolerance and states of anxiety. The better control you have over your breathing, the less generalised anxiety you will feel.
- Improving your carbon dioxide tolerance will help you manage your nervous system. People suffering from depression, stress and other mental health issues will benefit incredibly from increasing their carbon dioxide tolerance.
Physical and Performance Advantages of a high Co2 Tolerance:
- An elevated CO2 tolerance will help dilate your blood vessels. This, will in turn allow more volume of blood moved per minute. This will bring oxygen to the muscles and tissues that need it the most in a more effective way to support physical exercise.
- An increase in CO2 tolerance will augmentate the amount of oxygen that moves from the haemoglobin in our red blood cells to the tissue. This produces a decrease in the blood pH and will lead to an increase in the body’s ability to absorb oxygen and better sports performance.
- An increased CO2 tolerance will help improve our breathing pattern and nurse our breath back to health. To learn more about a healthy breath check out this article.
- As we stated earlier, a high carbon dioxide tolerance will provoke less anxiety. Having lower levels of anxiety will result in lower levels of cortisol, which in return will have an impact on your body composition, meaning less fat, more muscle and better mental and physical performance.
- It will help you optimise your aerobic metabolism.
The process of increasing our ‘setpoint’, the tolerance of our chemoreceptors to carbon dioxide, is a bit like stretching a band. Not only can you reset your tolerance to carbon dioxide to normal levels, you have the ability to stretch your chemistry to it’s very edges and become a more resilient super-breather in the process.
It is carbon dioxide that, when maintained at an optimal level, is responsible for oxygenating our cells and tissues. Contrary to popular belief, carbon dioxide is not just a waste gas and proves to be an essential moderator of respiration on all levels. The more we can learn to harness this molecule the more efficient our breathing becomes.