BREATH AND SPORTS
Each individual have a totally different breathing habit.
Breathing habits are like finger prints. We all have breathing habits different than the other people, related to our behavioral habits, the way we live life, due to how much we exercise, what we eat, etc.
Our respiration regulates our body fluid PH. And our breathing effects our respiratory physiology. This means, breathing habits can be good or bad, useful or unuseful, functional or totally dysfunctional and even the reason behind more than 200 symptoms.
For example, there are more than 200 scientifically proven symptoms of hypocapnia, which is a well known respiratory symptom, caused by dysfunctional breathing habits.
Panic, fear, anxiety, hypertension, attention deficit problems, feeling out of breath, can’t breathe, can’t calm down, can’t relax, sleeping disorders, even migraine and weight problems can be due to breathing habits.
Successful professional sports people are usually ‘’performance breathers’’. They breathe deeper and faster than other people, specially at the times they are competing. That is basically the only way you can become a high performance athlete. Your body needs extra extra energy during sports, specially if you are competing, even more, and to be able to do that, you have to use the diaphragm more, expand it to its fullest so that your blood and your cells can get enough oxygen and turn it into glycose in a matter of seconds.
Of course the other reason why professional athletes have performance breathing habits and breathe deeper and faster than other people is because their body releases a lot of lactic acid.
Bicarbonates in our body, produced by our kidneys, are ‘’the buffer mchanism’’ for the lactic acid. But whenever we are doing professional sports, the bicarbonates in the body are not enough to buffer all that lactic acid in the body and respiratory reflexes kick in to change the body chemistry to alkaline, by triggering ‘’deep breathing reflex’’ so that it can buffer acidity in the buffer. That is why we breathe deeper when we are doing sports and this is why professional athletes breathe even deeper than any of us, during competition. The body’s reflexive mechanism is in place.
But the thing is, this reflexive mechanism is only needed during sports. If anyone ‘’keeps on breathing deeper’’ which might be due to ‘’trying to relax themselves’’, the body will go into too much alkaline and that person will experience out of breath symptoms. That is exactly what happened to Emma Raducanu yesterday.
During the match, her respiratory reflexes were working perfectly, she was probably breathing fully in the diaphragm, taking deep deep breaths, which works if you are running and competing and your body is releasing all that lactic acid. Because deep breathing changes the body fluid chemistry and brings us to ‘’alkaline’’ its perfect while doing sports and competing, because it helps the ‘’acid buffer system’’ in the body when bicarbonates are not released fast enough. And she probably kept on breathing deep, intentionally, because she lost the game and was trying to relax herself, and boom- the went into respiratory alkalosis, which is a well known symptom also called hypocapnia and she had problems breathing.
Feeling out of breath, can’t calm down, anxiety, panic and feeling out of breath are well known, scientifically proven symptoms of hypocapnia.
She can learn to govern her breathing to govern her emotions and learn calming breathing techniques to get over it, so that it does not happen next time.
As one of the most well known authorities in Breathing Sciences field, with a track record of 20 years of expertise, I am sure I can help her learn a more functional breathing habit. I sent her some messages, saying ‘’I am at your service, I would like to help, in anyway I can, please call me.’’ And my team are trying to connect her, as an amateur tennis player and tennis lover, I would love to help her learn how to manage her breathing. She is a very talented, beautiful young lady. And I wish her well..