Features of xenon inhalation in sports

Table of contents:

Features of xenon inhalation in sports
Features of xenon inhalation in sports

Find out how professional athletes improve their breathing with non-standard inhalation approaches. For the first time, xenon therapy in sports and medicine has been actively used since the nineties. Today we will talk about how xenon inhalations should be carried out correctly in sports, as well as for solving medical problems. This type of therapy allows you to fight many diseases and does not cause allergic reactions. The safety of xenon inhalation is eloquently indicated by the fact that it can be used even during pregnancy and lactation.

How does xenon affect the human body?

Xenon mask applied to a man's face

Xenon is a rare gas, the content of which in the atmosphere is minimal. It is inactive and is completely eliminated from the body within four minutes and is not capable of causing allergic reactions. It is these properties that make xenon an excellent therapy tool.

At first, xenon was actively used in technology, and only in the nineties it became known that it has healing properties. Among the advantages of xenon therapy, we note the following:

  • is an analgesic;
  • helps to suppress depression;
  • stimulates the immune system;
  • improves brain function and increases the body's energy storage;
  • inhalations help fight alcohol and drug addiction;
  • used to treat migraines and relieve headaches;
  • accelerates the process of rehabilitation after surgery and previously received serious injuries;
  • effective in many brain diseases;
  • used in the treatment of ischemic heart muscle disease;
  • Xenon inhalation in sports helps to better prepare for the competition.

Note that xenon is completely safe for the body, but since 2014 it has been banned for use in sports.

How is xenon therapy performed?

Doctors put a xenon mask on a patient

For xenon therapy, a calm environment is created and the patient should not be distracted from the procedure. This is the only way to tune in to get a positive effect. Often, calm music is played in the office to help the person concentrate. The duration of the procedure is usually three minutes.

Note that the effect of the gas on the body lasts from three to four days, and the course includes 4–5 sessions. No special preparation is required before xenon therapy, it is necessary only a couple of hours before the session and at least 60 minutes after its completion, do not drink liquid. After completing the first session, you can see the following results:

  1. Sleep mode is normalized.
  2. Pain is relieved.
  3. General well-being improves.
  4. Fatigue and irritation are suppressed.

Although xenon is safe for the body, in some situations this type of therapy should be abandoned. Contraindications include epilepsy, the presence of acute forms of infectious diseases, heart disease, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction.

During the procedure, a person relaxes and his condition can be described as a therapeutic sleep. Although this concept does not quite accurately convey the sensations experienced by patients, it is still as similar as possible. As long as the patient is supplied with gas, he is in a state of light trance, from which he quickly exits.

Xenon inhalation in sports: features

Schematic representation of the xenon inhalation process

We have considered the use of xenon in medicine, and now we will turn our attention to sports. After the Olympic Games held in Sochi, it became known that domestic athletes were taking xenon therapy courses.Here are the main effects that athletes get when using xenon:

  1. The process of erythropoietin production is accelerated, which leads to an increase in endurance.
  2. Xenon can significantly increase the body's resistance to oxygen deficiency.
  3. Increases the efficiency of mitochondria.
  4. Protects fabrics from low temperature exposure.
  5. Possesses neuroprotective properties.
  6. Reduces the risk of injury.
  7. Normalizes sleep patterns.
  8. Increases the body's ability to quickly adapt to negative external influences.

Under the influence of xenon, the synthesis of the protein compound Hif-1 alpha is accelerated. This substance is a powerful transcription factor. It is Hif-1 alpha that triggers the production of various biologically active proteins, including erythropoietin. Among other things, xenon is capable of acting on ionotropic receptors, suppressing their activity. As a result, the pain sensations decrease or even disappear.

Domestic scientists mainly studied the work of xenon on the body of athletes, climbers and pilots. As a result, it was found that after inhalation, the concentration of erythropoietin doubles the next day. Although xenon is included in the IOC's Prohibited List, modern doping controls do not establish whether it has been used by an athlete.

Inert gases in sports

The athlete breathes through a xenon mask

To date, athletes are prohibited from using all inert gases and, first of all, we are talking about xenon with argon. The ban was introduced by the World Anti-Doping Agency in May 2014. Immediately after the Sochi Olympics, the sports community vigorously discussed the use of xenon by Russian athletes.

This assumption was put forward by one of the German sports channels. Moreover, this happened a few hours after the completion of the closing ceremony of the Olympics. Note that at that time xenon was not considered doping, and even if Russian athletes took xenon therapy courses, no laws were violated. But this fact is probably the reason why the World Anti-Doping Agency drew attention to inert gases.

The results of the subsequent investigation are known to us - argon and xenon cannot be used in sports. These gases have been assigned to the S2 group, and are adjacent to such types of sports pharmaceuticals as peptides and somatotropin. Note that the most active research of inert gases was carried out in our country.

Today, within three months after xenon therapy, an athlete may be disqualified. It should be noted that the recognition of inert gases can seriously harm the entire industry, which is very well developed in Russia. It is quite obvious that the representatives of the Russian NOC categorically deny the use of xenon in the training of athletes. Whatever it was, but there can be quite a lot of dissatisfied with the decision made by WADA in our country.

It is not known how the situation with the use of xenon inhalations in sports would have developed if German journalists had not made a fuss after the Olympics. It should be admitted that there was little rationalism in their arguments, but now it is too late to talk about it. We have already said that active research into the use of inert gases by athletes began in the nineties. However, the first studies were carried out back in the days of the Soviet Union.

It should be admitted that this is probably one of the most serious successes of Soviet sports medicine. Despite the bans, xenon inhalation in sports continues to be produced. It is quite understandable that this fact is not advertised and it is likely that the international sports community was simply jealous, deciding to deprive domestic athletes of the benefits obtained as a result of the use of inert gases.

Argon and xenon are primarily used to speed up the reduction processes. Athletes breathe in a mixture of xenon and oxygen, which eliminates the "oxygen debt" that inevitably manifests itself under the influence of prolonged physical exertion. In addition, xenon, like helium, has a relaxing effect, which improves the quality of sleep.

Based on the foregoing, xenon inhalations in sports are most effective during long training camps. Thanks to this therapy, athletes can tolerate physical activity much easier and recover faster. After the ban introduced by WADA, the doctors of the national teams of our country will have to act carefully.

You probably think that there was no reason to ban the use of inert gases in sports. But in the West they did not delve into all the subtleties and were probably guided by the results of studies that were carried out three decades ago. Then, mice were used as experimental subjects, and after the use of xenon in the body of rodents, the concentration of erythropoietin increased sharply.

This is in direct violation of anti-doping laws. However, no concrete evidence was presented that way. Recent studies have nothing to do with erythropoietin levels. But reasonable arguments could not prevent the decision to ban the use of xenon inhalation in sports.

However, one should not blame only German journalists or functionaries of the World Anti-Doping Organization for this situation. Of course, after the decision was made, domestic athletes were deprived of an excellent remedy for recovery, but Russian science is practically closed from the world community.

Most of the works of our scientists are published in Russian. Agree that not every foreigner decides to study the results of a particular study if they are not written in English. Let's not forget about the Russian sports functionaries who did not take any steps to defend the xenon therapy technique.

More information about xenon and its effects on the body in this video:

Popular by topic