Ozone therapy4 has provided athletes numerous benefits especially in preparing them for more intense workouts like muscle building, speed and agility training, and stamina drills.
Since the 1800s, ozone’s efficacy has been proven in the medical and scientific community.
Aside from treating chronic diseases, fungal, bacterial, and viral infections, skin disorders and degenerative illnesses, ozone — through infusion and insufflation has also been found to have a positive effect on physical resistance, endurance, and the faster recovery of injured muscles.
Since athletes undergo other treatments that involve oxygen, it is important to recognize the difference between ozone (O3) and oxygen (O2). Ozone is composed of three molecules of oxygen and is quite unstable compared to oxygen.
In many medical practices, ozone6 is used to detoxify the skin and the lymphatic system and boost the immune system, while providing the organs and tissues with adequate oxygen supply. Through this process, the body gets rid of the bacteria and viruses and it stimulates the anti-inflammatory responses of the immune system.
This impact of ozone on the body promotes faster recovery, as the sufficient oxygenation of the tissues speeds up our natural healing process4.
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Ozone Therapy as Immune Booster
Ozone therapy3 is the infusion of a controlled amount of ozone gas into the body. This infusion process can be administered intramuscularly, intravenously, or directly into the tissues. The ozone6 used in the therapy is called medical ozone, which is a mixture of pure ozone (0.05% to 5%) and pure oxygen (95% to 99.95 %), generated by ozone generators.
Ozone1 acts as a stimulator that increases the biological function and chemical signaling pathways of the cells. From decades of studies and scientific investigations on the use of ozone, it has been proven not only to alleviate symptoms of chronic diseases but also improve the performance of athletes1 in their chosen sports.
The deficiency of oxygen in the body is one of the primary reasons for the spread of chronic disease. Viruses and bacteria will enter and clog the cells, thereby preventing the natural blood circulation of the body. The low supply of oxygen may cause the body’s dysfunction, as blood carries oxygen to all body cells to make sure these cells stay healthy.
The administration of ozone gas into the body enhances blood circulation and improves the immune system by repairing the cells3. As the ozone2 makes its way into the body, the molecules react with the blood’s water. This process results in the synthesis of hydrogen peroxide, which neutralizes infection and promotes bacterial and viral lysis or disintegration.
Benefits of Ozone Therapy for Athletes
Athletes can gain many benefits2 from ozone therapy when it comes to their performance and recovery. The infusion of ozone gas into the athlete’s body will improve oxygenation in the tissues and elevate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), known as the body’s own version of fuel.
In this regard, ozone therapy may result in the athletes’ fast recovery2 from sports injuries and in increased energy, allowing them to withstand long hours of training.
The therapy further improves the athlete’s muscle flexibility and fast healing. This is because medical ozone stimulates the metabolic activities of the cells and tissues to their optimum level.
As both an aerobic and anaerobic activity, exercise4 results in fatigue, which is the primary consumer of ATP and responsible for the formation of lactic acid in the blood and muscles.
Fatigue and recovery time are two of athletes’ main concerns, as they have a direct impact on their performance level. Ozone gas4 reduces the fermentation of the cells and aids in decreasing the accumulation of lactic acid.
Ozone therapy4 specifically functions to increase the muscle’s blood flow and the blood’s circulation. It enables athletes to work the same amount of load with much less strain on the muscles.
A study3 shows that male runners who undergo an intense run and proceed to undergo 12-to-30-minute sauna sessions twice in a week result in an increase of 32 percent in the distance they could run.
Furthermore, as ozone therapy is considered to effectively boost the immune system and the body’s blood circulation, athletes may also recover faster from sickness and injuries.
Many of today’s athletes — such as South African runners Claude and Trish Eksteen — advocate for the use of ozone therapy on athletes.
Ozone Therapy for Athletes: How Does It Work?
Various procedures are used in administering ozone therapy. Its primary purpose for athletes is the improvement of their performance and recovery specifically from sprain, injury, and fatigue, which result from their intense workouts and competitive training.
Athletes can undergo ozone therapy and receive its benefits through these methods:
Insufflation or the infusion of ozone with the use of a catheter through the rectum is another procedure that athletes can undergo to receive ozone therapy treatment. The appropriate amount of ozone gas will be infused for the faster absorption of ozone through the blood stream and throughout the body. It is one of the quickest and most affordable procedures available for ozone therapy2.
Ozone Steam Sauna
This form of ozone therapy treatment3 really fits athletes, as it allows ozone to be absorbed by the skin. In this method, the heat and humidity do not serve as the treating component but a way to infuse the gas and deliver it to the cells and tissues of the body.
The ozone steam sauna1 is known in the medical field as one of the most powerful methods of infusing ozone gas into the athlete’s body. In this procedure, the athlete’s body or part of their body is bagged and exposed to ozone gas.
Ozone3, together with the stimulated heat, induces hyperemia or the excess amount of blood in a specific body part such that if the body part is exposed to ozone for 30 minutes then the blood’s oxygen pressure increases by up to 25 percent.
The ozone steam sauna is appropriate for the reduction of oxidation processes in the cells and tissues, which primarily cause the degenerative disorders of the blood vessels, tissues, and other vital organs.
Also, the use of ozone steam sauna exposes the skin to UV irradiation. It penetrates through the skin’s layers, contributing to the stimulation of protective agents, vitamins, and hormones4.
Furthermore, the heat from an ozone steam sauna increases the body’s temperature by 2 degrees Celsius, resulting in the perspiration of organic acids and waste products, helping the body’s metabolism to work efficiently.
Perspiration also has two purposes1: 1.) it cools the body down; and 2.) it naturally clears the body of toxins through the oxygenation of the blood, tissues, and lymphatic system.
The ozone steam sauna1 breaks down the extra oxygen molecule of the ozone, known as a free-radical. This free radical attaches to toxins, which are then excreted by the body. This process allows the kidney to rest and avoids the extra strain from undergoing detoxification.
This process positively affects the athletes’ performance and recovery time, as the increased oxygenation in the tissues allows for the anti-inflammatory benefits of ozone to spread throughout the body.
Ozone steam4 induces physiological adaptations that aid in the increase of the body’s capacity for endurance and the ability to increase muscle mass and brain function. It happens because the increased blood flow in the muscles minimizes the body’s dependence on the stored local glycogen, especially during workouts, training and/ or competitions.
Ozone therapy does not just combat many chronic diseases such as cancer, herpes, and other viral infections but also enhances the athlete’s immunity, preventing simple ailments such as cold and flu, which impede their performance during training sessions or competitions.
It conditions the body for pressure and intense activities. It can also help athletes increase their competency level by improving their performance and recovery time.
Injuries are common among athletes, since they may happen during practice, exercise, workouts, or while in a game. As such, it is beneficial for athletes to undergo ozone therapy. This treatment allows for the faster recovery of the injured muscle tissues, as well as the faster recovery of strength and immunity.
- Bowman, C. (2016). Oxygen treatment for athletes. Austin Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.austinfitmagazine.com/October-2015/oxygen-treatment-for-athletes/
- Mawsouf, M. N. (n.d.). Ozone in Athletes. Retrieved from https://lomr.org/ozone-in-athletes/
- Organies Genogeg. (n.d.). Ozone therapy for athletes: Does it work? Retrieved from https://organiesgenoeg.co.za/ozone-therapy-athletes-benefits/
- Ozone Therapy – USA. (n.d.). Ozone sport. Retrieved from https://www.ozonetherapyusa.com/ozone-therapy/ozone-sport
- Pyper, L. (2015). ozone therapy and athlete’s foot. Retrieved from https://salvagente.co.za/ozone-saunas/ozone-therapy-and-athletes-foot/
- Transformational Medicine. (n.d.). Ozone therapy. Retrieved from https://tfmnd.com/ozone-therapy/