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Ozone Therapy for Athletes: Does It Work?

Ozone Therapy for Athletes: Does It Work?

Does Ozone Therapy for Athletes actually work? This is a topic of controversy, even though there are 1,000’s of research articles that discuss it’s safety and benefits.  Throughout the world there are doctors and professional athletes who swear by it. But before we dive in too deep, let’s explain something really important:

Ozone vs. Oxygen

Don’t confuse ozone with oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers have been history known to treat decompression sickness and air embolisms. Then there’s the recreational oxygen trend – Oxygen bars and such. Advocates say oxygen can provide a boost before exercise, a quicker recovery afterward, relaxation after a stressful day, or mental clarity.

Athletes often like it, and in fact, public records related to Tiger Woods’ home in Jupiter, Florida, refer to an oxygen therapy room being built into his home gym. It’s easy to understand why athletes gravitate toward a health trend like simple oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers have significant research backing up their health benefits. The book, Oxygen Revolution, is a great resource.

Ozone, is made up of three molecules of oxygen (O3), which is much less stable than O2. The 2 therapies can have very similar effects on the body. However, ozone therapy tends to shine with quick results that are affordable. Ozone can be used to help clear up acne, improve exercise tolerance and stamina, and modulate the immune system. There are thousands of research articles regarding the health benefits of ozone therapy.

Ozone Therapy for Athletes, Performance & Recovery

Athletes, in particular, can benefit from ozone therapy for both performance and recovery. According to Nathaniel Altman’s The Oxygen Prescription: The Miracle of Oxidative Therapies, ozone therapy can increase an athlete’s performance by boosting the oxygenation of tissues while escalating the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which will lead to speedy recovery from sports injuries and will yield more energy to be expended. In addition, sore muscles can be prevented by ozone therapy after exercise. Ozone slows down the cells’ anaerobic fermentation and helps scale down the buildup of lactic acid.

Ozone Therapy works by increasing blood flow to the muscles. In addition, blood flow to the heart is also increased, which reduces strain during the same workload. In one study, male runners who engaged in an average of 12- to 30-minute sessions twice a week immediately after an intense run, resulted in a 32 percent increase in the distance they could run before reaching the point of exhaustion.

Benefits Ozone Therapy Can Have On An Athlete:

  • Increases tissue oxygenation.
  • Increases production of ATP, resulting in more energy and faster recovery.
  • Delays the onset of anaerobic fermentation of sugar in the cell, reducing lactic acid build-up.
  • Oxidizes lactic acid, helping prevent sore muscles.
  • Reduces swelling, bruising and pain from injuries, and speeds healing.
  • Prevents and treat colds and flu and enhances immunity.
  • Can eliminate the need for antibiotics, protecting intestinal flora.
  • Increases hormone production to optimum levels, eliminating need for artificial steroids.

Ozone Therapy Speeds Up Healing

Many sports injuries involve strains and sprains that cause swelling and an accumulation of excess fluid in connective tissue.

Ozone Therapy for athletes soothes muscles and calms nerves, and it causes oxygenation of tissues at a cellular level. Therefore, nutrients are delivered to the site of injury and inflammatory fluid is removed more rapidly.

Ozone therapy cleans arteries and veins, improves brain function and memory, purifies blood and lymph, and scavenges free radicals. Overall, ozone therapy is a very healthy oxygen treatment for everyone from the exercise enthusiast to the professional athlete.

What’s The Catch?

No catch. Ozone therapy has been used since the late 1800’s all over the world. It is currently extensively used in Cuba in hospitals, in parts of Spain, and the list goes on.

Ozone is a very reactive gas that is toxic to the respiratory system. However, under controlled conditions, it can be therapeutically useful in several human diseases. An unfavorable combination of factors (ozone is one of the worst troposphere pollutants) and past misuse have led to misgivings about Ozone therapy. However, basic and clinical work developed over the past 10 years has clarified the fundamental mechanisms of action of ozone in biology and medicine. Interestingly, judicious doses of ozone dissolved in blood trigger a cascade of well-defined chemical compounds acting on multiple cellular targets according to well-known molecular, biochemical and pharmacological pathways. Ozone therapy is proving to be very useful in age-related macular degeneration, ischemic and infectious diseases, and in wound healing disorders, where conventional medicine has failed. Critical evaluation of the potential therapeutic utility of this simple, inexpensive medical application by national and international health authorities is warranted and may lead to clinical benefit for a large proportion of the world’s population.


Department of Physiology, University of Siena, via Moro 2, 53100, Siena, Italy. bocci@unisi.it. “The Case for Oxygen-Ozonetherapy. PubMed.gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17444419

Posted in Health Blog.