We all know that oxygen is critical to our body’s survival--basic science. But do you know how oxygen makes its way to your muscles to help promote blood flow and muscle recovery? Interestingly, electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) plays a role in supporting this process and speeding up muscle recovery.
How Your Body Uses Oxygen--Not Just Respiration
Back to basics. Breathing is an active process that supplies your body with the oxygen it needs and expels carbon dioxide so it can stay in balance. When you breathe in oxygen, it enters the lungs then passes through the alveoli and into the blood. Alveoli are tiny, balloon shaped air sacs that play a major role in respiration. Arranged in clusters throughout the lungs, the alveoli exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules back and forth through the bloodstream. Alveoli represent the endpoint of the respiratory system, facilitating oxygenation of the blood as CO2 is expelled through the nose or mouth.
Oxygen is then carried to the muscles via red blood cells. And whether you’re exercising or not, the oxygen in your body is used to break down glucose, creating fuel for your muscles--that is, adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. This molecule is the source of energy that keeps your entire body going at all times.
But, as you can imagine, your active body requires more oxygen than when your body is at rest. During exercise, your muscles are hard at work. Your breathing and heart rate increase, pulling more oxygen into the bloodstream. As you exercise, the oxygen that reaches your muscles converts available glucose into ATP, providing your body with the energy it needs to complete your workout.
However, there’s a downside. When your body runs out of oxygen, or your other systems can’t deliver oxygen to your muscles quickly enough, your muscles convert the available glucose into lactic acid instead. This is when your performance weakens and you begin to feel fatigued during an intense workout or at the end of a workout--which is where electric muscle stimulation comes in to save the day.
How to Speed Up Muscle Recovery with EMS
Not only is oxygen crucial in supporting muscle performance during your workout, but it also aids in the muscle recovery process. Electric muscle stimulation technology offers added support, and can be used pre- during and post workout. Post workout, electric muscle stimulation helps strengthen and retrain muscles, lessen muscle spasms and increase your range of motion. The electrical current that EMS runs through your muscles helps promote blood flow by sending oxygen to muscles while also flushing out lactic acid, which can cause muscle soreness. PowerDot EMS technology offers 4 different recovery programs: active recovery, light recovery, extended recovery and massage.
Strength comes from recovery, and recovery hinges on your body’s consumption of oxygen. When you’re done exercising, your body is in oxygen debt. Oxygen is necessary to refill those deficiencies created during exercise. Post workout, it’s important to replenish the oxygen in your bloodstream. You can do this through steady breathing coupled with cool down exercises, and incorporate electrical muscle stimulation to speed up the entire recovery process.
Once you’ve cooled down, you might consider eating a healthy, protein rich snack [link to Best Diet for Training (Powerlifting) article] or drinking a protein shake. The oxygen you take in will then convert this food into glucose to refill your body’s glycogen supplies. The combination of oxygen and glycogen works to restore ATP levels in your body. This also helps to break down the lactic acid in the liver, kidneys and muscles.
Electrical muscle stimulation, when paired with your training routines and workout programs, can not only enhance performance, but also support recovery in between workouts or post workout. PowerDot EMS is clinically proven and FDA cleared--one of the safest, most effective ways to improve performance and speed up muscle recovery anywhere, anytime.
Speed up muscle recovery with our 7-day muscle recovery plan designed to help you maximize your workouts and recover faster than ever!