Supplements/Vitamins That Promote Breathing And Help With Diving

Recreational divers often make use of vitamins and supplements to help negate some of the negative effects associated with diving. For example, vitamin C has been to be an effective way of countering the high blood pressure that many divers get after completing a dive. But, what most divers may not know is that certain vitamins and supplements can help improve lung capacity and make diving easier. And these are not exotic, hard to get vitamins and supplements either, they can easily be found at either health stores or at supermarkets. For an in depth review of the best all natural supplements on the market today a great resource is a website named Male Strength Review, the creator and fitness trainer/researcher Tom Curren.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a kind of miracle root. Ginseng can be used to heal all sorts of different ailments; and over the various centuries, it has been used to treat varying conditions, such as cancer, inflammation, stomach pains, and even bad breath. So, how exactly does ginseng help divers? Well, ginseng, specifically Siberian ginseng (which is widely available today in vitamin form), has been used to increase endurance in athletes. For example, one study in Taiwan showed that those taking Siberian ginseng were able to cycle for over 20% longer than those who took a placebo. Soviet athletes made use of ginseng extract for years; it was said to improve endurance, lung capacity, and speed healing of the muscles. Other studies have confirmed that ginseng does have a positive effect on lung capacity. One study gave ginseng, specifically ginseng extract, to a group of patients suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); and the study found that the ginseng extract resulted in significant improvements in lung function and lung capacity.

So, divers who want to increase their lung capacity may want to consider trying some form of ginseng extract. It should be extremely easy to find ginseng extract as it should be carried in any store that carries vitamins or supplements.

Alkaline supplements

This one is a bit more abstract, most people are probably aware of the health benefits of ginseng, but most people are probably unaware that alkaline supplements can also help with diving. The science behind it is actually quite simple. As you start to age, your body’s PH level starts to decrease. For those who need a quick reminder, your PH level refers to how acidic your body is, the lower the PH, the more acidic, the higher the PH, the more alkaline there is in your body. Anyways, the basic logic is that as your body becomes more acidic, your blood cells are able to hold less oxygen. On the other hand, if you have more alkaline in your body, your blood cells can hold more oxygen. So, you want to try and increase your body’s PH levels.

How do you go about doing that exactly? Well, you can buy several straight alkaline supplements at almost any health food store. You can also try other acid neutralizing vitamins, like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, all of which help neutralize acid and increase your alkaline levels.

Vitamin E

This one is controversial, as there is conflicting evidence how useful Vitamin E actually is. For a long time it was assumed that Vitamin E helped improve the condition of the lungs. However, in recent years some research has come out to suggest that Vitamin E has no impact on the functioning of the lungs. Other research has even suggested that Vitamin E, is, in fact, bad for the lungs. So, divers looking for vitamins and supplements to promote breathing may want to try one of the above options, since it appears that we are still waiting for the final verdict on Vitamin E.

 

Wetsuits for Cold Water Diving

There are a lot of different cold water diving wetsuits on the market, but you will not want to buy just any of them. It is important that you get as much information as possible so you can select the right wetsuit to keep you safe when you are cold water diving.

Akona 7mm Quantum Stretch

The Akona 7mm Quantum Stretch is definitely one of the better wetsuits on the market for cold water diving. This suit features four-way stretch neoprene and smooth-skin O-ring that seals at the wrist and ankles. There is also the smooth-skin seal at the neck with Velcro to ensure complete closure. While it’s true that all modern wetsuits are made to be stretchy, this one offers more stretch than any other.

Aqua Lung Aquaflex 7mm

Another great choice when it comes to wetsuits for cold water diving is the Aqua Lung Aquaflex, which features new-style cuffs at the wrist and ankle as well as pre-bent anatomic legs and arms. The three-way zipper seal and padding for spine and kidney provide comprehensive comfort and insulation. This is definitely one wetsuit that you should take a close look at.

Bare 7 MM Elastek

The reinforcement panels at the knees, shoulders and elbows are one of the things that make this cold water diving wetsuit so unique and effective at fighting out hypothermia. There are also the exterior liquid seams and double smooth-skin seals at the wrists and ankles. The compressed neoprene zipper flap with double skin-seal ensures completely closure at all times. This wetsuit’s zipper flap uses 8 mm neoprene compressed to 3 mm that makes against a smooth-skin flap for a perfect seal that is nearly watertight.

Best Brands

There are some brands that are better than others when it comes to wetsuits, and it’s important that you know what some of them are before deciding on anything in particular. The brand of the wetsuit you get will play a very important role in determining how effective it is going to be for you overall.

Billabong wetsuits are known for their sheer quality, though they can be a bit expensive. Hurley wetsuits are also a good choice, but they too tend to be fairly pricey. Roxy cold water diving wetsuits offer the kind of quality that you need without the huge price tag, so you will need to keep that in mind.

Freediving In Shallow Water

Freediving can be a fun and unique way of experiencing the water. Scuba diving is fun, but nothing quite beats the liberating feeling of freediving. However, freediving can also be extremely dangerous. During a 5 year period (from 2006-2011) over 400 freediving accidents were reported, 300 of them resulted in someone dying. This is not meant to scare anyone, it is simple meant to be a warning, if you go freediving, make sure to take the proper safety precautions. So, here are some safety tips you should make use of next time you go freediving in shallow water.

Never dive alone

This is the probably the most important tip to remember. You should never go freediving alone; always bring a partner who is at roughly the same skill level. When diving, you should always try and keep an eye on your partner and make sure they don’t stray too far away from you. Also, before you actually dive, inform your dive partner of what you plan to do; under no circumstances should you go off on your own.

Remember that freediving and scuba diving don’t mix

After scuba diving, the nitrogen in your bloodstream will begin to form bubbles as the pressure changes. This can lead to the onset of decompression sickness. Now, the symptoms of decompression sickness can start to manifest relatively quickly after a scuba dive. The reason you do not want to free dive is because there is a risk that repeated dives under water will drastically increase the chances of developing decompression sickness. You should always spend a lengthy amount of time on the surface after a dive. Although there is no consensus as to how long you have to spend on the surface, it is best to be safe and spend at least half a day on the surface before attempting another dive.

Know the conditions of the water

This is another important safety tip to keep in mind. Before you dive into the water, you should have a good idea of what the water is like. Try to get accurate information about the strength of the current, how good the visibility is, what the temperature of the water is, etc. These can affect what sort of equipment you need to bring (for example, if the water is murky, you will need to bring a dive light) and how difficult the dive is (for example, if the current is high, the dive is going to be more strenuous than usual because more effort will be required to stay close to the dive line).

Only dive when you are completely sober and well rested

Your survival when freediving, even in shallow waters, relies on your ability to hold your breath and your ability to make good decisions (when should you equalize, when you should you drop your weights, etc.). Anything that impairs these abilities will make your dive more dangerous. So, never free dive if you are under the effects of alcohol or drugs; likewise, never free dive if you are tired or feeling sluggish.

Make sure you are properly hydrated

Before going freediving, make sure you drink a lot of water and make sure you stay properly hydrated. Proper hydration helps you maintain alertness and performance while under water. You lose a lot of water when you dive, and it is easy to become dehydrated while freediving; so make sure you are adequately hydrated before jumping into the water.

Freediving is a fun and exhilarating hobby, but like most exhilarating hobbies, it can be dangerous. You have to be as safe as possible when freediving, or otherwise it can end in tragedy. But, if you remember these tips and remember your training, your freediving sessions will turn out fine.

The Dangers of Tank Diving

Tank diving (or more commonly known as scuba diving) is an exhilarating experience, especially when you experience it for the first time. But, like most outdoor activities, it carries a certain amount of risk with it. If done safely and with proper training, tank diving is perfectly safe, but there are some dangers that people need to watch out for; we’ll be highlighting 3 specific dangers that divers need to watch out for.

Narcosis

Narcosis is one of the top dangers every tank diver needs to watch out for. Narcosis refers to a condition that occurs after prolonged breathing of the gasses found inside a dive tank. What makes narcosis so dangerous is that it has a diverse range of effects, all of which are pretty dangerous on their own, but they are even more dangerous underwater. The most extreme effect of narcosis is unconsciousness, but other dangerous effects include hallucinations, dizziness, and impaired reflexes. Thankfully, avoiding narcosis is rather simple. If you are ever on a dive, and you start any symptoms associated with narcosis (early symptoms include headaches, mildly reduced reaction time, and a feeling of euphoria), immediately stop diving and move up towards the surface. The reduce pressure will lead to the narcosis dissipating within minutes. As long as you recognize the early symptoms of narcosis, you will be absolutely fine.

Pulmonary Barotrauma

This is another major issue that anyone diving will need to be wary of. Basically, as you dive the pressure gets greater. The pressure makes oxygen in your body denser, which means your body can inhale more oxygen than it normally would. As you rise back up to the surface, the pressure disappears and the oxygen starts to expand. Why is this dangerous? Well, imagine you held your breath as you were diving, your lungs would be full of air, now think about all that air suddenly expanding as you rise up to the surface. In order to scare first time divers, some diving instructors will say that your lungs will burst; this is unlikely, but your lungs will be greatly damaged. Thankfully, pulmonary barotrauma is easy to avoid if you know what to do. Firstly, never hold your breath when you are diving and you have a diving tank. If you hold your breath, the air gets held in your lungs instead of being exhaled. Secondly, don’t rush up to the surface, slowly ascend so that you have time to exhale the expanding oxygen.

Malfunctioning dive tank

Unless you are a serious diver, chances are you are going to be renting or borrowing someone else’s dive tank when you go diving. This is a big risk because you have no idea how well the tank has been looked after. Dive tanks aren’t fragile by any means, but they can be damaged in a number of ways. Before you go diving, do a thorough check of the tank, make sure it isn’t corroding, and make sure it isn’t making any noises when its moved (if a dive tank makes a noise when its moved, that’s a big red flag). Don’t dive unless you are 100% confident in your equipment.

Shallow Water Blackout: The Risks of Freediving

Freediving is an amazing activity, but it also has a lot of risks involved with it. By far the greatest of those risks is freediving blackout. This is also commonly referred to as “shallow water blackout.” Divers have become increasingly concerned with preventing shallow water blackout, so much so that swimmers and doctors have formed organizations to increase awareness about shallow water blackouts. Shallow water blackouts are a danger, but they are also an avoidable danger. The best way to avoid a shallow water blackout is to understand why they occur in the first place.  

What is shallow water blackout and how does it happen?

Shallow water blackout occurs when a person loses consciousness under water due to a lack of oxygen. To help you understand how shallow water blackout occurs, it is best to break it down into three stages.

Stage 1: The carbon dioxide levels in the diver’s blood decrease

 

  • People engaging in freediving tend to hyperventilate, either on purpose (because it helps them stay underwater longer) or because they are exerting themselves trying to dive deeper.
  • Hyperventilation lowers the levels of carbon dioxide levels in the blood. This is known as Hypocapnia.

Stage 2: The diver begins to use oxygen

 

  • The way the body works is that as the body uses oxygen, it becomes carbon dioxide. The body detects carbon dioxide and uses that to determine when it needs more oxygen.
  • As the diver swims, their body uses oxygen and turns it into carbon dioxide.
  • But, because the diver had lower levels of carbon dioxide in their blood, the body is effectively unable to detect that it needs oxygen.

Stage 3: The diver loses consciousness

  • Since the body is unable to determine that it needs oxygen, the brain will slowly become oxygen deprived.
  • Most people will just slip into unconsciousness and will not get a warning that they need oxygen.

What makes shallow water blackout so dangerous is that in most cases there is no way to alert someone else for help. With regular drowning, the victim at least has a chance to thrash around in the water. But, in a shallow water blackout, the victim simply sinks to the bottom and drowns silently, meaning that the only chance for help is if someone happens to see the person sinking. There are two good methods for avoiding a shallow water blackout. First off, don’t hyperventilate. Secondly, don’t go freediving on your own.