I have heard that human lungs capture/absorb/process more oxygen by breathing slower.

A) Is the above true?

B) If so, if my primary concern was absorbing the most total oxygen (not most efficient), would it better to breathe deeply and quickly or deeply and slowly?

C) Are there any other considerations (e.g., will fast, inefficient breathing make me feel more tired even if I'm taking in more oxygen)?

D) Is there any "ideal" breathing rate (such as for sports) that is a good balance between volume of air intake and efficiency of absorption?


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you be more specific in stating the desired goal? Is it for a specific time frame/event? Our rate (and depth) of breathing affects CO2 levels well before O2 levels, and we function best within a certain narrow range. "More oxygen" does not equal "better" except in certain circumstances (e.g. Carbon monoxide poisoning, high altitude climbing, etc.) $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Mar 24 '17 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ Your body naturally optimizes breathing rate/tidal volume to minimize energy spent for what level of exercise imposed on it while also maintaining less than a critical level of $PaCO_2$. $\endgroup$ – docscience May 17 '17 at 20:23

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