Does Caffeine Increase Ventilation?


Does Caffeine Increase Ventilation?

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  1. Caffeine is a stimulant. It increases pulmonary ventilation – the process of air flowing into the lungs during inspiration (inhalation) and out of the lungs during expiration (exhalation). In other words, it makes you breathe faster. Diamox, the FDA approved drug for altitude sickness, works in a similar way.
    Although no studies have addressed whether caffeine facilitates acclimatization to altitude, there are studies suggesting that it might. Researchers found that a substantial dose of caffeine (equivalent to about six and a half cups of coffee) increased hypoxic ventilatory response and resting ventilation.
    This does appear to suggest that caffeine would help acclimatization by increasing the oxygen intake. But whether caffeine might increase ventilation sufficiently to speed acclimatization and prevent AMS has not been determined.

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