Athletic performance is a complex trait that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
You know you need to be fit, healthy and have good lung function for you to be on top of your game, whether you are a runner, a baseball player or a skier.
Just as negative ions may be used to elevate cognitive performance, they may also be used to improve athletic performance. A study entitled ‘An investigation of the effects of negative air ions on responses to submaximal exercise at different times of day’ measured heart rate, oxygen uptake and ventilation in male subjects at rest and during exercise bouts. Results indicated that: “negative air ions significantly reduced resting values of all physiological variables” and “are biologically active and that they do affect the body’s circadian rhythmicity”.
Athletes who take advantage of negative ions during training beneﬁt from signiﬁcant improvements in reaction time, balance, and endurance. Similarly, a study published in 1965 showed a signiﬁcant improvement in athletic performance in sportsmen treated with negative-ion therapy.
It would seem that negative ion may be an easy way to stop the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs by athletes.
Because the benefits of negative ions are natural and healthful, Olympic officials do not object to their use as performance enhancers. Just as negative ions work naturally in environments surrounding beaches and waterfalls, air ionizers can help athletes training in modernized environments to experience the same beneficial effects.