Effects of negative air ions on oxygen uptake kinetics, recovery and performance in exercise: a randomized, double-blinded study

Int J Biometeorol. 2014 Sep;58(7):1503-12. doi: 10.1007/s00484-013-0754-8. Epub 2013 Oct 23.


Limited research has suggested that acute exposure to negatively charged ions may enhance cardio-respiratory function, aerobic metabolism and recovery following exercise. To test the physiological effects of negatively charged air ions, 14 trained males (age: 32 ± 7 years; VO2max: 57 ± 7 mL min(-1) kg(-1)) were exposed for 20 min to either a high-concentration of air ions (ION: 220 ± 30 × 10(3) ions cm(-3)) or normal room conditions (PLA: 0.1 ± 0.06 × 10(3) ions cm(-3)) in an ionization chamber in a double-blinded, randomized order, prior to performing: (1) a bout of severe-intensity cycling exercise for determining the time constant of the phase II VO2 response (τ) and the magnitude of the VO2 slow component (SC); and (2) a 30-s Wingate test that was preceded by three 30-s Wingate tests to measure plasma [adrenaline] (ADR), [nor-adrenaline] (N-ADR) and blood [lactate] (B(Lac)) over 20 min during recovery in the ionization chamber. There was no difference between ION and PLA for the phase II VO2 τ (32 ± 14 s vs. 32 ± 14 s; P = 0.7) or VO2 SC (404 ± 214 mL vs 482 ± 217 mL; P = 0.17). No differences between ION and PLA were observed at any time-point for ADR, N-ADR and B(Lac) as well as on peak and mean power output during the Wingate tests (all P > 0.05). A high-concentration of negatively charged air ions had no effect on aerobic metabolism during severe-intensity exercise or on performance or the recovery of the adrenergic and metabolic responses after repeated-sprint exercise in trained athletes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air
  • Anions / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Radiometry / instrumentation


  • Anions
  • Lactic Acid
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine