What Holding Your Breath Does To Your Body

What Holding Your Breath Does To Your Body

How long was that?! He breathers, Amy here for DNews. Breathing is a reflex, and we do it about
19,000 times a day without even thinking. But when we hold our breath, or our breathing
is cut off, say by plunging a little too far into the deep-end, a few things happen in
our body. Please, don’t try this at home. We breathe to take in oxygen, which is used
to power our cells so they get energy. In this process, the cells release carbon
dioxide, which we breath out. When you hold your breath, residual carbon
dioxide that would ordinarily be exhaled starts to accumulate in your body. Your brain senses that it needs oxygen, and
when you can’t take it in, the buildup starts to become painful. First, you’ll feel a burning in your lungs,
then, after more time, involuntary and unbearably painful spasms in your diaphragm and the muscles
around your ribs, along with lightheadedness. The thing is, you won’t die just from holding
your breath alone. If you hold your breath long enough to lose
consciousness, your autonomic nervous system, which regulates your breathing, blood pressure,
and other automatic functions, would kick back in to get you breathing again. Of course, this assumes that you aren’t
underwater and are able to breathe in. If you do hold your breath underwater, your
body also experiences what’s called the mammalian diving reflex. It tries to preserve oxygen for its most important
organs, like the brain and the heart, by slowing down your heart rate and reducing blood flow
to the limbs. This is essentially your body’s ‘power
save mode’ to help you decrease oxygen consumption. According to a paper published by the American
Physiological Society, likely all mammals and possibly all vertebrates have similar
diving reflexes. But the mammalian diving reflex can only be
triggered by cold water on the face, which is why people can hold their breath longer
underwater than say, when they’re driving through a tunnel. The free diver Aleix Segura Vendrell currently
holds the world record for breath-holding at just over 24 minutes but he achieved this
after filling his lungs with pure oxygen first. Without that, the record for longest breath
holding in freediving is Branko Petrovic at a measly 11 minutes, 54 seconds. Which isn’t really measly at all. Seriously, don’t try this at home. It’s unclear if there’s any permanent
damage from repeatedly holding your breath. One study of divers in The Clinical Neuropsychologist
showed no long term neurological damages in divers. But another study by The American Physiological
Society did find that divers had an elevated level of the protein S100B, which could be
a marker for brain damage. It’s important to note that these studies
were done on small numbers of participants, so you know the line — more research is needed. If you do want to be good to your body though,
you should try out Graze.com. Graze makes snacking exciting by combining
wholesome ingredients with the flavors we all love, to create over 100 nutritionist-approved
snacks. Go to graze.com and enter promo code DNEWS
to get a free, sampler box delivered right to your home or work! But what if you’re not a trained freediver
but you still want to go down into the ocean? Check out this video on how one company is
developing a suit that acts as a personal submarine. Any other questions about the human body you
want explored? Let us know in the comments, subscribe, and
come back for more DNews every single day.


  1. If you hold your breathe longer than managable pain, you'll either pass out, or when you breathe again it feels really wrong. At least for me.

  2. when you hold your breath: Fine for now. Starting to think over and over again, "I need air I need air I need air". Face turns blue, pink, etc. Lungs feel like they are going to burst. you finely let your air out. Hold your breath for too long: Blackout

  3. What is the record, 11 min, 9 min or 20 min? I've heard the record is different every time. I thought it was a dude in Brazil for like 21 min or something

  4. I remember when im young i always try to break the world record by holding my breath till i pass out…. Again..and again.. and again

  5. 9 months this is the time you hold your breath in your mothers womb until you discover the outside world

  6. just a guess

    the mammalian diving reflex is triggered when cold water is on your face because that makes your body know that you are incapable of breathing, so it triggers the reflex.

  7. Yeah This is True


    Hold your breath

    and you will feel your Heart rate going slow and you will feel that you have more oxygen

  8. 1:40 mammalian diving reflex works in cold water on the face.
    Question: what about hot water?

    You burn your face

  9. I hold my breathe for 2 minutes under warm water and I let someone feet to step my back so that I won't float , but after that I caught up blood it was a fresh blood. Is it dangerous?

  10. I hold my breath untill it felt like I was seconds away from death everything turned picthed black and I got lucky and breath again and it felt like I oulde t walk so I did 36 slow push ups now I fill fin ha ha I just proved men are smartest and the strangest and I prove the internet tells a bunch of lies in m the proof men will all ways be the best in fact I can out live anybody

  11. Breathing does help ,definitely not the way you did it .
    Now, the research of deep divers and some brain disease is not because of holding breathing, but the pressure , dark environment..For a good research take good sample of people doing breathing exercise (Pranayam)n a conducive environment .

  12. Is it normal that I kinda like to hold my breath? Because when I do it and I’m really relaxed I feel this weird sensational and I kinda feel weightless and it’s a good feeling it also feels like my skin is vibrating

  13. TL;DR version – Cannabis smoking combined with prior asthma seems to give you whale lungs with insane capacity and holding ability. I can hold for 3 minutes before CO2 buildup distress even begins to occur.

    I had asthma from infancy to (funnily enough) the time I started SMOKING Cannabis. A few months after I began daily smoking of cannabis alone (no tobacco) around age 15, (my mother allowed it now and then but had no idea just how much I smoked and how much I spent all my extra cash on it) I noticed that I was coughing during smoking it but after I finished smoking, a really different productive cough would occur.

    It seemed to "clear our" my lungs and allowed me to hack up a bunch of sputum and phlegm. After six months of this I noticed that I hadn't used my rescue inhaler or my daily maintenance inhaler in weeks. I decided to stop using the puffers. I continued daily smoking, always for the sake of recreation since I was convinced as anyone with common sense would be (inhaled burning plant matter = not good for you) that it was likely making my asthma worse somehow and the puffer stoppage was a fluke and I was growing out of asthma.

    Then I kinda lost track. Kept smoking into my twenties (I'm in my mid 30s now) but I noticed something. I live on a very scenic and picturesque Eastern Maritime Canadian river. Naturally in the summer we swim in it. I used to swim a lot more, mainly with friends and family. My cousins and I would have breath holding competitions and whatnot. I went from one summer not being able to even hold for a minute to the next being able to beat everybody. In one year that happened. Then things started to get insane.

    It was as if my lungs had grown because of the asthma and once the cannabis "cured" or curbed or treated my asthma, I became the Superman of static apnea (laying in face down in the water and not moving a muscle to conserve as much oxygen and hold as long as possible). I couldn't believe it. Few more summers go by and I can jump from a wharf, swim underwater (it's far harder to hold when you exert yourself…free divers have my undying respect) to the floating dock, touch it, and swim back to the wharf all underwater and without taking a breath.

    With static apnea I was able to hold for 5 minutes, a minute beyond the brain damage point. But I knew I wasn't damaging my brain because I felt no urge to breathe that I was powering through and trying to ignore. It was simple and remains so.

    Now just sitting in a chair or whatever I can still make 5 minutes if I really try. I'm dying for a breath by then, but I can still do it. I show my doctor once after hearing about David Blaine and his 17 minute world record hold and how his doctors reacted when he held last 3-4 mins.

    The rule of thumb is 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 minutes without air. I was nearly doubling that latter statistic, wrecking the rule of threes for myself at least. He wasn't as astonished as. I thought he'd be. He said "Yeah some fresh out med schoolers think these numbers are set in stone but of course there are exceptions." I asked him if the asthma had anything to do with it and he said there was some data and studies to suggest that asthmatics develop very large lungs under certain conditions. I live at sea level, though. I don't know why this happened and this only factor seems to be cannabis and time.

    Perhaps I grew out,of it and was left with whale,lungs but it's odd that this ability came on after a year or so of cannabis smoking. Now my beloved is legal here in the Great White North. I've never been happier.

    Okay now tell me about what happens when I deprive my body of necessary oxygen!

  14. When me and my cousin he said “I bet I can hold my breathe longer than u underwater” then he goes under it and I do but I put my head back up and when he comes up I quickly put my head back in and I win😂👌

  15. the average person with training can hold their breath for 5 mins
    it takes a month or two but its cool once you learn it its pretty cool

  16. When I was young my brother told me that when you got to year 11 your had to breath more to release more carbon dioxide to help the amazon rainforest grow. I was so damn gullible.

  17. That's it? Two little study? Made on who? On how many people?
    Go see the master in this category Wim Hof or Ice Man, it doesn't seem dangerous to me.

  18. When i hold my breath or stretch i start seeing stuff or i get off balance and i fall or go into like mini dreams

  19. So rn it is 10:30 pm for me and I can’t go to sleep so your says if I just hold my breath I will basically fall asleep and wake up tomorrow? AWESOME CYA TOMORROW MORNING TO TELL YOU THE RESULTS 😀

  20. I held my breath under water and when i came back to surface the back side of my brain was hurting a lot , i really am scared idk what it was it still hurts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *