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1. Introduction
2. What is blood doping?
3. How does it work?
4. Respiratory physiology
5. The physiology of endurance sports
6. Ventilation during endurance sports
7. Cardiac output during endurance sports
8. Aerobic metabolism during endurance sports
9. Conclusion - blood doping kills
10. References

Haemoglobin is the iron containing globular protein. Each of the four iron atoms in the haemoglobin molecule can loosely bind one molecule of oxygen, in the following reversable reaction:

Hb4 + 4O2 produces Hb4O8

This reaction is not enzyme mediated and relies entirely on the partial pressure of oxygen in solution. When this oxyhaemoglobin reaches the skeletal muscle during exercise the oxygen leaves the red blood cells for consumption by the tissues.

The classical equation for an exergonic oxidative metabolic process is the aerobic oxidation of glucose - respiration:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 gives 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP

The potential energy within the ATP molecule is utilized for all the energy requiring processes of the cell.

The physiology of endurance sports >


Article published: 10th June 2003