Advantages of Diving with Nitrox (Enriched Air)

Have you ever been diving, enjoying the amazing underwater world around you, and when you look down at your dive computer, it's time to surface?  This has happened to many divers and usually at the best part of the dive site.  If only there was a way to stay underwater for a longer time...

Nitrox
Photo credit nsyll

NITROX!! Have you heard people talk about Nitrox or enriched air?  It's the same thing but different people use different terms to call it.  Nitrox (or enriched air) is a different blend of Nitrogen and Oxygen in the tank you dive with.  Normal compressed air in a dive tank is about 21% oxygen.
Nitrox is any blend with more than 21% oxygen.  The most common blends you would find are 32% and 36% oxygen.
The advantages of diving with Nitrox is not from the added oxygen you breath in but rather, the lower percentage of nitrogen you consume.

Here are some advantages of diving with Nitrox:

Nitrox Diving
Photo credit millerm217

Longer bottom time/no decompression limits -

Because you are breathing air with a lower percentage of nitrogen, there will be less nitrogen for your body to absorb. This will increase your total bottom time and extend your no-decompression limit.  In other words, you will be able to stay at the amazing wreck or beautiful reef for a longer period of time.

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Photo credit Hossam el-Hamalawy حسام الحملاوي

Shorter surface intervals -

Since your body is absorbing less nitrogen during your dives using Nitrox compared to using regular air,  so the amount of time your body needs to release nitrogen between dives is also shortened.  You will be able to get back to diving instead of waiting on the boat.

Longer repetitive dive times - 

Divers using Nitrox get added benefits when they have multiple dives in a day.  A diver using Nitrox would have a longer total bottom time compared to a diver using regular air because of the reduced amount of nitrogen absorbed in the body.

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Photo credit Froschmann : かえるおとこ

If you would like to learn more about diving with enriched air, check out our Nitrox specialty course.  Our next scheduled class is on the 26th of December 2013. Come join us and get certified!

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