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Benefits of diving Nitrox

2017-02-01 12:31:43

Benefits of diving Nitrox
Preparing for a Nitrox dive

There are many benefits of diving on Nitrox (Enriched Air). There are also risks and certain considerations when diving on Nitrox.

Here are the top 3 benefits we hear from Nitrox divers. Most Nitrox divers will say the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Nitrox is free to certified Nitrox divers at SUB AQUA DiveCenters in Maldives and also on select Thailand liveaboards.

The top 3 benefits of diving Nitrox:

1. Longer bottom times
Kind of. It depends on how your air consumption is normally. There is still the same volume of gas in the tank so you do not have ‘extra’ available to breathe. However, nitrox used for recreational diving (21- 40% oxygen) contains a lower percentage of nitrogen than air. This translates to extended no-decompression limits on your dives. For example, if you look to the Recreational Dive Planner and you plan a dive to 18 metres. You will see your no-decompression limit (the maximum allowable time at that depth while breathing compressed air, without decompression stops and added risks) is 56 minutes. The same dive with an Enriched Air Nitrox mix of 32% would allow a diver to be at 18m for 95 minutes using the Recreational Dive Planner designed for use with Enriched Air Nitrox 32%. That is almost twice as long! Plenty of time to get that great photo or just enjoy exploring. There is definitely a benefit to diving Nitrox and enjoying longer bottom times in the 18-24 metre range.

2. Longer repetitive dive times
Doing a lot of dives in a day? Many diving liveaboards for example do 4 dives in one day. That is a lot of residual nitrogen accumulating and shortening your allowable bottom times on repetitive dives… unless you choose to dive on Nitrox.
As a diver breathing enriched air nitrox you are absorbing less nitrogen than you would be if you were diving on air. Less nitrogen accumulated in your system means more time underwater on the next dive!

3. Less exhausted
Many divers claim to be less tired after dives on nitrox when compared to similar dives on air. As a diver, you do not absorb so much nitrogen when diving enriched air nitrox and this may make you feel less tired. This is not a proven fact but enough divers say it that it should be included here as a benefit. If you ever suffer from headaches while breathing compressed air on dives, you might also consider Nitrox because it is not uncommon to hear divers say they dive nitrox because it stopped them getting headaches on dives. Again, not a proven fact but worthy of note.

This is by no means a definitive list of the benefits of diving Nitrox – there are more!

Diving on Nitrox is free at all SUB AQUA DiveCenters in Maldives.

Breathe the ‘sweet stuff’ - Do the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox course as a PADI Specialty