How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?

You can’t hold your breath for more than a few minutes, because when you stop breathing, you begin to store up a gas called carbon dioxide, which your body cells produce as a waste product.

Since your breathing is controlled by the respiratory center in your brain, an increase of carbon dioxide in your blood stimulates this respiratory center.

It then sends messages to your breathing muscles to breathe faster to take in more oxygen.

So, no matter how hard you might try to hold your breath, your brain works even harder to see that you don’t injure your body.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?”

  1. Did you know that the world record for breath-holding is 10: 12 minutes (without previously breathing pure oxygen)? This record was set by Tom Sietas in 2008 in Athens, Greece. Many trained freedivers can hold their breath between 5 and 7 minutes in the static apnea discipline.

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