European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 11, pp 2319–2329 | Cite as

Swimming versus running: effects on exhaled breath condensate pro-oxidants and pH

  • Oscar F. AranedaEmail author
  • Felipe Contreras-Briceño
  • Gabriel Cavada
  • Ginés Viscor
Original Article



The respiratory redox-state of swimmers can be affected by chronic exposures to chlorinated pools, and the effects of different exercises on it are unknown. Our aim was to compare two exercises performed at high-intensity and under habitual environmental conditions (swimming indoor vs. running outdoor) on the production of pro-oxidants (hydrogen peroxide and nitrite) and pH in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and spirometry parameters in competitive swimmers chronically exposed to chlorinated pools.


Seventeen men and women (mean age ± SD = 21 ± 2 years) swam 3.5 km in an indoor pool treated with Cl2, and after 2-weeks, they ran 10 km outdoors. The pHEBC, [H2O2]EBC, [NO2]EBC, [NO2]EBC/[NO2]Plasma and spirometry parameters were analyzed pre-exercise and 20 min and 24 h after exercise ended.


Two mixed models were applied to compare EBC parameters between swimming and running. Lower levels of [H2O2]EBC and [NO2]EBC (p = 0.008 and p = 0.018, respectively) were found 24-h post-swimming, and the same trend was observed for [NO2]EBC/[NO2]Plasma (p = 0.062). Correlations were found in both exercises between pre-exercise levels of pHEBC, [H2O2]EBC, [NO2]EBC, and [NO2]EBC/[NO2]Plasma and their changes (Δ) after 24-h as well as between [H2O2]EBC and [NO2]EBC for basal levels and for changes after 24 h. A relationship was also found for running exercise between pulmonary ventilation and changes after 24 h in [H2O2]EBC. Spirometry data were unaffected in both types of exercise.


In competitive swimmers, at 24-h acute post-exercise follow-up, swimming decreased and running increased pro-oxidant biomarkers of pulmonary origin, without changes in lung function.


Exercise Exhaled breath condensate Oxidative stress Spirometry. 



Derived by-products


Exhaled breath condensate


Hydrogen peroxide


Nitrite anion

\(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_2}{\text{~max}}\)

Maximal oxygen consumption



This work was supported by the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development FONDECYT 11130082 (O.A). We acknowledge Mr. Luis Pizarro Zúñiga for technical assistance.

Author contributions

O.A: conceived and design research, analysed data, manuscript redaction, final approval. F.C: conceived and design research, analysed data, manuscript redaction, final approval. G.C: analysed data. G.V: analysed data, manuscript redaction, final approval.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

421_2018_3958_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 KB)
421_2018_3958_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 17 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Fisiología Integrativo de Biomecánica y Fisiología Integrativa (LIBFE), Escuela de Kinesiología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de Los AndesSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, Department of Health of Science, Faculty of MedicinePontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Physiology Section, Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Faculty of BiologyUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.School of Public Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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