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5 Benefits of Diving with Enriched Air (Nitrox)


Have you ever wondered about those tanks with a yellow-green label on the back of divers, but never had a chance to chat with them about the difference between air and enriched air?
The benefits of diving with Nitrox and how to get your license? Or do you just want to add a new PADI card to your collection? It is much easier than you think!


So what’s Nitrox?

The air that we breathe on the surface and the air from a scuba tank have the same mixture gases, 21 percent oxygen and 79 percent nitrogen, minus some traces of other gases. In other words, Nitrox 21.

If the nitrogen-oxygen gas mixture has a higher oxygen concentration than those 21 percent, it’s referred to as enriched air (EAN).

The most common mixture is Nitrox 32, which contains 32 percent oxygen and 68 percent nitrogen.

Tanks that are filled with enriched air are generally clearly marked with a band and / or a sticker indicating the percentage of mixing.


What are 5 benefits of diving with Nitrox?

1. Safety

Less nitrogen in your body reduces the chance of decompression sickness (DCS), improving your overall diving safety.

The absorbed nitrogen is the main cause of this disorder in which the nitrogen dissolved in the blood and tissues by the high pressure forms bubbles as the pressure decreases.

Symptoms can include fatigue and pain in muscles and joints.

2. Extended Bottom Time

Recreational Nitrox which may contain anything between 21 and 40 percent of oxygen, has a lower percentage of nitrogen than air. This allows divers to extend their no-decompression limits/ dive time by reducing the amount of nitrogen that is absorbed. The less nitrogen there is in a diver’s breathing gas, the lower his nitrogen absorption will be at a given depth.

For example, on a deep wreck dive at the Mama Viña in Playa del Carmen/ Mexico: If you dive on air, your maximum bottom time on the wreck located at 24m/ 78ft will be around 29 minutes. Diving with Nitrox enables you to remain for about 42 minutes at the same depth, keeping in mind your air-consumption.

3. Shorter Surface Intervals

A Nitrox diver absorbs less nitrogen for a given depth and dive time than a diver who uses air. This means that that diver has less nitrogen to off-gas during a required surface interval, which can drastically shorten it.

4. Longer Repetitive Dive Times

If a diver engages in more than one dive per day, Nitrox becomes particularly useful. The diver will have a longer allowable bottom time on a repetitive dive than a diver using air, as he has absorbed less nitrogen.

5. Reduced Exhaustion

Many divers report a significant difference in alertness after a dive with Nitrox. They claim to be less exhausted than after a comparable dive on air, which may be caused by the lower absorption of nitrogen.


How to obtain your PADI Enriched Air Diver Certification?

You need to be at least 12 years old and PADI Open Water Diver certified to register for PADI’s most popular speciality.

This online course only takes one afternoon. It covers all the enriched air diver course content and allows you to study at your own pace through an easy-to-use, interactive program.

As soon as you’ve signed up on their website, the ScubaCaribe team will send you an email with instructions.


Ready to dive with enriched air on your next vacation to enjoy all its benefits?

Sign up here to get certified online today!


PADI elearning Nitrox Speciality

* The PADI Instructor who will certify you after completion of your online course is based in Jamaica. This explains the choice of location on ScubaCaribe’s website. You are not required to visit Jamaica nor any of their destinations, in order to obtain your PADI Enriched Air Diver certification.

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