How Nasal Breathing Can Boost Athletic Performance – Stadium Performance Approved

Many athletes don’t give much thought to how they breathe when working out or competing. They tend to breathe however feels most comfortable in the moment, switching between mouth and nose breathing without a second thought. However, research shows that making a conscious effort to breathe nasally while exercising offers significant benefits. Here’s why athletes should consider embracing nasal-only breathing.

Increased Oxygen Intake

One major advantage of nasal breathing during physical activity is it allows more oxygen to enter your lungs. When you breathe through your nose, the air is warmed, humidified, and filtered before reaching the lungs. This prepares the air to be absorbed effectively into the bloodstream once it reaches the alveoli. Breathing cold, dry air through the mouth doesn’t achieve this same air conditioning process. More oxygen absorption equals better endurance and performance.

Improved Carbon Dioxide Elimination

Nasal breathing also supports better carbon dioxide elimination during activity. Exhaling through the nose helps purge more CO2 from the lungs than mouth breathing. This leads to more efficient gas exchange and respiration. Maintaining lower CO2 levels helps prevent fatigue so you can keep going strong.

Greater Lung Stamina

Breathing solely through your nose strengthens the diaphragm and intercostal muscles responsible for respiration since they have to work harder. The increased effort level leads to greater lung stamina and capacity over time. Just like strength training builds muscle, nasal breathing builds respiratory strength.

Prevention of Exercise-Induced Asthma

Research shows nasal breathing can reduce bronchoconstriction or exercise-induced asthma. The warming and humidification of air before it enters the lungs helps prevent the airways from seizing up. So nasal breathing literally allows more airflow for individuals prone to asthmatic symptoms during cardio.

Calming Effects

Most forms of exercise, especially intense training, trigger the sympathetic nervous system and get us amped up. Nasal breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system instead, promoting calmness. The more relaxed you feel physically, the easier it is to get in the zone mentally with greater focus and concentration.

Immune Health Boost

Since nasal breathing filters the air, it prevents foreign particles and pathogens from entering the lungs. This helps maintain the respiratory system’s immune protections. Staying healthy with good immune function means less downtime from training and consistent athletic progress.

Final Thoughts

Research continues to underscore the performance and health perks of nasal breathing for athletes from weekend warriors to elite competitors. On top of the scientific proof, implementing mindful nasal breathing also provides mental benefits helping athletes feel centered and dialed-in during activity. Next time you train or compete, try putting your mouthpiece aside and breathe only through your nose. It may very well take your athletic achievements to the next level.

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