The Cortisol Connection: Explaining the Cortisol Reduction Study


The AIRWAAV performance mouthpiece not only enhances real-time performance but also plays a substantial role in promoting recovery by effectively reducing cortisol levels. Dr. Dena Garner's study, "The Effects of Mouthpiece Use on Cortisol Levels During an Intense Bout of Resistance Exercise," investigates the influence of wearing a mouthpiece during intense workouts, specifically targeting cortisol levels—a crucial factor in the recovery process.

Study Methodology:

Conducted on 28 Division I football players, the study employed a within-subjects design. Participants underwent two identical one-hour sessions of intense resistance exercise, randomly assigned to wear a custom-fit mouthpiece during either the first or second session. Saliva samples were collected at various time points, including pre-exercise, 25, 45, and 60 minutes into exercise, and 10 minutes post-exercise.

The exercise sessions were part of the in-season football strength maintenance program, focusing on high-intensity, low-repetition resistance exercises. This included a dynamic warm-up featuring exercises like wood chops and reverse lunges, followed by specific resistance training components such as hang cleans, narrow grip deadlifts, and single-leg overhead shoulder presses. The session concluded with core exercises targeting abdominal, oblique, and lumbar musculature.


The study found a significant decrease in cortisol levels with the mouthpiece 10 minutes post-exercise compared to no-mouthpiece conditions. Additionally, there was a 29% decrease in cortisol between 60 minutes of exercise and 10 minutes post-exercise with the mouthpiece. In contrast, the no-mouthpiece group experienced a 48% increase in cortisol from baseline to 10 minutes post-exercise.


Implications for AIRWAAV Users:

For AIRWAAV users, these findings signify more than just performance enhancement. The observed cortisol reduction post-exercise suggests a potential protective mechanism against muscle breakdown, presenting AIRWAAV as a valuable tool for optimizing recovery and overall athletic potential.

Exploring the Science:

The study's results provide a clear picture of the positive impact of the AIRWAAV mouthpiece. The reduction in cortisol levels 10 minutes post-exercise opens doors to understanding how this simple addition to an athlete's routine can reshape recovery strategies and enhance performance.

More on Dr. Dena Garner:

Dr. Dena Garner is a full-time professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, serving as the Director of Undergraduate Research and the Assistant Provost for Research and Policy at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. She began working at The Citadel in 2004 while completing her post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina, also located in Charleston. Before her move to Charleston, she worked at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, where she also received her doctoral degree in exercise physiology.

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