Cycling Breathing Masks

Are cycling breathing masks an effective way to build cycling endurance?

The theory behind cycling breathing masks is that by restricting your oxygen intake when you are training, you will be able to use oxygen more efficiently when the mask is off during competition. This is based on the 50+ year history of high altitude training, in which cyclists train at higher altitudes where oxygen is thinner in order to use oxygen more effectively when they compete at lower altitudes. 

In fact, studies have shown that neither of these training methods is especially effective. A much more effective way to increase endurance cycling performance is to actually increase the flow of oxygen to your muscles, which is what the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece does. To learn more about how each of these options affects cycling endurance, continue reading. 

How is a cycling breathing mask supposed to increase endurance?

Around the year 1968, it was discovered that athletes who lived in higher altitudes had an advantage during competition over athletes who lived closer to sea level. This is because at higher altitudes, there is less air pressure, so fewer oxygen molecules enter your lungs with each breath. A person who lives at a high altitude adapts to this and their body learns to use oxygen more efficiently. When they are at lower altitudes, they are able to take advantage of the increased amount of oxygen they receive in each breath and can perform even better than their training best when in the high altitudes. 

Proponents of cycling breathing masks believe that by restricting oxygen through reduced air intake, they are recreating the high-altitude situation. The problem with this thinking is that it’s false. When wearing a cycling breathing mask, you will take in less air in general, and that is why you take in decreased oxygen. This is different from high altitudes, where you take in the same amount of air with each breath, but it just has a lower concentration of oxygen molecules.

The actual effect that wearing a cycling breathing mask has on cycling endurance training is to make you lose your breath faster, reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to your muscles, and increasing the strain on your heart. In fact, oxygen breathing masks are specifically labeled as being not for the use of people with potential cardiac conditions. 

The idea is that you will suddenly enjoy the benefits of increased oxygen when you take the mask off and that your performance will be enhanced greatly. The reality is that training while wearing the breathing mask reduces your performance and starves your muscles of the oxygen they need to recover after each workout, making your peak level of performance lower than it would otherwise be.



The AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece directions your tongue down and forward and when you bite down, it creates the optimal airway opening. It's patented and scientifically proven with peer-reviewed, published research to provide athletes:

  • Increased Endurance: Reduces your respiratory rate by 20%.
  • Increased Strength: Improves muscular endurance.
  • Faster Recovery: Reduces cortisol build up levels by up to 50%.

How does the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece work to improve cycling endurance training?

The AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece was developed over a 15-year period by its inventor, Dr. Dena Garner, a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, the Director of Undergraduate Research, and the Assistant Provost for Research and Policy at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. She and her team conducted research on elite athletes at The Citadel and perfected the mouthpiece for use during exercise such as cycling.

Rather than restricting your oxygen while training and competing, the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece actually increases oxygen flow to your muscles during exertion. This is accomplished by two important features of the mouthpiece. 

The first feature is the bite plate, which you bite down on gently while cycling. Not only does this help hold the device in place, but it positions your jaw in a way that optimizes the airway opening to help support the O2/CO2 exchange during cycling. When you first receive your AIRWAAV, you will mold the bite plate to your teeth, increasing its effectiveness and comfort. After all, if the mouthpiece is uncomfortable, you are less likely to wear it. The mouthpiece is made of our patented VistaMaxx material, which is strong enough to endure your teeth clenching during big efforts, and soft enough to be comfortable so you can wear it day after day.

The second feature is the intake bar, which is positioned against the back of your lower front teeth. You tuck your tongue forward and down under the bar, and this, combined with the jaw position resulting from clenching on the bite plate, opens your airway by nearly 10 percent. This can make a huge difference in the amount of oxygen that gets to your muscles.

Where can I get the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece?

The AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece has been shown to reduce your respiratory rate by up to 20 percent during cycling, resulting in less lactic acid production and increasing your endurance. It also gives you faster recovery times by reducing cortisol buildup after training by up to 50 percent. It’s the best product on the market. Order the best performance mouthpiece today online and see how AIRWAAV can improve your endurance cycling training!