Should I Use An Exercise Breathing Mask?

What is an exercise breathing mask?

An exercise breathing, or training, mask is designed to limit the intake of air during training. The purpose is to make the respiratory musculature work harder, thus strengthening it. In fact, it is not strong respiratory musculature that increases endurance and strength, but the amount of oxygen that gets to your muscles. That’s why the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece is a much better training option than an exercise breathing mask.

How Exercise Breathing Masks Are Supposed to Work

For about 50 years, athletes have seen benefits from training in high-altitude locations. At the 1968 Olympics, trainers noticed that the athletes in Mexico City (elevation 7,349 feet) broke a number of records in both endurance and sprint events. Unique training principles were developed after investigating the thinner air at high altitudes, and athletes began training at high altitudes (above 5,000 feet) on a regular basis. 

The people who invented and developed exercise breathing masks believe they are using the same principle—making it harder to breathe during training should make the body use oxygen more efficiently during competition. Unfortunately, both theories have their detractors. 

First, just working out at a high altitude does not really give athletes an advantage. The advantage goes more to the people who actually live in the high altitudes because the efficient use of oxygen does not come about in short bursts of strenuous activity, but in being used to breathing air with fewer molecules of oxygen per lungful.

Then, the idea that wearing restrictive breathing masks is the equivalent of breathing at a higher altitude is just false. When you breathe in higher altitude air, you take in the same amount of air as you would at lower levels; you just get fewer molecules of oxygen with each breath. With restrictive training masks, you get less air in general per breath. This puts a great deal of stress on your lungs, diaphragm, and muscles, including your heart muscle. In fact, training masks are not indicated for people with potential cardiac issues, which tells a lot about their effects.

The reason the restriction doesn’t make you breathe more efficiently when you take off the mask is that what your muscles need to work is oxygen—an efficient exchange of O2 and CO2 while training or competing. It’s not the strength of the muscles used in breathing that improve your oxygen intake, but a greater amount of air getting to your lungs. So by depriving your muscles of the oxygen they need during training, you are reducing their strength, endurance, and performance. It’s an ineffective way to prepare for a competition or to reach your endurance or high-intensity goals.



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 the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece Works

The AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece works differently. It actually acts to open up your airway and get more oxygen to your muscles, not less. The exact design of the device has been developed by its inventor, Dr. Dena Garner of The Citadel in South Carolina, over the past 15 years. It was tested on elite athletes at The Citadel, and perfected in the way it affects reaction time, lactate, and cortisol. 

The mouthpiece is made of two main features that work together to improve your endurance and strength and provide faster recovery times. The first feature, the bite plate, is made to fit over your lower molars so you can clench your teeth slightly when you’re training or competing. This moves your jaw into a position in such a way that it optimizes your airway opening to help support the O2/CO2 exchange as you work strenuously. You will custom-fit the bite plate to your teeth when you first receive your AIRWAAV. Instructions are included on how to do it quickly and easily without special tools — all you need is a microwave.

The second feature is the intake bar, which rests against your front lower teeth. You tuck your tongue down and forward to help flex the opening of your airway by 8-9 percent more than normal. The improved O2/CO2 exchange helps lower your respiratory rate by 20 percent and reduce the production of lactic acid. The device also decreases cortisol buildup by up to half after intense training sessions which helps improve muscle recovery times.

Where can I get an AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece?

Rather than using an exercise breathing mask that reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your muscles when working intensely, choose the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece. The AIRWAAV increases the supply of oxygen to your muscles, helping increase endurance, strength, and reduce recovery times. It’s made to be used during both training and competition. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and comes with a replacement guarantee. To see how an AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece can improve your performance, order the best mouthpiece online today!

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