Proper breathing is essential to maintaining a high level of performance and delaying the premature onset of fatigue during your workouts.
exclusively nasal breathing is feasible for most people at moderate levels of aerobic exercise without specific adaptation, and that this breathing approach may also be achieved during heavy and maximal levels of aerobic exercise following a sustained period of use. Benefits of nasal breathing include a reduction in exercise induced bronchoconstriction, improved ventilatory efficiency, and lower physiological economy for a given level of work.”
Basically, nose breathing helps stave off bronchoconstriction, improves oxygen utilization, and lowers how taxing exercise may feel on the body.
Now, here’s where things get really interesting.
Your body uses oxygen when it oxides (burns) fat to generate ATP.
The more efficiently that oxygen can be utilized by your cells, the greater potential there is for fat burning.
Moreover, nose breathing also helps lower stress, which allows you to train for longer before succumbing to fatigue.
Should Mouth Breathing During Exercise Be Avoided?
There comes a point during a workout where you’re really pushing the envelope and you’re bound to be gasping for air.
At this point, you really can’t help but breathe through your mouth. Your body needs as much as air as it can get as quickly as it can get it.
Mouth breathing during the intense portions of your training session is fine, as it may allow you to get a few more reps out before hitting the point of exhaustion. When your breath starts to recover, switch back to nose breathing, and focus on taking slow, deep belly breaths to maximize oxygenation.
Nose breathing, while being a bit slower than mouth breathing, allows you to maintain the same level of performance due to your body using the oxygen that is inhaled more efficiently.
Breathing through your nose may help you to remain calmer, more in control, and less stressed during training, which ultimately may help you to train longer and burn more calories.
At the end of the day though, do you really need to be concerned about whether you’re breathing through your nose or through your mouth during your workouts?
The more important thing is to show up for your workouts and give 100%. If you’re pushing yourself hard and putting in the work consistently, you will burn calories, torch body fat, and get the results you want!
- M. Dallam, G., R. McClaran, S., G. Cox, D., & P. Foust, C. (2018). Effect of nasal versus oral breathing on Vo2max and physiological economy in recreational runners following an extended period spent using nasally restricted breathing. International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science, 6(2), 22. https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijkss.v.6n.2p.22
- Dallam, G., & Kies, B. (2020). The effect of nasal breathing versus oral and Oronasal breathing during exercise: A review. Journal of Sports Research, 7(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.18488/journal.90.2020.71.1.10
- Zaccaro A, Piarulli A, Laurino M, et al. How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018;12:353. Published 2018 Sep 7. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00353