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How Nose Breathing Improves Performance in Cycling

How Nose Breathing Improves Performance in Cycling

Whether you’re into road cycling, mountain biking, BMX, or you like to hit the Peloton bike for your workouts, the way you breathe while cycling matters. 

Humans are built to breathe through the nose instead of the mouth. When it comes to cycling, the same is true. Cycling and breathing go hand in hand. 

Nasal breathing is the superior method of breathing, and along with the health benefits it boasts, it can also help you perform better on your next ride. 

cycling performance nose breathing

How Nose Breathing Boosts Cycling Performance

Cycling is a great way to keep your health in check. In fact, studies show that regular cycling helps protect riders from heart disease. Luckily, nose breathing provides a way to get even more out of each ride by improving your performance. 

Benefits of Nose Breathing While Cycling

Protect the Lungs From the Cold

Nasal breathing offers protection that mouth breathing does not. It filters the air you breathe by removing germs, harmful particles, and bacteria. But it also humidifies the air you take in. 

When inhaling cold air through the mouth, no added humidity or filtration is present. When nasal breathing, on the other hand, the temperature and humidity of the air you breathe is warmed to be compatible with your body temperature.

In addition to adding humidity to your breath, nasal breathing helps you to ride with increased endurance. 

Ride Faster, For Longer With Boosted Endurance

Research shows that nasal breathing can help riders sustain endurance when riding up steep inclines or for long periods of time without over-exerting themselves. 

In a recent study, riders rode stationary bikes and their performance was observed while both nasal breathing and mouth breathing. The findings showed that endurance improved significantly when nasal breathing versus mouth breathing. 

Energy and vitality increase when you nose breathe, so you can push harder with less effort. This is because nasal breathing reduces breathing rate, heart rate, and increases our body’s ability to deliver oxygen from your blood to your muscles.  



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Since muscle oxygenation is more efficient, the result is that nasal breathing can help you ride with more power, for a longer period of time, at the same heart rate. 

But the benefits of nasal breathing don’t stop there. As we’ll see, nasal breathing during rest is just as beneficial as nasal breathing while cycling. 

cycling performance nose breathing

Benefits of Nose Breathing During Rest

Faster Recovery Times

If there was a quick fix that could help you recover from a ride in less time, would you try it? Chances are that you’re willing to try anything to shorten the time it takes for you to recover. But what if all you had to do was simply breathe through your nose instead of your mouth? 

Nasal breathing is the method of breathing that we were designed to use. The nitric oxide, NO, produced when breathing through the nose helps the body to bounce back from the exertion of a ride. NO occurs naturally in the body, but its production is exclusive to nose breathing. Mouth breathing does not produce NO. 

The result is that you’ll be able to cycle harder, faster, and for greater lengths of time without the usual, long-lasting fatigue once your ride is over. Instead, you’ll recover quicker than ever before (after pushing it harder than ever during your ride). 

That’s not all. Nasal breathing can even boost your brain function

Improved Memory and Brain Function 

Something as simple as taking in air through the nostrils can help improve your memory and overall brain function. This is because of the olfactory bulbs that are housed in the nose. These are direct extensions of the hypothalamus, a part of the brain responsible for many automatic functions. 

This includes blood pressure, sleep cycles, thirst, hunger, and the chemicals that control memory and emotion. By breathing through the nose instead of the mouth, your brain and body will be able to operate at maximum efficiency. 

To work yourself up to be able to nasal breathe throughout your entire ride, try this nose breathing exercise

cycling performance nose breathing

Try This Nose Breathing Exercise While Cycling

Controlling your breathing while on your bike can be tough. It helps to keep your breaths in time with each pedal so that you can keep focusing on your breathing throughout your ride. 

On a flat course at a comfortable pace, inhale through the nose for three pedal strokes. Then, exhale through the nose for six pedal strokes. Be sure to inhale and exhale from the diaphragm, located deep within the belly. 

Play around with the number of pedal strokes on the inhale and exhale that best suits your riding style and current lung capacity. If trying to lengthen your breaths for as long as possible, we recommend using an indoor stationary bike for safety. 

At first this will be difficult as your brain will tell your body to breathe faster. But if you watch your heart rate, you should see it drop a few beats per minute as your oxygenation becomes more efficient. Over time, your CO2 levels will return to an optimal level, and you’ll be able to nose breathe comfortably at a slower rate.

cycling performance nose breathing

Take Your Cycling Performance to the Next Level with SomniFix

Add SomniFix to your riding routine to elevate your cycling and breathing to the next level. 

While you’re cycling, there’s a lot to focus on. The last thing you want to worry about is your breath. 

That’s where mouth tape strips come in. Place a strip on before your next ride to nasal breathe without the added effort. While on a stationary bike or riding in a safe area, see how long you can keep it on to start your ride, before your body tells you to mouth breathe.

You can also continue wearing the strips after your workout during sleep. As a result, you’ll improve oxygenation, boost endurance, sleep better, and recover quicker than ever before even while you dream. 

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