New research published on 25th November in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness offers further proof that nasal breathing is a great way to optimize sports performance and well-being.

Researchers studied 34 male basketball players over a six-week period, giving the participants in the experimental group a programme of reduced breathing and intermittent running exercises using nasal-only breathing.

Both groups were tested for performance markers including:

  • Repeated sprint ability via the shuttle sprint test
  • Fitness, using the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level one (measurement of an individual’s ability to repeatedly perform high-intensity aerobic work)
  • Lung function, measured as Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second (the amount of air forcibly released in the first second of exhaling), Forced Vitality Capacity (spirometry measurement of the amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled after taking a deep breath), and Peak Expiratory Flow (the volume of air forcefully expelled from the lungs in one quick exhalation)

The researchers concluded that nasal breathing during training may be beneficial for young basketball players, leading to “remarkable improvements in both physical fitness and pulmonary function”.

Reference: Cavoggioni, L. Trecroci, A. Formenti, D. et al. (2021). “Effects of a nasal breathing protocol on physical fitness and pulmonary function in young basketball players”, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, Nov 25.
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