NASAL BANDS DON'T HELP ATHLETES
Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that the splints that many athletes wear across
the bridge of their noses enlarge the opening in their noses, but do not help them to breathe in more
oxygen or help them to exercise longer.
During intense exercise, you can't get enough air through your nose to meet your needs for oxygen. The
cross sectional areas of the openings in your nose are less than one tenth the size of the opening in the
back of your mouth and are so small you'll turn blue when you pick up the pace. You don't need to
breathe through your nose when you exercise, even though it warms the air and clears pollutants. Your
body heat during exercise protects your lungs so well that air taken in at 40 degrees below zero
Fahrenheit is warmed almost 100 degrees before it reaches your lungs. Breathing through your mouth
when you exercise on polluted days allows large amounts of pollutants to get into your lungs, but small
hairs called cilia lining your bronchial tubes sweep the filth up to your mouth where you swallow it and
it passes from your body.
1) AD Wilde, SR Ell. Effect on nasal resistance of an external nasal splint and isotonic exercise. British Journal of Sports
Medicine, 1999, Vol 33, Iss 2, pp 127-128.
Health Reports fromThe Dr. Gabe Mirkin ShowandDrMirkin.com