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J Athl Train. 1995 September; 30(3): 211–214.
PMCID: PMC1317864

Oxygenation and Exercise Performance-Enhancing Effects Attributed to the Breathe-Right Nasal Dilator

Marc Trocchio, ATC
Marc Trocchio graduated with a bachelor of science degree in sports medicine with an emphasis in athletic training May 1995. He is currently completing prerequesites for masters level physical therapy school.
Jean Fisher, MBA, RRT
Jean Fisher is Assistant Professor in the Department of Respiratory Care and Coordinator of Clinical Education for Respiratory Care Students.
Jeffrey W. Wimer, MS, ATC, EMT
Jeffrey W. Wimer is Assistant Professor at Department of Sports Medicine, University of Charleston, Charleston, West Virginia 25304, Coordinator of Clinical Education for Athletic Training Students at University of Charleston, Charleston, West Virginia 25304, Head Athletic Trainer for Men's Soccer and Baseball.
Anna W. Parkman, MBA, RRT


Recently, many professional football players have elected to wear spring-loaded nasal dilators during competition. Many athletes believe that wearing the “Breathe-Right” nasal dilator will increase nasal gas conduction and oxygenation to their body, subsequently improving their performance. The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the advantages of wearing a nasal dilator while performing aerobic and anaerobic exercise, as opposed to not wearing a nasal dilator. It was hypothesized that the “Breathe-Right” nasal dilator, manufactured by CNS, Inc (Chanhassen, MN) would increase nasal gaseous conduction and increase oxygenation to the body. Nasal gaseous conduction and oxygenation are essential components for using aerobic power. We examined whether wearing a nasal dilator improves performance by using a ramped cycle ergometer stress test on athletes until they reached VO2 maximum progressing from aerobic to anaerobic exercise. Baseline data were collected (ie, VO2, VO2/Kg, respiratory exchange ratio, anaerobic threshold time, and onset of VO2 max) using a MedGraphics CardiO2 System. The subjects included 16 college-aged male athletes. Dependent t-tests implemented on each physiological response; VO2 max, peak VO2 kg, onset of anaerobic threshold, onset of VO2 max, respiratory exchange ratio at VO2 max, and maximum WATT output, showed there was no difference in the athletes' performance when they wore the nasal dilators and when they did not wear the dilators.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Höijer U, Ejnell H, Hedner J, Petruson B, Eng LB. The effects of nasal dilation on snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992 Mar;118(3):281–284. [PubMed]
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  • Polo O, Berthon-Jones M, Douglas NJ, Sullivan CE. Management of obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome. Lancet. 1994 Sep 3;344(8923):656–660. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association