Nose Patches were originally developed to prevent snoring. Cyclists started using them on a large scale during races because of the assumption that these patches increased oxygen consumption and thus performance. The manufacturer claims that they enhance athletic performance because the patch widens nasal passages; which makes breathing through the nose much easier.
The number of liters of air that is breathed per minute, the respiratory minute volume (RMV), at rest amounts to 5 to 6 L/min, and during maximum exertion 140-180 L/min. At rest, we breathe through the nose in spite of the fact that the resistance at nasal breathing is two to three times greater than that of mouth breathing.
When more air is inhaled during exercise the capacity of the nose breathing quickly becomes too small. Breathing by mouth, with insufficient nasal breathing, is the one and only good solution. At an RMV of 100 L/min 50% of the air is inhaled through the mouth. An increase in the RMV to a maximum of 140 to 180 L / min can only be achieved by means of mouth breathing. The nasal breathing does not contribute to an increase in the maximum RMV. If people only breathe through their mouth and not through their noses maximum RMV does not diminish.
Mouth breathing is not a limiting factor for the amount of air that can be inhaled. That is the respiratory system itself, the bronchial tree, which can handle only a limited amount of air to pass through. The nose patch does not have any influence on this.
Research on the diameter of the nose with the use of the BREATHE RIGHT® showed that the diameter of the nose in most people increases slightly. The resistance of the nasal breathing thereby decreases slightly. In another study, subjects shift from nasal breathing to nose- and mouth breathing later. For many people breathing through the nose is easier if they wear a nose plaster.
Extensive studies, at the Illinious State University, have shown that wearing a nose patch has no positive effect on the sub maximal or the maximum performance capacity. Maximal oxygen uptake, maximum heart rate, maximum power, the feeling of fatigue and the ventilation did not improve while using nose plasters.
It is obvious that nose patches do not influence the performance in a positive way. Nevertheless cyclists continue to use them, despite knowing that they do not work. That is senseless and it also reflects a limited mind. Also, I venture the proposition that cyclists with nose plasters are prepared to anything, in order to perform better.
Including dried chicken shit and doping of course. The image of cycling has never been so bad. By placing nose patches on the doping list and also to prohibit its use ‘out of competition’ can be the first step to brush up the tarnished image of this sport.
Some experts think that the positive idea, that some riders have, is located between the ears. They say if you have the idea or the feeling that you perform better when you use it, and then you will indeed perform better. And many sports psychologists argue that the power of positive thinking is the key to better performance. With this view I totally disagree. It does not work at all. You make yourself ridiculous. It is not good for the image of cycling. And it costs a lot of energy that you can use for your sport in a better way. Make cyclists independent of the many fake advices of cycling. And don’t make them believers of stupid opinions.