Do elevation masks really work?

JakeMax

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I have been reading a lot about elevation masks for training recently. There are a lot of sites that promote them like this site here, but there are a lot of other sites that claim they don't work at all. I've talked to a few people and they swear by them, so I'm not really sure what to believe. Anyone tried them before and do you recommend them for endurance training or are they worthless?
 

Dirty Dog

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They are an idiotic idea.

These masks do not in any way simulate high altitude training. All they do is restrict the air passage (go breath by sucking on a straw; you'll get the same effect) and force you to expend more energy by making the chest muscles work harder. The only thing that this can honestly be said to replicate is snorkeling. Or an asthma attack...

Breathing at altitude (or depth, for that matter) is no more difficult than breathing at sea level. At altitude, the air pressure is lower so each breath of X volume will contain less molecules of air. This causes the body to produce more red blood cells, to get a larger percentage of the inspired oxygen to the tissues. The same effect can be replicated by drugs, but these drugs are, of course, banned from athletics.
 
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JakeMax

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Yeah, that's what I figured. But there is so much hype around them I didn't know if I was missing something.

They are an idiotic idea.

These masks do not in any way simulate high altitude training. All they do is restrict the air passage (go breath by sucking on a straw; you'll get the same effect) and force you to expend more energy by making the chest muscles work harder. The only thing that this can honestly be said to replicate is snorkeling. Or an asthma attack...

Breathing at altitude (or depth, for that matter) is no more difficult than breathing at sea level. At altitude, the air pressure is lower so each breath of X volume will contain less molecules of air. This causes the body to produce more red blood cells, to get a larger percentage of the inspired oxygen to the tissues. The same effect can be replicated by drugs, but these drugs are, of course, banned from athletics.
 

Carol

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Aye, but better to be curious and ask the question than buy in to the hype :)
 
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