Should I Breathe Through My Mouth or Through My Nose?
Ever wondered whether it’s better to breathe through your nose or your mouth? A pulmonary medicine specialist weighs in with the interesting reasons one way is the clear winner.
A: You’ve probably been told in certain situations to “breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth” — especially during exercise or meditation or to relax. But ever wondered why?
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The important part of the answer is really the first part — breathing in — and what happens along the way.
Humans are naturally designed to breathe through our noses from birth. It’s the way we’ve evolved, and there are reasons we default to nasal breathing.
Inhaling through your nose offers many more benefits to your body than taking in air through your mouth.
When we’re newborns, we breathe in and out through our noses almost all the time. This is related to how our throats are configured, so we can breathe and suckle at the same time without choking. It’s a survival mechanism.
Our noses are also designed to process the air that comes in very differently that our mouths can. These are intentional and functional parts of our body’s design to keep us safe and healthy.
Here are all the good things your nose does that your mouth doesn’t when you breathe in:
Just something to think about next time you’re out and about on a run.
The only time you really need to temporarily resist natural nose breathing and engage in mouth-breathing is when you’re doing strenuous exercise and need more air to your lungs more quickly, or when your nasal passage is blocked due to congestion, allergies or a cold. But remember, this does however cancel most the benefits that breathing through your nose provides.
— Pulmonary medicine specialist Jason Turowski, MD