Planning to Opt For A High-Altitude Mask? Read This Before You Do

Last Updated: January 09, 2023, 14:38 IST

Virat Kohli trains with a high-altitude face mask before the epic 2022 India vs Pakistan clash.

But if you’re thinking about wearing a mask on your next run, you might be wondering what does it do.

While we all got used to wearing a mask during Covid, there is another mask that athletes prefer. You might have seen Virat Kohli wear it in his instagram posts. Most recently he was seen wearing it before the epic India vs Pakistan clash in 2022. Called a high-altitude mask, it keeps the air pressure low. Kohli was seen wearing it in the practice session.

But if you’re thinking about wearing a mask on your next run, you might be wondering what does it do. What are its benefits and are there any potential risks. You might also be wondering if this accessory is safe to wear when performing cardio exercises at a high intensity.

In a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA, these very points were discussed. Take a look:


  1. Increases aerobic capacity: VO2 max refers to the maximum limit of oxygen your body is able to use during exercise. These masks are said to help you achieve these levels.
  2. Improves lung capacity: A Journal by Sports Science Medicine published the results of 24 athletes’ responses to altitude training masks. Comparing 12 athletes to individuals who did not wear training masks, researchers discovered that they had improved breathing.
  3. Used to trigger Hypoxemia: Hypoxemia refers to when your blood oxygen levels dip below normal. These masks help you attain this state to emulate the conditions found at high altitudes.
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  1. Increased chances of fainting: If your workout extends your capacity of breath intake, it can result in you fainting.
  2. Lack of concentration: This mask was also given to weightlifters in a recent test. Many found that the mask acted as an intrusion to their techniques and made them lose their concentration.
  3. Lack of established results: The downside to training with these masks, a report said, is that any the benefits are not long lasting; i.e in 3-4 weeks your endurance might return to what it was.

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