University of Auckland study on IHT

Game performance and intermittent hypoxic training

E A Hinckson1, M J Hamlin2, M R Wood1 and W G Hopkins1 1 AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand 2 Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

http://bjsm.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/41/8/537?ct - link

Protocol: 10 Rugby players. Control Group & Altitude Group. Blind Study 6 minutes “on”, 4 minutes “off” for 1 hour at rest via a mask. 14 sessions, once per day 10-15% O2 (IHT group) or 20.9% (Control group)

Results:

Change in Peak Power during scrums IHT Group……..… Worse performance Sea-Level Group…. No significant change

Change in time during offensive sprints IHT Group……..… Worse performance Sea-Level Group…. No significant change

Change in time during tackle sprints IHT Group……..… Worse performance Sea-Level Group…. No significant change

Stated Conclusions: Pending further research, rugby players would be unwise to use normobaric intermittent hypoxic exposure to prepare for games at sea level.

Both of these independent, published studies evaluated the effectiveness of mask-based IHT whereby the subject breathes a very hypoxic mixture for a few minutes each day.

The science does not support any of the claimed performance benefits, and consequently CAT does not recommend this technique, nor offer equipment to support it.