At least one nose on a cyclist competing at this year’s Tour de France race has a bit of Aussie ingenuity inside. It might sound strange, but it’s one step forward for helping us all breathe a little better.
The improvement to our breathing can be seen in the nostrils of Chris Froome, a 2013 winner of the coveted Yellow Jersey, and if you look hard enough you’ll see a little yellow piece of rubber sitting in his nostrils.
That rubber bit is called the “Turbine”, a new Aussie gadget that has been developed by Melbourne’s Rhinomed, which apparently increases the amount of air we can breathe in using our noses.
More air apparently leads to better airflow, which in turn leads to faster recovery times and more endurance, and that should apparently allow athletes to perform better long term.
“Our goal was to make breathing easier when the going gets tough,” said Dr. Mitch Anderson, Head of Sports Science at Rhinomed. “The Turbine not only provides that extra breath when it is needed most, it also works as a bio-feedback stimulus to encourage athletes to focus on optimal breathing patterning during performance.”
“Races and events like the Stages of the Tour De France can cause huge hypoxic and metabolic stress on athlete’s bodies,” he said.
“Recovering from this effort starts the second an athlete finishes each Stage. With legs screaming full of lactic acid, breathing is a first line mechanism to re-equilibrate that acidic stress, even before they get to the cool down. As their physiology responds to rebuild damaged muscle cells, every breath counts to restore electrolytes and replenish energy stores before the next days stage.”
Rhinomed told GadgetGuy that the Turbine has been in development for quite a few years, sending word that “an earlier prototype of the device was developed in 2003” and saying that “the product has been fine =-tuned to be where it is today through a series of four or so iterations, with athlete contributions and feedback along the way”.
That said, it isn’t the only improvement to air flow the company has been working on.
There’s also the “Mute”, likely named because of what it has been designed to do: stop snoring.
Similar in design to the Turbine, Rhinomed’s Mute is the more consumer friendly version of the gadget, with a similar design there to open up the nostrils and increase airflow while sleeping.
While we’re not sure the Mute will increase recovery or endurance, it isn’t there for that, and instead should prevent nasal congestion by introducing more air to the nasal passages.
As for pricing, availability, and use, Rhinomed tells us that both the Turbine and Mute will last ten days before they should be disposed of, while both come in either a three-size starter pack for $19.95 or specific sizes — small, medium, and large — three packs for $29.95, with availability on the Turbine and Mute websites.