While jogging it is advised by many to breathe by mouth because it increases the intake of oxygen which is required for performance. The problem with me or some of you may be that mouth gets dry as well as throat after sometime and one have to swallow saliva to wet it again and again.

How should I deal with this breathing problem ? What are the best practices while jogging and running ?

  • Runner's World has a number of articles on breathing, here's one. For dry mouth, try chewing gum or carry a water bottle/camel back. Aug 2, 2016 at 21:16

4 Answers 4


Don't breathe in through your mouth while jogging. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This helps regulate your rate of breathing as well as the temperature and particulate content of the air hitting your throat and lungs.

  • Could you throw some light on the "performance enhancement" people talk about by more intake of oxygen by breathing in through mouth ? Here is the article I read where it's advised to breathe thorough mouth.
    – noob
    Dec 4, 2015 at 8:43
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    @noob I could not. Dec 4, 2015 at 8:47
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    @noob your mouth-hole is bigger than your nose-hole, so you'll get more oxygen if you breathe through your mouth.
    – user15313
    Dec 8, 2015 at 15:51
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    Anecdotally, when you do HIT you probably end up breathing through your mouth because you can get more oxygen into your lungs, faster and keep going longer. It is just that your mouth hole is bigger (but not optimal).
    – John
    Jul 28, 2016 at 7:23

As with Dave's answer, it is preferable to breath in through your nose. Your nose has evolved over the years to do a great deal of filtration, from filtering pollutants to warming the air as it comes in to adjusting the humidity. Breathing out has been more debated with some people claiming that breathing out through the nose helps you keep from getting dehydrated (the moisture gets caught on the nose hair and mucous membranes so that it can hydrate incoming breath) and others claiming that breathing out through the mouth helps clear more CO2 from your system.

The one exception that I've run into, and it's a big one for some people, is whether you can get enough air through your nose. If you have a cold, or you suffer from allergies, it may be impossible for you to get sufficient oxygen through your nose, and the process of trying may make things worse (the nose is where the primary mechanism for respiratory allergies activating lies). So ultimately, if you don't have obstructed nasal breathing and you don't suffer from severe allergies, I recommend breathing in through the nose. When your nose stuffs up, or when you can't get in enough air to sustain your exercise, switch to mouth breathing as necessary. But hold off on the latter to train yourself to increase the amount of breath you get in through your nose rather than relying on mouth-breathing from the start.

  • 2
    Do you run? I can't imagine not breathing through my mouth.
    – user15313
    Dec 8, 2015 at 15:46
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    In simple terms: the nose-hole is smaller than the mouth-hole, so you'll get a lot more oxygen breathing through your mouth. There is no reason to limit your oxygen intake while running, so go with the mouth.
    – user15313
    Dec 8, 2015 at 15:49
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    Except, of course, that the air through the mouth isn't warmed and isn't filtered. :) And lung capacity has an upper limit, so training yourself to draw in more air via your nose is better up to, as I noted above, when it starts to limit you.
    – Sean Duggan
    Dec 8, 2015 at 15:53
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    I've never had a problem with cold air or pollutants. Those factors are negligible compared to the benefits of an increased oxygen intake. I guarantee you that regardless of your lung capacity, you'll be restricted by breathing through your nose. I'd rather be at my lung capacity than below it.
    – user15313
    Dec 8, 2015 at 16:44
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    "I find it uncomfortable" = "I find it uncomfortable," not "you get less oxygen." If you prefer it one way or another, that's fine, but don't make stuff up to justify it as more than a preference. There was a time period that I was finding it uncomfortable, but that was an indication to see an ear/nose/throat specialist, who found my nasal passages were inflamed because of allergies. Put me on a daily nasal spray and I was breathing better than I had in over a decade. Helped me a lot with contact activities where you can get seriously hurt if you collide with your mouth hanging open. Aug 11, 2016 at 22:14

The deal is that you will get more oxygen through your mouth for sure and you may have a chance to produce more energy depending on the type of exercise. However, if it is too hot or cold you may experience some problems with your respiratory tract. You can use some mouth protector to keep the moisture inside especially during the winter or in cold weather, which may help to some degree.


You should never breath through your mouth because it causes to get tired more quickly than breathing through your nose. You should be jogging with the inhaling of air from the nose and also exhale from the nose.

  • 2
    This is plain wrong. The amount of oxygen you can inhale is far greater through the mouth than the nose. Thus, everyone will open their mouth when fatigued. It's instinct for a reason.
    – Alec
    Jul 30, 2016 at 12:39

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