Got a question that isn’t covered in our FAQ below? Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team will get back to you.
Q: How does the Altium i10 re-breathing device differ from restricted breathing?
A: The difference is in the inhaled oxygen concentration. There are masks and other products on the market that restrict the flow of air and/or act as respiratory training devices. With these products you are still breathing air that has an oxygen concentration of 21%. For these products, the mask simply restricts flow rate and the amount of air you can inhale on any cycle. The Altium i10 is different in that it safely reduces oxygen concentration from 21% to around 10%, thus simulating altitude.
Q: How does intermittent hypoxia compare to altitude exposure?
A: The Altium i10 can bring several physiological adaptations that are associated with altitude exposure in one hour. This brings convenient performance enhancement to busy modern day lifestyles. The Altium i10 is inexpensive and suited to athletes that are serious about improving sporting performance.
Q: Do you get the performance benefits from shorter exposures to hypoxia compared with living at altitude?
A: There are a range of performance benefits that have been backed up by studies. Tissue oxygenation and mitochondrial respiration are enhanced after short repeated cycles of intermittent exposure to hypoxia (Serebrovskaya, Nosar, Bratus, Gavenauskas, & Mankovska, 2013). After inhaling lower concentrations of oxygen, the body responds and adapts by utilising oxygen more effectively and efficiently.
The body quickly adapts to this hypoxic session which will improve the delivery and utilisation of oxygen to skeletal muscle. Improvements in oxygen utilisation in skeletal muscles are directly linked to performance gains when IH is incorporated into an athletes physical training plan.
Q: Can I use the Altium i10 while exercising, e.g. on a turbo or treadmill?
A: The Altium i10 has been designed for use at rest and for integrating with your training program. This is essentially in order to minimise stress on the body. Also, the user needs to concentrate on the SpO2 levels when using the device – which would be less practical if on a treadmill or a turbo trainer. When using Altium i10, SpO2 levels are ideally kept in the 80%-85% SpO2 range to maximise simulated altitude of up to 5,000m.
Hypoxia, or a reduction in oxygen, differs when experienced at rest and during exercise. When athletes exercise during hypoxia, e.g physically at altitude or in an altitude chamber, the exercise is performed with a sacrifice of exercise intensity. A time trial or any other test, for example, could not be performed at sea level with the expectation it could be replicated at 2000m+.
The research in this area tends to lean more towards LHTL (live high train low). However, this is inconvenient for those of us who tend to live at lower altitudes. So, Altium i10 has been developed to allow the stimulus of hypoxia to be separate from that of exercise; and the exercise can be performed with an appropriate level of intensity, as incorporated within an existing training plan.
To simulate altitude there are products on the market that use a mask with a generator/filter to simulate riding or running at altitude. These devices can be used in combination with a bike/turbo trainer or a treadmill. Although, these are generally more expensive and are arguably more intrusive and less time-efficient. The approach taken by Altium i10 has been to incorporate a recognised protocol, i.e. 6 minutes on, 4 minutes off for 6 sets for a one hour session – and to incorporate this into athletes’ existing training plans (used at home) without over-stressing the body.
Q: Is intermittent hypoxia (IH) safe?
A: Yes. IH with the Altium i10 is perfectly safe as long as the user adheres to the target SPO2% guidelines during the session. Prolonged exposure at an SPO2% below the safe threshold of 70% is not advised and will not give the user any better performance gains as opposed to our safety guideline of 80%. If the user briefly drops below 80%, we advise to take a calm deep breath to regulate and increase SPO2% back above 80% above baseline.
Q: What are the performance improvements I can expect with the Altium i10?
A: Using the Altium i10 integrated with your physical training has been shown to significantly increase performance in athletes. An independent study of 13 participants undergoing Altium i10 use has backed up years of IH scientific literature. This demonstrates that breathing in 8-16% oxygen for short periods of time with recovery periods of re-oxygenation provides numerous cellular adaptations that benefit exercise performance.
The independent study also showed an average improvement in lactate buffering of 10%. Several test participants reported improvements and personal bests after using the Altium i10 for 28 days.
Q: Should I take supplements, specifically iron, while using Altium i10?
A: Altium i10 recommend whilst using the device that you maintain sufficient levels of iron, which is best achieved through a healthy diet.
Q: How should I incorporate Altium i10 into my training program?
A: This is entirely down to the individual and his or her training plan. We work with a number of coaches who have developed training plans to incorporate Altium i10, and we can put you in touch with a coach who can discuss your specific requirements. Simply get in touch with us, and we’d be pleased to chat through with you.
As a general rule, it is recommended that the standard 28 day protocol is used during a base performance or conditioning phase of training. For example, this might apply to the early part of the season in the northern hemisphere (January to February), or the off-season (October through to the Christmas Holidays). Here, Altium i10 is added into the athlete’s existing training program.
Performance tests, such as FTP, VO2 Max or a time trial would be undertaken prior to starting with Altium i10. Tests are performed again after the 28 day standard loading phase. This then gives a marker to track improvements in performance before and after using Altium i10.
After the 28 standard loading phase has been undertaken, athletes can ‘top-up’ with Altium i10 either in 5 day blocks using the device every day, or simply using the device 2 to 3 times a week.