While I've found several articles online showing that nocturnal CPAP use in those with sleep apnea improves the patient's blood pressure, sleep quality (workout recovery), and lung performance (several measurements)... it seems that CPAP can also improve the endurance of athletes using CPAP while exercising (stationary bikes and 7-10 cmH20 used in one study).
Most of these studies focus on people with breathing problems, and the CPAP basically looks like it's allowing the individuals to perform at levels they would without the breathing obstruction, although one study hypothesized the CPAP increased the subjects endurance due to reduced inhalation efforts... hinting at, not not explicitly stating it's possible use as a training aid.
My question is whether anyone here:
a) is aware of a study showing effects of CPAP use during exercise in individuals with no breathing problems (i.e. say a sleep-apnea patient using his CPAP to elongate his training till fatigue)
b) has used / is using their CPAP as a training aid (in addition to nightly apnea treatment).
Yes, I understand this is not their intended use, though the studies are out there, and the pressures used in such studies are consistently about 4-10cm H2O... which should be doable by a regular CPAP.
I assume the increased respiration rate and hence volumes result in much higher flow rates than a CPAP machine would see with a sleeping patient, but how much more is a bit subjective. I'm curious if a nocturnal treatment CPAP is able to maintain a positive pressure for an athlete while training. Maybe notching up the CPAP to higher settings could get the CPAP to keep up with the flow rate / volumes needed for exercising athletes.
If this IS possible... I'm curious to know if there is an increase in O2 absorption in the lungs from the denser gas, or wether the increases stated in the studies I've seen were strictly from reduced energy consumption from the easier breathing. If the gas exchange rate does go up (one study mentioned a higher anaerobic threshold level using a CPAP) this may even be useful for lactic-acid recovery.
I was previously on a national team where we used Polar Heart Rate monitors for monitoring our training (both during and after) and am curious if my new CPAP may have an "undocumented use" I could use with my fancy Polar S810i.
I know it seems dumb on the surface, but there are niche sports communities where an extra 30 minutes of training capability per day would be a miracle... and I figured if anyone's seen, heard, or tried this they'd probably be here.