Frequently Asked Questions


We provide complimentary telephone support for all of your AltoLab program questions. Call us in North America at 480-329-6337. For international users call +1 480-329-6337.


What is AltoLab?

is a device that stimulates your body into producing more red blood cells, increasing the number of red blood cells in your body allows the blood to transport more oxygen. This increase in oxygen carrying capacity can produce a 2-3% increase in exercise performance.

How does AltoLab work?

AltoLab does two things. AltoLab controls the concentration of oxygen in the air that you breathe. By lowering that concentration, the body is exposed to a state of lowered blood oxygen (hypoxia). Low blood oxygen concentration causes the body to release erythropoietin (EPO). EPO is a hormone that stimulates the increased production of red blood cells. 

Secondly, AltoLab affects muscle improvement. Altitude training can cause a 50% increase in myoglobin in muscles, literally turning them from “white” to “pink” to “red”. These cells also increase their mitochondria (the cell’s power house) content, transforming them from fast twitch Type 2B (white, anaerobic) to Type 2A (pink, aerobic) cells. This transformation occurs in 7-12 days, and helps those muscles resist fatigue. More mitochondria also means more fat burning, lactic acid removal and greater CO2 clearance to maintain pH.

When is the best time to start an AltoLab program?

You can start at any time but the best time to start is during the early base phase of training, where there are less heavy training days. The off-season is also an ideal time as you can undertake 15 days without the worry of fatigue from training. You are less likely to need days off and can complete your 15 days in fewer total days.

You should also plan your 15 days to avoid hitting days 5-7 combined with harder training. It might be smart to rearrange your training schedule to avoid this also or you can simply take a day off and compete your 15 sessions over an additional day.


What should I do before using AltoLab?

To maximize the benefits of AltoLab ensure that your iron levels are within acceptable norms. AltoLab can help you obtain this information by conducting an “altitude consultation.” AltoLab is also equipped to provide blood-testing services.

You should NOT use AltoLab:

  • When driving or operating any machinery.
  • In the elderly (increase in hematocrit may make elderly more susceptible to venous thrombosis).
  • Infants and children under the age of 14.
  • Pregnant women.
  • At high altitude (All the target values in the AltoLab program are calculated for use at sea-level).
  • Severe systemic hypertension, especially pulmonary hypertension.
  • Severe asthmatics.
  • Systemic hypertension, vertigo or those susceptible to falls.
  • Any respiratory conditions, such as coughs, colds, bronchitis, emphysema etc.
  • During a physical training session. (AltoLab is NOT designed for use while exercising).


Will AltoLab interact with any medication I take?

AltoLab has not been shown to interact directly with any medication at this stage. However, the hypoxic side effects of dizziness may compound the effect of some medication – such has high blood pressure medication.


What should I do if there is a problem?

If you experience any severe side effects, immediately withdraw from the session.


What are the side effects that I may experience using AltoLab?

Oxygen is required for normal cellular function. Extreme hypoxia will affect this functioning, producing light-headed sensations, dizziness, and bluish discoloration of the lips.

This list of side effects is not complete, and does not include the severe side effects associated with Altitude Sickness caused by the long-term exposure to hypoxia. Further information regarding these effects can be obtained by contacting AltoLab. If you experience any severe side effects, immediately withdraw from the session.


Does each person respond differently when using AltoLab?

Yes. People respond differently regardless of their level of fitness. Some people have a natural, genetic adaptation to high altitudes. Such individuals will require more AltoMixers to lower their blood O2 levels.


Should I use AltoLab while training or at rest?

Use it while at rest, during the day when it's most convenient. Most users use it during the evening, before bedtime, while watching TV.


How many AltoLab sessions are necessary to see a benefit?

First time users should use it for 15 days straight. The altitude benefit last for 15-21 days. After that do 5-day top ups.


What is a top up?

To maintain the altitude benefit, it is only necessary to do 5 days of AltoLab sessions. The benefit lasts 15-21 days. Time these sessions to occur between your events.


Does repeated, continuous AltoLab use during the season give cumulative benefit?

Yes. We have observed this in a number of athletes.


Can I do more than one, 1-hr session per day to accelerate my altitude training?

It is not recommended, but if you do a second session, wait at least 8 hrs between sessions. This will be more effective than two, 1-hr sessions done back-to-back.


What is the difference between the hypoxic silo and the AltoMixer?

The silo contains a chemical absorbent that removes CO2 from the air you exhale. The silo has to be replaced after 2-3 hrs of use. The AltoMixer dilutes the oxygen content of inhaled air. They are used together in a stack that consists of 1-6 AltoMixers. Each AltoMixer equals approx. 5,000 ft. of elevation. AltoMixers are reused and last indefinitely.


How many silos do I use at one time?



Do I use 1 silo regardless of how many mixers are used at one time?



How many days do the mixers last?

Indefinite. But they need to be washed between uses.


How many days does the silo last?

About 2-3 sessions, depending on your size and weight.


Is there anything that causes the silo to expire more rapidly?

Large people (over 200 lbs.) who generate more CO2 and tend to deplete silos more rapidly than smaller individuals.


Do I attach the silo to the bottom or top of the mixer stack

The silo is attached to the top of the stack.


Where does the bacterial/particle filter attach?

The particle filter is attached to the bottom of the breathing tube.


What parts of the system are washed?

The AltoMixers, AltoLid, mouthpiece, tube and connectors


Do I wash the bacterial/particle filter or hypoxic silo?

No, never.


What happens if the bacterial/particle filter accidentally gets wet?

Switch to a dry filter and allow the wet filter to dry out


Should I wash the silos between sessions?

No. Never allow the silos to get wet. Moisture will inactivate the silo and ruin int.


Sometimes I notice that air flow is restricted when I breathe through the tube. Is that normal?

This indicates excess moisture in the bacterial filter.


After using the tube for several internals moisture builds up in the tube. Is that normal?

Yes, this is normal condensation of the moisture you exhale.


Should I remove the excess moisture buildup in the tube?

Yes. Disconnect the tube and use a whipping action to remove the condensation.


Can I use AltoLab right before an event?

No, it is not recommended. It's much like weight lifting just before a competition. It will temporarily make you weaker.


How long should I wait before my event after using the AltoLab?

You should wait at least 2-3 days if you are a first time user. Experienced AltoLab users can shorten this to 1-2 days.


Is AltoLab only used for adaptation tor high elevation competitions?

No. Adaptation to AltoLab benefits users at all elevations.


Does AltoLab benefit athletes for competition at both low and high elevations?

Yes. It works for competition at all altitudes.


Does AltoLab only benefit endurance athletes?

No. It benefits all types of sports where cardio- and speed are essential. This includes football, basketball, soccer, rugby, tennis, squash, track & field, scuba diving, hiking, skiing and boxing, as well as cycling, triathlons, swimming, long-distance running and mountain climbing.


What makes AltoLab better than altitude tents and actually living at high elevations?

AltoLab is the least expensive and most effective altitude method available. It allows you to use it anywhere, any time. You are exposed to reduced oxygen levels for brief, 6-minute intervals that your body responds to as if you were actually living at high altitude. The key is using the finger oximeter which lets you know exactly how your body is responding to the reduced oxygen. No more guess work, unlike using an altitude tent. It also enables you to recover quickly because you breathe normal air between each 6-minute interval.



I work full time and so have two very heavy training days each weekend what’s the best way to add simulated altitude with the AltoLab?

You should consider undertaking your first 15 days spread over 3 weeks, avoiding using it on the weekend, heavy training days. Research has looked at this and shown that the benefits are there if you do it this way. Once you have done the first 15 days you can then plan the 5 day top ups to also avoid the weekends.


I live at altitude or I plan to train at altitude can I get some additional benefits from using AltoLab as well?

Yes you can, simply follow the saturation targets as per the program schedule in the manual, you will find that you won’t need to add many mixers to your AltoLab to get the saturation lower as you would if you were at sea level.


I have asthma, is there any specific recommendation?

Yes you can request an additional face mask as apposed to a mouthpiece and nose clip, this will allow more airflow by using both your mouth and nose.

Measure your peak flow before each session and if your peak flow is 20% below normal then do not undertake a session. We also provide support and Q&A for users, we highly recommend you take up that offer in this case and discuss your specific situation with us further.


My blood iron (ferritin) levels are low do I need to do anything about that before commencing?

Yes, you need to start taking an Iron supplement and get your iron levels into the normal range, we actually recommend that your iron levels are 10% higher then the lower end of the normal range, check with your doctor. You should also consider if your diet can be modified to increase the amount of iron in it.


How should I modify the 15-day program if I get sick or injured or tired while undertaking the 15 days of AltoLab.

If you fall sick during your AltoLab program then you should stop the sessions, recommence when you are well again. If its been less then 5 days, continue as per the plan, if it has been 5-8 days consider starting at a higher saturation level then you were at prior to being sick, if it is more then 7 days, you may need to start the program from the beginning, contact us about what additional product you may need to complete the program.

If you become injured and can’t train but your breathing is unaffected then you can continue with your 15-day program. This might also be a good time to consider undertaking a 5-day top up.

If you become tired then you may need to skip a day or two of the 15 day plan. Check your desaturation levels compared to your initial ones prior to your first session and see the notes on what to do depending on how that compares. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.


When should I do the 5-day top up program?

We recommend every 3 weeks undertaking a 5-day top up. The top up should finish at least 2 nights prior to your completion and should not start after a hard training or competition day.


How close to my key competition can I/should I do my last session?

We recommend finishing 4 days prior to your event, we have had feedback form endurance athletes that they can undertake sessions up to 2 days prior and feel good doing this, however we recommend that you trail this prior to a key event by doing it on a less important competition first. 

We recommend that the LAST TWO DAYS are done at 3-4% higher saturation then you were typically operating at. So that’s often 83 to 86%.


I am competing in a field sport every weekend what’s the best way to fit AltoLab around that?

Where there are 8 days between competitions (i.e. Saturday to the following Sunday) then you can undertake 5 days between matches, starting the day after.

Where there are 7 days between competitions (i.e. Saturday to Saturday) then you can undertake 4 days between matches, starting the day after.


Where there are 6 days between competitions (i.e. Sunday to Saturday) then you can undertake 3 days between matches, starting the day after.

Where you have fewer days then 6 it is probably better to skip using the AltoLab that week. Also try and avoid starting your initial 15 days over such a week. In this case usually the week that follows has a longer gap between events and you can start your 15 days then.

Where you have more then 8 days between competitions (i.e. when you have a week off from competition). Then you can undertake 5 days but do so to finish 3 days prior to your next event.

How do I maintain AltoLab?

After completing a few sessions you should remove the thick foam inserts from each Alto-Mixer and wash them, the breathing tube and mouthpiece in hot water. Gently rinse the thick foam inserts, taking care not to damage them and allow to completely air-dry. Wipe the components and return them to the bag.


DO NOT WASH THE BACTERIAL PARTICLE FILTER IN WATER. Water will cause the membrane inside the filter to clog, preventing proper airflow. This also occurs when water vapor in exhaled air accumulates. If this happens, switch to a fresh bacterial filter. Bacterial filters that become wet can be re-used after they dry out and be used for many sessions before they need to be replaced.


DO NOT WASH THE HYPOXIC SILO If it is immersed in water do not use, dispose of immediately and replace with a fresh silo.


DO NOT OPEN THE HYPOXIC SILO AT-ANY-TIME This is a safety requirement. The Hypoxic Silo is not a toy and should be kept out of the reach of children.


Carefully dry the top and bottom of the Hypoxic Silo with a paper towel. Make sure most of the moisture is removed. Return the Hypoxic Silo back to the resealable, black plastic bag to keep air and moisture out.

Disposal of used components. Used Hypoxic Silos are typically disposed of into your household trash.


Still have questions? We provide complimentary telephone support for all of your AltoLab program questions. Call us in North America at 480-329-6337. For international users call +1 480-329-6337.