Interested in knowing what the current research shows around cryotherapy and how it can benefit you most in-between your CrossFit Open workouts?
Don't stress, we've got you covered.
The article linked below is useful as it breaks things down based on what type of exercise you're doing (which is extra important for these workouts as we never know what'll get thrown at us!). Dr. Lars pulled the key points and patterns to ensure you get the best information for the task at hand.
The evidence for cryotherapy is pretty mixed, but there are some patterns that seem to emerge from the literature:
- Cold water immersion and other forms of cryotherapy reduce exercise-induced inflammation.
- This reduction in inflammation may lead to reduced perceptions of fatigue and muscle soreness and increased perceptions of recovery which may benefit performance in the short-term.
- Importantly, the short-term recovery benefits of cryotherapy may depend considerably on the mode exercise (i.e. the type of stress), the physiological and perceptual qualities one is trying to restore, and the athlete’s belief in cryotherapy as a recovery modality.
- Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence indicates that inflammation is a necessary process for tissue regeneration and, as such, regular use of cold water immersion may impair long-term muscular and vascular adaptations to exercise.
- If your goal is to restore lost ROM following exercise, combine heat (not cold!) with stretching.
- Ice baths may be useful for recovering endurance performance, particularly when an athlete has to compete in multiple games or events in one day.
- Athletes should reconsider using ice baths after strength training, particularly in the off-season or preparatory period when the focus is on adaptation rather than performance.
- As such, cryotherapy should be used sparingly, particularly in the off-season when the goal is to maximize training adaptations.
Wanna learn how to unlock the potential of food? Our Registered Dietitian Tina is sharing her knowledge at the clinic on Thursday, March 22 from 6:30-8:00 PM. Give us a call if you'd like to join as space is limited: 236-420-0660