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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Study Spotlight: The Efficacy of Repeated Cold Water Immersion on Recovery Following a Simulated Rugby Union Protocol


There are many ways to recovery and some are more expensive than others.  One of the easiest is hoping in a cold tub or some form of an ice bath.  Is it effective though?  This Study Spotlight takes a look at how cold water immersion could help you recover after a heavy duty competition.


What They Did: 
Investigators took a look at how male rugby players responded to cold water immersion (CWI) compared to a control group that did not do CWI after a simulated rugby match.  The markers that were tracked were creatine kinase, perceived muscle soreness, counter movement jump (CMJ) and maximal voluntary isometric contraction on the knee extensors.  These markers were looked at pre, post-exercise, 24 hour and 48 hours following exercise.

The protocol was 2 x 5 min immersions at a temperature  of 10degC (50deg F) separated by 2.5 minutes seater at room temperature. 

What They Found: 
There were several large effects sizes observed for muscle soreness at both 24 and 48 hours post exercise with lower soreness values in the CWI group.  These effect sizes were observed for CMJ at all points in time and at 24 and 48 hour post for maximal voluntary isometric contraction.  There was also a moderate effect size observed for CK immediately post exercise followed by larger effect sizes at 24 and 48 hours post exercise.

What It All Means:
Through all the effects the bottom line is that doing cold water immersion following a simulated rugby match appears to provide enhanced recovery compared to not doing anything. While this study looked only at rugby that basic premise can be applied to most contact sports even if they aren't as violent as rugby.  This is a very simple and easy way to recover and get a jump start on prepping for your next workout and/or competition.  Give it a try.

TAT Article: Cold Water Immersion on HRV 


Resource: Barber, Sean. The Efficacy of Repeated Cold Water Immersion on Recovery Following a Simulated Rugby Union Protocol
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