There is a growing body of evidence that supports the use of infrared light therapy on the prevention of muscle soreness and fatigue, as well as enhancing muscle recovery and performance.
Read on to find out exactly how infrared light therapy works to provide the following benefits:
- Improves muscle endurance
- Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Reduces joint pain
- Reduces inflammation
How Infrared Light Therapy Works for Muscle Recovery
1. Stimulates cellular energy production
All living things need to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate) cellular energy to function. And almost all living things rely on natural light to power up this process in our cells every single day.
Infrared light therapy stimulates the mitochondria in your cells and turns it into usable energy for our bodies through the process of cellular respiration. This leads to increased cell proliferation which in turn increases tissue oxygenation which will result in less exercise-induced damage to muscles, meaning you’ll be able to go longer, faster and harder!
When cells are energised, they perform more efficiently and research has shown that this can lead to less muscle fatigue, muscle growth and the body’s ability to adapt to increased training loads. When cells perform at their optimal levels, accelerated healing occurs in injured or inflamed muscles – this improves muscle performance.
2. Promotes antioxidant production.
Infrared light helps promote antioxidant production which is critical in reducing oxidative stress associated with muscle fatigue, joint and muscle pain and inflammation.
Antioxidants increase the production of heat proteins, special enzymes that help protect muscle cells from stress and even early death.
3. Increased Circulation.
Infrared therapy increases blood circulation in the body, sending more oxygen and other nutrients to the muscles required for healing and assisting in removing toxic metabolic waste that interfere with optimal muscle functioning and recovery.
4. Enhances lymphatic system
As infrared light penetrates to the cellular level, it has the potential to treat inflammation and to reduce associated swelling. Infrared therapy does this through activating the lymphatic system which essentially assists in removing the toxic waste accumulation that causes tension and pain, or worse, restricts the healing process.
In fact there have been numerous research articles touting the benefits of infrared light therapy for enhanced performance, specifically boosting strength, speed, endurance and muscle growth.
In 2015, researchers performed a systematic review of many of these randomised, placebo-controlled trials and found overwhelmingly positive support for:
- Significant improvements for the main measures of performance like max repetitions, speed and endurance
- Time before exhaustion was significantly increased
- Improvement in muscular performance and accelerated recovery when infrared therapy was applied before exercise.
When to use infrared light therapy for optimal results?
Pre workout: This is the best time to improve performance, prevent exercise-induced muscle tissue damage and improve post-workout muscle recovery.
Post workout: Treatment post workout promotes healing of sports injuries and assists with physical rehabilitation and recovery from chronic joint pain or inflammation as a result of exercise stress.
Is this the new competitive advantage you have been looking for?
It’s no wonder many of today’s top professional athletes and trainers use infrared light therapy to complement their training regime. And now that you know the benefits of using infrared light therapy you can safely incorporate these performance enhancing sessions to help you achieve your fitness and sporting goals.
Infrared light therapy is at the forefront of a revolution in performance recovery as well as overall improvements in health.
Find out more about the other wide-ranging benefits of our infrared light therapy sessions here or book in for your Wellness Plan session to find how to incorporate infrared light therapy into your muscle recovery and training routine.