Just like the previously reported anti-adaptive effects of ice-baths (yes, they will impair your gains | learn more), the study at hand adds to the accumulating evidence that cold water immersion, one of the most commonly used post-workout recovery strategies, is everything but a gold standard.But how do Peake et al. know that? Well, the researchers compared the effects of cold water immersion versus active recovery on inflammatory cells, pro-inflammatory cytokines, neurotrophins and heat shock proteins (HSPs) in skeletal muscle after a standardized intense resistance exercise.
"The resistance training sessions for the two experimental trials were identical and involved single-leg exercises such as 45° leg press (six sets of 8–12 repetitions), single-leg squats (three sets of 12 repetitions), knee extensions (six sets of 8–12 repetitions), and walking lunges (three sets of 12 repetitions). The total duration of the session was ~45 min" (Peake. 2016).Five minutes after the workout, the subjects either jumped into an inflatable (ice-)bath (iCool iBody, iCool, Miami, Australia) for 10 min (both legs immersed in water up to the waist) or they performed 10 min of active recovery at a self-selected low intensity (on average a meager 36.6 ± 13.8 W) on a stationary cycle ergometer (Wattbike, Nottingham, UK).
exercise in both trial to access the intramuscular neutrophil and macrophage counts, as well as the inflammatory markers MAC1 and CD163 mRNA, IL1, TNF, IL6, CCL2, CCL4, CXCL2, IL8 and LIF mRNA expression (P<0.05); and the analysis of this data, as well as creatine kinase, subjective feelings of hyperalgesia, the expression of NGF and GDNF mRNA and the levels of B-crystallin and HSP70 showed no difference between the two recovery treatments.
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