Cold-water immersion, better known as an ice bath, is one well-known technique used to reduce soreness and shorten recovery time after a tough training session. Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) can provide the benefits of an ice bath in a fraction of the time.
Studies show WBC enhances antioxidant capacity and aids cardiovascular recovery, and it also alters inflammatory pathways related to sports recovery. In other words, a cryotherapy treatment can slow the onset of fatigue, increase cardiovascular recovery rate, and decrease creatine kinase (a product of muscle breakdown) following a difficult training session.
Researchers concluded these results in a 2012 study on 12 high-ranking professional tennis players. The authors stated: “Applying whole-body cryostimulation in conjunction with moderate-intensity training was more effective for the recovery process than the training itself.” (J Athl Train, 2012)
Some of the professional athletes that utilize cryotherapy include: Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Christiano Ronaldo, Canelo Alvarez, Von Miller, Conor McGregor and Michael Phelps.
A few of the professional sports teams that have cryotherapy chambers in their facilities are: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.