European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 7, pp 2483–2494 | Cite as

Cold water immersion recovery following intermittent-sprint exercise in the heat

  • Monique Pointon
  • Rob Duffield
  • Jack Cannon
  • Frank E. Marino
Original Article

Abstract

This study examined the effects of cold water immersion (CWI) on recovery of neuromuscular function following simulated team-sport exercise in the heat. Ten male team-sport athletes performed two sessions of a 2 × 30-min intermittent-sprint exercise (ISE) in 32°C and 52% humidity, followed by a 20-min CWI intervention or passive recovery (CONT) in a randomized, crossover design. The ISE involved a 15-m sprint every minute separated by bouts of hard running, jogging and walking. Voluntary and evoked neuromuscular function, ratings of perceived muscle soreness (MS) and blood markers for muscle damage were measured pre- and post-exercise, immediately post-recovery, 2-h and 24-h post-recovery. Measures of core temperature (Tcore), heart rate (HR), capillary blood and perceptions of exertion, thermal strain and thirst were also recorded at the aforementioned time points. Post-exercise maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and activation (VA) were reduced in both conditions and remained below pre-exercise values for the 24-h recovery (P < 0.05). Increased blood markers of muscle damage were observed post-exercise in both conditions and remained elevated for the 24-h recovery period (P < 0.05). Comparative to CONT, the post-recovery rate of reduction in Tcore, HR and MS was enhanced with CWI whilst increasing MVC and VA (P < 0.05). In contrast, 24-h post-recovery MVC and activation were significantly higher in CONT compared to CWI (P = 0.05). Following exercise in the heat, CWI accelerated the reduction in thermal and cardiovascular load, and improved MVC alongside increased central activation immediately and 2-h post-recovery. However, despite improved acute recovery CWI resulted in an attenuated MVC 24-h post-recovery.

Keywords

Thermal load Voluntary activation Neuromuscular Exercise performance 

References

  1. Allen GM, Gandevia SC, McKenzie DK (1995) Reliability of measurements of muscle strength and voluntary activation using twitch interpolation. Muscle Nerve 18:593–600PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ascensão A, Leite M, Rebelo AN, Magalhäes S, Magalhäes J (2011) Effects of cold water immersion on the recovery of physical performance and muscle damage following a one-off soccer match. J Sports Sci 29:217–225PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailey DM, Erith SJ, Griffin PJ, Dowson A, Brewer DS, Gant N, Williams C (2007) Influence of cold-water immersion on indices of muscle damage following prolonged intermittent shuttle running. J Sports Sci 25:1163–1170PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banfi G, Melegati G, Valentini P (2007) Effects of cold-water immersion of legs after training session on serum creatine kinase concentrations in rugby players. Br Med J 41:339–340Google Scholar
  5. Barnett A (2006) Using recovery modalities between training sessions in elite athletes: does it help? Sports Med 36:781–796PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bleakley CM, McDonough SM, MacAuley DC (2004) The use of ice in the treatment of acute soft-tissue injury: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Am J Sports Med 32:251–261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cannon J, Kay D, Tarpenning K, Marino FE (2006) Normalized lengthening peak torque is associated with temporal twitch characteristics in elderly women but not young women. Acta Physiology Scandinavia 188:53–62Google Scholar
  8. Cram JR, Kasman GS (1998) Introduction to surface electromyography. Aspen Publishers, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  9. Duffield R, Marino FE (2007) Effects of pre-cooling procedures on intermittent-sprint exercise performance in warm conditions. Eur J Appl Physiol 100:727–735PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eston R, Peters D (1999) Effects of cold water immersion on the symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage. J Sports Sci 17:231–238PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Halson S, Quod MJ, Martin DT, Gardner AS, Ebert TR, Laursen PB (2008) Physiological responses to cold water immersion following cycling in the heat. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 3:331–346PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Hargreaves M (2004) Muscle glycogen and metabolic regulation. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society: 217–220Google Scholar
  13. Howatson G, Gaze D, van Someren KA (2005) The efficacy of ice massage in the treatment of exercise-induced muscle damage. Scand J Med Sci Sports 15:416–422PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ingram J, Dawson B, Goodman C, Wallman K, Beilby J (2009) Effect of water immersion methods on post-exercise recovery from simulated team sport exercise. J Sci Med Sport 12:417–421PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jakeman J, Macrae R, Eston R (2009) A single 10-min bout of cold-water immersion therapy after strenuous plyometric exercise has no beneficial effect on recovery from the symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage. Ergonomics 52:456–460PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Knight K (1989) Cryotherapy in sports injury management. Int Perspect Physiother 4:163–185Google Scholar
  17. Knight K, Brucker J, Stoneman P, Rubley M (2000) Muscle injury management with cryotherapy. Athl Ther Today 5:26–51Google Scholar
  18. Martin PG, Marino FE, Rattey J, Kay D, Cannon J (2004) Reduced voluntary activation of human skeletal muscle during shortening and lengthening contractions in whole body hyperthermia. Exp Physiol 90:225–236PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Morrison SA, Sleivert GG, Cheung SS (2004) Passive hyperthermia reduces voluntary activation and isometric force production. J Appl Physiol 91:729–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nielsen B, Nybo L (2003) Cerebral changes during exercise in the heat. Sports Med 33:1–11PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nielsen B, Hyldig T, Bidstrup F, Gonzalez-Alonso J, Christoffersen G (2001) Brain activity and fatigue during prolonged exercise in the heat. Pflügers Arch Eur J Physiol 442:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nybo L, Nielsen B (2001) Hyperthermia and central fatigue during prolonged exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol 91:1055–1060PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Parouty J, Al Haddad H, Quod M, Leprêtre PM, Ahmaidi S, Buchheit M (2010) Effect of cold water immersion on 100-m sprint performance in well-trained swimmers. Eur J Appl Physiol 109:483–490PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Peiffer JJ, Abbiss CR, Nosaka K, Peake JM, Laursen PB (2009) Effect of cold water immersion after exercise in the heat on muscle function, body temperatures and vessel diameter. J Sci Med Sports 12:91–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Peiffer JJ, Abbiss CR, Watson G, Nosaka K, Laursen PB (2010a) Effect of 5-min cold-water immersion recovery on exercise performance in the heat. Br J Sports Med 44:461–465PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Peiffer JJ, Abbiss CR, Watson G, Nosaka K, Laursen PB (2010b) Effect of cold water immersion on repeated 1-km cycling performance in the heat. J Sci Med Sport 13:112–116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Portney LG, Watkins MP (2009) Foundations of Clinical Research: Applications to Practice. Prentice Hill, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  28. Rowsell G, Coutts A, Reaburn P, Hill-Haas S (2009) Effects of cold-water immersion on physical performance between successive matches in high-performance junior male soccer players. J Sports Sci 27:565–573PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rowsell G, Coutts A, Reaburn P, Hill-Haas S (2011) Effect of post-match cold-water immersion on subsequent match running performance in junior soccer players during tournament play. J Sports Sci 29:1–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Saboisky J, Marino FE, Kay D, Cannon J (2003) Exercise heat stress does not reduce central activation to non-exercised human skeletal muscle. Exp Physiol 88:783–790PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thomas M, Cheung S, Elder G, Sleivert G (2006) Voluntary muscle activation is impaired by core temperature rather than local muscle temperature. J Appl Physiol 100:1361PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tucker R, Rauch L, Harley YXR, Noakes TD (2004) Impaired exercise performance in the heat is associated with an anticipatory reduction in skeletal muscle recruitment. Pflügers Arch Eur J Physiol 448:422–430Google Scholar
  33. Vaile J, Halson S, Gill N, Dawson B (2008a) Effect of cold water immersion on repeat cycling performance and thermoregulation in the heat. J Sports Sci 26:431–440PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vaile J, Halson S, Gill N, Dawson B (2008b) Effect of hydrotherapy on the signs and symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. Eur J Appl Physiol 102:447–455PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vaile J, O’Hagan C, Stefanovic B, Walker M, Gill N, Askew CD (2010) Effect of cold water immersion on repeated cycling performance and limb blood flow. Br J Sports Med. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.067272 EPub ahead of print
  36. Wilcock IM, Cronin JB, Hing WA (2006) Physiological response to water immersion: A method for sport recovery? Sports Med 36:747–765PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wilder MR, Cannon J (2009) Effect of age on muscle activation and twitch properties during static and dynamic actions. Muscle Nerve 39:683–691PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yamane M, Teruya H, Nakano M, Ogai R, Ohnishi N, Kosaka M (2006) Post-exercise leg and forearm flexor muscle cooling in humans attenuates endurance and resistance training effects on muscle performance and on circulatory adaptation. Eur J Appl Physiol 96:572–580PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yeargin SW, Casa DJ, McClung JM, Knight CJ, Healey JC, Goss JP, Harvard WR, Hipp GR (2006) Body cooling between two bouts of exercise in the heat enhances subsequent performance. J Strength Cond Res 20:383–389PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique Pointon
    • 1
  • Rob Duffield
    • 1
  • Jack Cannon
    • 1
  • Frank E. Marino
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Human Movement StudiesCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia

Personalised recommendations