European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 11, pp 2353–2367 | Cite as

The effect of various cold-water immersion protocols on exercise-induced inflammatory response and functional recovery from high-intensity sprint exercise

  • Gillian E. White
  • Shawn G. Rhind
  • Greg D. Wells
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different cold-water immersion (CWI) protocols on the inflammatory response to and functional recovery from high-intensity exercise.

Methods

Eight healthy recreationally active males completed five trials of a high-intensity intermittent sprint protocol followed by a randomly assigned recovery condition: 1 of 4 CWI protocols (CWI-10 min × 20 °C, CWI-30 min × 20 °C, CWI-10 min × 10 °C, or CWI-30 min × 10 °C) versus passive rest. Circulating mediators of the inflammatory response were measured from EDTA plasma taken pre-exercise (baseline), immediately post-exercise, and at 2, 24, and 48 h post-exercise. Ratings of perceived soreness and impairment were noted on a 10-pt Likert scale, and squat jump and drop jump were performed at these time points.

Results

IL-6, IL-8, and MPO increased significantly from baseline immediately post-exercise in all conditions. IL-6 remained elevated from baseline at 2 h in the CWI-30 min × 20 °C, CWI-10 min × 10 °C, and CWI-30 min × 10 °C conditions, while further increases were observed for IL-8 and MPO in the CWI-30 min × 20 °C and CWI-30 min × 10 °C conditions. Squat jump and drop jump height were significantly lower in all conditions immediately post-exercise and at 2 h. Drop jump remained below baseline at 24 and 48 h in the CON and CWI-10 min × 20 °C conditions only, while squat jump height returned to baseline in all conditions.

Conclusions

Cold-water immersion appears to facilitate restoration of muscle performance in a stretch–shortening cycle, but not concentric power. These changes do not appear to be related to inflammatory modulation. CWI protocols of excessive duration may actually exacerbate the concentration of cytokines in circulation post-exercise; however, the origin of the circulating cytokines is not necessarily skeletal muscle.

Keywords

Exercise-induced inflammation Recovery Cryotherapy Cytokines Skeletal muscle stress 

Abbreviations

1 h

1 hour

2 h

2 hour

24 h

24 hour

48 h

48 hour

CWI

Cold-water immersion

GM-CSF

Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor

IFNγ

Interferon gamma

IL-1β

Interleukin 1 beta

IL-6

Interleukin 6

IL-8

Interleukin 8

IL-10

Interleukin 10

IL-12 p70

Interleukin 12 p70

MPO

Myeloperoxidase

Pre

Pre-exercise

Post

Post-exercise

SSC

Stretch-shortening cycle

TNFα

Tumor necrosis factor alpha

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gillian E. White
    • 1
  • Shawn G. Rhind
    • 2
  • Greg D. Wells
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate Department of Exercise SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Defence Research and Development Canada; Toronto Research CentreTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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