Is Cold Therapy Good For Cycling Recovery?

Brian Tunney
Brian Tunney
5 minute read
July 18, 2022
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In 2011, the French team AG2R-La Mondiale made headlines around the world following an announcement about their lead up and mid-race recovery.

The team had started to use Cryotherapy.

“We use it in two cases in athletes,” said team doctor Eric Bouvat. “Primarily, to facilitate recovery and fight against pain after exercise. Then, this technique can be implemented over the long term since the cold can improve the immune system.”

“We also use it in the morning because the cold stimulates the endocrine system and the production of hormones,” he added.

For AG2R-La Mondiale’s Tour de France route, which consists of 21 day-long segments (stages) over a 23-day period and covers 2,200 miles around the circumference of France, the team chose a portable Cryotherapy suit unit that was filled with liquid nitrogen and cooled to -150 degrees Celsius. A year later, the same team was traveling with cold-immersion baths for athletes to recover in.

And by 2013, Cryotherapy to recover from the Tour de France was all the rage, thanks in part to Great Britain’s Chris Froome, who won in 2013 (as well as 2015-2017). Yes, Froome practices Cryotherapy too.

But how does it help during a cycling race that involves 23 days and covers 2,220 miles? In 2015, The International Journal of Sports Physiology Performance determined that Whole Body Cryotherapy boosted recovery during high-intensity intermittent workouts. The study was limited to 11 endurance athletes, but it found that Whole Body Cryotherapy enhanced oxygenation in muscles, reduced cardiovascular strain and increased work economy at sub-maximum intensities.

Of course, you don’t need to be a professional cyclist on the Tour de France circuit to reap the benefits of Cryotherapy. Even though professional athletes of all types now utilize Cryotherapy as a recovery tool, it’s also becoming more commonplace for weekend warrior road racers, amateur BMX riders and freestyle mountain bike riders. Even The Vegan Cyclist on YouTube has tried it out!

Restore’s Whole Body Cryotherapy experience consists of a 2-3 minute session. You’ll be provided with a hat, socks and gloves to use during your Cryotherapy session. Once you’re changed into your protective gear, you’ll head back to our proprietary Cryotherapy chamber. You can select some music to pump you up, then you’ll enter the chamber where you’ll stay for up to 3 minutes. Once you’re done, Cryotherapy may relieve pain, swelling and stress, promote healing and athletic recovery, and boost mood, energy and sleep.

So next time you’re out on the bike path, going that extra mile and feel the need to recover, consider Whole Body Cryotherapy at Restore Hyper Wellness! You don’t need to train like a Tour de France competitor, but you can definitely recover like one!

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