Red Light Therapy for Muscle Recovery: How and Why
What do the following professionals have in common?
- US Naval Academy
- Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek
- The gold medal-winning women’s U.S. Gymnastics team
- the Phoenix Suns
- Olympian Jill Kinter
- NASA astronauts
Besides being in amazing physical shape, they use infrared and red light therapy for muscle recovery. While there are some indications that red and near infrared light therapy can help to build muscle and increase athletic performance, many pro athletes use it to recover from an intense workout.
Muscle recovery doesn’t necessarily mean that the muscles have been hurt – although, red light can help with muscle injury as well. It is an excellent non pharmacological pain management tool.
Muscle recovery is any sort of resting phase after a workout in which muscles regenerate, grow, and restore their strength. It is an essential part of the workout, and you won’t see good results without it, no matter how hard you train.
It takes time for those muscles to recover. If you skip that, you are in danger of overexercising, which can diminish the effects of your workout. Pro athletes don’t always have the time needed to recover, so their coaches and medical teams have developed some efficient methods to make muscle recovery quicker and more efficient.
What Helps Muscles Recover Faster?
When you exercise, two things happen that make your muscles tired. The first one is the creation of small tears in the muscle tissue. This is a normal occurrence and that is how your muscles grow – by tearing up a bit and merging the muscle fibers with the help of satellite cells. Those tears need to heal before your next workout to avoid muscle injury.
Another factor that causes muscle fatigue is the elevation of the serum lactate in your blood. Serum lactate is a byproduct of the metabolic processes that happen in your muscles while exercising. As long as the muscles manage to flush it out at the same rate as it is produced – you are good to go. When the lactate builds up, it causes muscle fatigue.
To answer the initial question – whatever helps your muscle tears heal quickly and eliminate the lactate from your body is your remedy for muscle fatigue. Here are some of the methods that the National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends:
In addition to these efficient methods, you should never underestimate red light therapy for muscle recovery. It helps eliminate muscle fatigue on its own, but it also boosts the effects of other muscle recovery methods.
Let’s explore precisely how it helps and how it all works:
How Red Light Therapy Helps Muscle Recovery
Red and near infrared light therapy help both with the healing process of muscle tears caused by exercising and with eliminating lactate from your body. Especially, if you are using a device that provides you with the appropriate red light therapy dose.
Muscle tears heal because your body sends satellite muscle stem cells ready to repair muscle fiber. Red light therapy helps by speeding up the response time of these muscle cells. This means they will reach their destination quicker and the tears will heal faster.
As for the lactate in your body, red light helps your body metabolize it, eliminating muscle fatigue. Red and near infrared light therapy boost blood flow, as well as the lymphatic system, helping them work more efficiently. These two systems are the most important elements when it comes to eliminating the toxins from the body.
Besides these direct effects on muscle recovery, there are also some additional benefits of using red LEDs for this purpose. The red light device will help you improve your sleep. Sleep is necessary for so many processes in your body and it is essential for muscle regeneration.
A red light therapy device can help you soothe the pain. This is a highly efficient, non pharmacological pain management method that you can use to manage your post-workout pain.
That’s not all. Red light therapy improves exercise results as well. Your strength exercise, as well as your efforts to increase stamina can be significantly improved. When it comes to fitness and wellness, red light therapy seems to make everything better and more efficient.
With such results, there’s only one question left:
How to Use a Red Light Therapy Device for Muscle Recovery
This very much depends on the red light therapy device you are using. Red light therapy devices can have different energy densities and output, irradiance, and other specifics. That is why it is important to read the instructions and make sure that you use your device correctly for maximum results.
What sets FlexBeam apart is the fact that you can easily wear it before and after exercise, underneath the clothing, allowing you to multitask. You can even use it while you’re gently stretching, improving the results of your relaxing stretch.
If you need to recover from a specific exercise, like weight-lifting or running, you can apply your FlexBeam directly to the muscle that you feel needs the quickest recovery.
The best way to improve muscle recovery, as well as your athletic performance, is to apply Woscan Lighting before and after your workout. In that way, you will get the best results. Here’s the suggestion for your red light therapy dose: