Athletes—especially professional athletes—must take excellent care of their bodies. Accelerating muscle recovery, optimizing strength and endurance, and improving mental sharpness are all key parts of athletic performance. As such, coaches, trainers, and athletes alike search for ways to improve these factors and boost overall performance on competition days.
One notable solution is red light therapy. With powerful, whole-body red light therapy beds, athletes and teams can experience increased energy levels, faster muscular recovery, and optimized strength and endurance training. Discover more about how red light therapy can help athletic performance with this overview.
Enhanced ATP Production Optimizes Muscles
Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, is a natural and pro-metabolic process that helps the body create more energy and eliminate oxidative stress. Red light penetrates muscle tissues, joints, and nerve pain at a cellular level, delivering concentrated doses of red light to the mitochondria of 70-100 trillion human body cells. NIH studies show using specific spectrums of red light waves that stimulates the mitochondria produces adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the chemical energy that cells use to grow and reproduce.
Photobiomodulation induces a complex chain of physiological reactions, including increased ATP production. These reactions can promote healing and regeneration, improve circulation, and reduce acute inflammation in damaged tissue. For healthy muscle tissue, the increased energy production can strengthen the athletic body to improve overall performance.
Red Light and Strength Training
Strength training is crucial to improving athletic performance. With red light therapy increasing energy production and cell strength, athletes can experience enhanced strength gains during strength training and faster recovery.
Athletes who undergo whole-body red light therapy before training see enhanced muscle strength as well as an increase in muscle mass gained from strength training.
Red Light and Endurance Training
Endurance is another critical aspect of both training and performance. Increased ATP levels also mean increased endurance. In practice, this means athletes last longer before feeling exhausted. Greater ATP levels from red light therapy can also improve oxygen intake, which optimizes energy production and staves off fatigue.
For athletes focusing on endurance performance, photobiomodulation is most useful before and after training sessions. Undergoing red light therapy before and after endurance training can lead to the above benefits and accelerate endurance improvements.
Red Light Therapy Speeds Up Recovery
Another way red light therapy can enhance athletic performance is through improved performance recovery. After strenuous training or competition, the body needs time to regenerate and repair muscle fatigue. Because red light therapy promotes cellular regeneration and reduces inflammation in muscles, tendons, and joints, it can play a beneficial role in accelerating performance recovery.
After strenuous exercise, damaged muscle tissue experiences delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This period of inflammation and soreness doesn’t last long, but it does affect performance as the body heals. Using red light therapy before and after strenuous exercise can help reduce muscle damage, which leads to less inflammation and reduced DOMS.
With a shorter and less intense recovery period, athletes experience fewer interruptions to their training routines. Moreover, better recovery periods help athletes return to their optimal performance levels in less time.
Prism Light Pod’s full-body red light therapy bed delivers deep red light penetration to promote improved strength, endurance, and recovery. Contact us today to see how incorporating red light therapy in your training facility can improve the health, training and overall performance of your athletes.