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Red Light Therapy For Sports Performance

If you’ve been following our blogs then you know that we’re big believers in red light therapy and its ability to improve numerous health conditions. But what you may not know is that red light therapy can also help improve sports performance!

So much so that red light expert Michael Hamblin had the following to say when asked about red light therapy for athletes: 

“In the near future, sport agencies must deal with ‘laser doping’ by at least openly discussing it because the aforementioned beneficial effects and the pre-conditioning achieved by laser and LED irradiation will highly improve athletic performance.”

And after reading some of the research that has been done on the topic, this is certainly something that we should take note of…

Let’s take a look at some of the ways red light therapy can help enhance sports performance!

How Red Light Therapy Improves Sports Performance

Sports person after workout
When combined with exercise, red and near-infrared light makes a powerful combination.

As well as helping you recover faster, the powerful combination seems to boost everything you do with exercise – increasing muscle gain, fat loss, performance, strength, and endurance.

Here’s a rundown on how red and near-infrared light has been shown to improve performance…

– Red and near-infrared light encourage your cells to produce antioxidants, which prevent oxidative stress and muscle damage (when light is applied before exercise). [1][2]

− Near-infrared and red light reduces inflammation in muscle tissue, which leads to cellular damage (and fatigue). [3][4]

− Pre-conditioning: By using the light before exercise, it creates a “pre-conditioning” effect where the muscle cells suffer less damage from the exercise, as well as display higher strength/stamina in subsequent exercise following the initial bout of exercise.

− Red and near-infrared light decrease lactic acid production by muscles.

− Increases acetylcholine receptors in muscles (this is the neurotransmitter released from nerve cells that stimulates muscle contraction).

− Red and near-infrared light also boost muscle growth and strength significantly. [5]

− Red and near-infrared light therapy promote the development of muscle stem cells, myosatellite cells, which develop into various types of muscles.

So as you can see, red light therapy is a highly effective tool to help you get stronger and leaner and improve your performance – especially in combination with a solid workout regime!

How To Use Red Light Therapy For Sports Performance

Red light therapy gym
Now that we have a better understanding of how red light therapy can improve sports performance, let’s look at the best ways to use it to get the best results…

Before Workouts: As we looked at earlier, It’s a good idea to give yourself a good dose of red light therapy before your workout to help mitigate the damage of working out. This is best for high-intensity workouts like HIIT training, powerlifting, and cycling because it helps prevent muscle fatigue and lactic acid buildup in the muscles.

After Workouts: Recovery is crucial to getting stronger and fitter in whatever sport you partake in! Immediately after a workout is a perfect time to apply red light therapy because it accelerates muscle recovery and reduces soreness and fatigue. It’s also a great way to help reduce DOMS after a particularly hard workout, as we discussed in our blog on Increased Mitochondrial Energy For Faster Muscle Recovery.

One recent study actually looked at when the best moment to apply red light therapy when associated with a treadmill endurance-training program. What was interesting about this study, was that it was a randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial meaning it’s the gold standard in terms of research studies. [6]

And the results?

Well, it was pretty mindblowing! Because the group that applied red light therapy both before and after their training session found their endurance increased three times faster than the control group!

But the positive results didn’t end there because the researchers also found:

“…simultaneous combination of super-pulsed lasers, infrared, and red LEDs applied before and after sessions of aerobic training during 12 weeks can increase oxygen uptake and time-to-exhaustion and decrease body fat in healthy volunteers when compared to placebo irradiation before and after exercise sessions.”

Not bad, right?

If you have any specific questions about the use of red light therapy for your own sports performance, don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@kineon.io and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

The Best Red Light Therapy Device For Sports Performance

Kineon Red Light Therapy Move+ Device
So, now you’ve seen the overwhelming evidence behind the use of red light therapy in sports performance –
but what device should use to help you achieve peak performance?

Well, the best device is one that’s easy to carry with you when you’re on the go or at home, easy to use, affordable, and offers a variety of different light wavelengths so that you can target certain areas of the body with different spectrums of red light… exactly like the one we have created here at Kineon!

Our Move+ device uses both LED lights AND medical-grade laser technology, to boost your performance, and support your recovery! And with three individual units, you can treat pretty much any body part you want.

It’s no wonder why the Move+ is a top choice for Olympic athletes, world-class Crossfitters, and MMA fighters who want an edge over the competition!

So what are you waiting for? 

Get your own Move+ today to supercharge your performance, blow away the competition and get you on your way to your next personal best!

 

Sources:

[1] Avni, D., et. al. (2005). Protection of skeletal muscles from ischemic injury: low-level laser therapy increases antioxidant activity. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, 23:273–277.

[2] Rizzi, C.F., et al. (2006). Effects of low-level laser therapy (red and near-infrared light) on the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB signaling pathway in traumatized muscle. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 38: 704–713

[3] Bjordal, J.M., (2006). A randomised, placebo-controlled trial of low-level laser therapy for activated Achilles tendinitis with microdialysis measurement of peritendinous prostaglandin E2 concentrations. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40:76–80.

[4] Aimbire, F., et al. (2006). Low-level laser therapy induces dose-dependent reduction of TNFalpha levels in acute inflammation. Photomedicine in Laser Surgery, 24:33–37.

[5] Halliwell, B. Free radicals in biology and medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2000.

[6] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10103-017-2396-2#citeas

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