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Does Cold-Water Immersion After Strength Training Attenuate Training Adaptation?

Wigand Poppendieck, Melissa Wegmann, Anne Hecksteden, Alexander Darup, Jan Schimpchen, Sabrina Skorski, Alexander Ferrauti, Michael Kellmann, Mark Pfeiffer, and Tim Meyer

Cold-water immersion (CWI) has emerged as a popular recovery intervention among athletes. While the actual mechanisms of cooling to support recovery are not understood in all mechanistic details, it has been suggested that a reduction in muscle temperature may lead to lesser extents of muscle

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Effects of Chronic Cold-Water Immersion in Elite Rugby Players

Francisco Tavares, Martyn Beaven, Júlia Teles, Dane Baker, Phil Healey, Tiaki B. Smith, and Matthew Driller

, it may decrease swelling and acute inflammation from muscle damage. 7 Furthermore, the use of cold-water immersion (CWI) contributes to a reduction in nerve conduction properties and to a decrease in muscle spasm and pain. 7 CWI in an acute rugby setting (<48-h postexercise) has been effective in

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Efficacy of Cold Water Immersion Prior to Endurance Cycling or Running to Increase Performance: A Critically Appraised Topic

Connor A. Burton and Christine A. Lauber

decreases, heart rate decreases, and stroke volume increases. 4 Interventions using various forms of cold mediums (e.g., cold water immersion [CWI], 5 – 12 cooling vests, 5 – 7 cold fluid ingestion, 5 – 7 and cool misting 6 , 7 ) have proven to reduce thermal strain and fatigue for endurance exercise in

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Effect of Cold-Water Immersion on Handgrip Performance in Rock Climbers

Jan Kodejška, Jiří Baláš, and Nick Draper

Cold water immersion (CWI) is included as a recovery protocol for many sports. 1 Positive effects of CWI have been observed after endurance exercise to failure such as for cycling, 2 running, 3 or rock climbing, 4 , 5 however, other research has not supported this finding. 1 Consequently

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Core Temperature Responses to Cold-Water Immersion Recovery: A Pooled-Data Analysis

Jessica M. Stephens, Ken Sharpe, Christopher Gore, Joanna Miller, Gary J. Slater, Nathan Versey, Jeremiah Peiffer, Rob Duffield, Geoffrey M. Minett, David Crampton, Alan Dunne, Christopher D. Askew, and Shona L. Halson

Cold-water immersion (CWI) is a widely practiced recovery modality aiming to reduce fatigue and facilitate postexercise recovery. 1 It is thought that the combination of cold temperature and hydrostatic pressure promotes reductions in tissue temperatures and blood flow, facilitating subsequent

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Effect of Body Composition on Physiological Responses to Cold-Water Immersion and the Recovery of Exercise Performance

Jessica M. Stephens, Shona L. Halson, Joanna Miller, Gary J. Slater, Dale W. Chapman, and Christopher D. Askew

Cold-water immersion (CWI) is a popular recovery strategy routinely used by athletes to hasten the body’s return to its preexercise state. 1 Recently, the popularity of CWI in practical settings has led to increased research. 2 Studies to date have focused predominantly on the recovery of

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Cold Water Immersion as a Strategy for Muscle Recovery in Professional Basketball Players During the Competitive Season

Jesús Seco-Calvo, Juan Mielgo-Ayuso, César Calvo-Lobo, and Alfredo Córdova

agonist/antagonist* 70.6 (4.7) 64.9 (2.6) 64.0 (2.1) 73.5 (0.0) <0.001 .841 Note: Statistically significant differences are marked in bold. Abbreviations: CON, control group; CWI, cold-water immersion group; EADIR, extension, adduction, and internal rotation; FABDER, flexion, abduction, and external

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Exploring the Efficacy of a Safe Cryotherapy Alternative: Physiological Temperature Changes From Cold-Water Immersion Versus Prolonged Cooling of Phase-Change Material

Susan Y. Kwiecien, Malachy P. McHugh, Stuart Goodall, Kirsty M. Hicks, Angus M. Hunter, and Glyn Howatson

Cold-water immersion (CWI) is a popular intervention utilized to facilitate recovery and improve function in the days following strenuous exercise. Two comprehensive reviews on CWI indicate some effectiveness at reducing soreness but inconclusive effects on other measures of recovery. 1 , 2 As

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The Effects of Cold Water Immersion on Postexercise Muscle Soreness and Fatigue

Christina J. Lorete, Riley N. Fontaine, Lauren A. Welsch, and Johanna M. Hoch

Clinical Question:

Is there evidence to suggest continuous cold water immersion (CWI) as a postexercise recovery intervention is more effective at reducing perceived muscle fatigue or soreness as measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) when compared with passive rest in physically active adults?

Summary of Key Findings:

A systematic search of the literature produced 124 studies, with two randomized controlled trials and two cross-over studies meeting the inclusion criteria.

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is inconsistent, limited-quality evidence to support that the use of CWI postexercise is more effective at reducing perceived muscle fatigue or soreness in physically active adults when compared with passive rest. The results of the included studies were inconsistent regarding the application of continuous CWI for 10–14 min to reduce perceived muscle fatigue and soreness when compared with passive rest. The good-quality evidence found no difference between conditions and the three limited-quality studies identified differences between the conditions.

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Recovery From Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage: Cold-Water Immersion Versus Whole-Body Cryotherapy

Abd-Elbasset Abaïdia, Julien Lamblin, Barthélémy Delecroix, Cédric Leduc, Alan McCall, Mathieu Nédélec, Brian Dawson, Georges Baquet, and Grégory Dupont


To compare the effects of cold-water immersion (CWI) and whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) on recovery kinetics after exercise-induced muscle damage.


Ten physically active men performed single-leg hamstring eccentric exercise comprising 5 sets of 15 repetitions. Immediately postexercise, subjects were exposed in a randomized crossover design to CWI (10 min at 10°C) or WBC (3 min at –110°C) recovery. Creatine kinase concentrations, knee-flexor eccentric (60°/s) and posterior lower-limb isometric (60°) strength, single-leg and 2-leg countermovement jumps, muscle soreness, and perception of recovery were measured. The tests were performed before and immediately, 24, 48, and 72 h after exercise.


Results showed a very likely moderate effect in favor of CWI for single-leg (effect size [ES] = 0.63; 90% confidence interval [CI] = –0.13 to 1.38) and 2-leg countermovement jump (ES = 0.68; 90% CI = –0.08 to 1.43) 72 h after exercise. Soreness was moderately lower 48 h after exercise after CWI (ES = –0.68; 90% CI = –1.44 to 0.07). Perception of recovery was moderately enhanced 24 h after exercise for CWI (ES = –0.62; 90% CI = –1.38 to 0.13). Trivial and small effects of condition were found for the other outcomes.


CWI was more effective than WBC in accelerating recovery kinetics for countermovement-jump performance at 72 h postexercise. CWI also demonstrated lower soreness and higher perceived recovery levels across 24–48 h postexercise.