This study explored the effects of age and body fat content on responses to whole body cryotherapy (WBC) following a downhill running bout. Forty-one male participants (mean ± SD age 42.0 ± 13.7 years, body mass 75.2 ± 10.8 kg) were allocated into WBC (n = 26) and control (CON, n = 15) groups. WBC participants were divided into old (OLD, ≥45 years, n = 10) and young (YNG, <40 years, n = 13), as well as high fat (HFAT, ≥20%, n = 10) and low fat (LFAT ≤ 15%, n = 8) groups. Participants completed a 30 min downhill run (15% gradient) at 60% VO2 max. The WBC group underwent cryotherapy (3 min, –120 °C) 1 h post-run and CON participants passively recovered in a controlled environment (20 °C). Maximal isometric leg muscle torque was assessed pre and 24 h post-run. Blood creatine kinase (CK) and muscle soreness were assessed pre, post, one hour and 24 h post-run. Muscle torque significantly decreased in both groups post-downhill run (WBC: 220.6 ± 61.4 Nm vs. 208.3 ± 67.6 Nm, p = 0.02; CON: 239.7 ± 51.1 Nm vs. 212.1 ± 46.3 Nm, p = 0.00). The mean decrease in WBC was significantly less than in CON (p = 0.04). Soreness and CK increased 24 h post for WBC and CON (p < 0.01) with no difference between groups. Muscle torque significantly de-creased in OLD participants (p = 0.04) but not in YNG (p = 0.55). There were no differences between HFAT and LFAT (all p values > 0.05). WBC may attenuate muscle damage and benefit muscle strength recovery following eccentrically biased exercises, particularly for young males.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Mar 2021|