Athletic Performance and Red Light Therapy
While red light therapy has a wide range of benefits, including improved skin complexion, improved hair growth, and decreased inflammation, there is one set of benefits that people are really raving about...
About 80% of our customers use red light therapy in order to improve their performance in the gym, track, or field.
This includes faster muscle recovery, increased muscle mass, higher muscle endurance, and of course, better sleep quality.
But how much does red light therapy actually improve these markers?
In this post we are going to show you some of the results from using red light therapy in order to improve various markers of athletic performance.
Stick around until the end because we will also be giving you a custom red light therapy protocol for best results.
1- Muscle Recovery
Many people will say that muscle recovery is the most important aspect of your training. And this is probably true.
If you can recover quicker, it means you can get into your next training session sooner and also train at a higher intensity. All this leads to quicker performance gains.
One study tested multiple markers of muscle recovery after an intense exercise session and found that after 48 hours, the people who used red light therapy experienced:
- 75% less muscle pain
- 50% less range of motion loss
- 45% less force production loss
2- Muscle Mass
While not everyone who trains in the gym is trying to look like the Hulk, having extra lean muscle mass is about more than just looking good at the beach.
The more lean muscle mass you have, the less work is required per muscle fibre to produce the same amount of force. This means you’ll be stronger and also have more endurance.
A study had two identical twins perform the same 12-week resistance training program. The only difference was that one brother received red light therapy directly after his sessions, whereas the other brother did not.
At the end of the 12 weeks the brother who did not receive red light therapy had a 5% increase in muscle mass, whereas the brother who did receive red light therapy had a 20% increase in muscle mass.
This represents 4x faster muscle growth from using red light therapy!
3- Muscle Endurance
Obviously if you have a higher muscle endurance, you can train longer and harder, but it also means you are less likely to get an injury.
As your muscles begin to tire, your movement patterns change, and this puts you at an increased risk to get an injury.
One study used red light therapy for a single session, 10 minutes before a training session, and found that those who used red light therapy were able to increase their muscle endurance by 15%!
4- Sleep Quality
Sleep is extremely important for many functions, including repairing muscle tissue.
Unfortunately, it is well known that elite athletes who train frequently, and at very high intensities, often struggle to get high quality sleep.
One study, featuring elite basketball players, found that by doing red light therapy for just 14 days resulted in:
- 28% increase in sleep quality
- 83% faster time to fall asleep
- 75% more melatonin (your sleep hormone)
So how can you achieve this?
In order to design a daily protocol for all these benefits, we are going to match the protocols from these studies in a way that can maximise your results.
*These protocols are based on the MyLight range of devices, which are some of the most powerful devices on the market. With cheaper devices you are unlikely to achieve the same dosage in a reasonable time.
Red Light Therapy Protocol For Athletic Performance
- Before Workout: 8-10 minutes (aimed at desired muscles)
- Post Workout: 10-12 minutes (aimed at desired muscles)
- 2 Hours Before Bed: 5 minutes per area (chest/back/legs)
This protocol will feed your muscles before you train, thereby increasing your endurance. After your training you will be optimising your recovery and muscle growth with the second session.
Finally, the last session before bed will help your body to increase your melatonin levels, and thus lead to a higher quality in sleep.
Red light therapy has been featured in thousands of clinical studies to date, and is now recognised as one of the best non-invasive tools to improve athletic performance.
If you are after serious improvements in your performance, then you definitely want to have a high quality red light therapy device in your arsenal.