Cryotherapy – before or after exercise?

Should I do cryotherapy before or after exercise?  Since we receive this question so often, I would like to answer it today.

Whole body cryotherapy produces an extremely potent anti-inflammatory effect on the body.  As inflammation is decreased the recuperative powers of the body are enhanced thus making its relationship to exercise significant.

Let’s consider option 1, cryotherapy before training/exercise.  In this scenario you would receive the anti-inflammatory effects prior to exercise and would notice that you were stronger, faster and/or had more endurance at your next training session and likely many of those to follow.  Therefore, cryotherapy prior to exercise benefits you by allowing you to more easily push the envelope on your training.

With option 2, cryotherapy after a workout, the decreased inflammation experienced by your body would allow you to more quickly recover from exercise.  Have you ever had those days where you head to your next workout still feeling muscle soreness and joint aches from the previous workout(s)?  Well cryotherapy will help to alleviate this so that you can begin training again feeling fresh and without limits.

As you can see, the common factor among both options is that they both decrease inflammation which produces quicker recovery and better exercise performance.  Thus, there is no right or wrong way to use cryotherapy in this regard.  In fact, most of our more serious athletes tend to do both to enhance their training.  Ultimately since both help so much, it is best for you to experiment and see which works best for you!

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