Benefits of cooling workouts?


Cooling during workouts offers several key benefits, primarily focusing on enhancing performance and accelerating recovery:

  1. Increased Work Capacity and Performance: Cooling certain parts of the body, such as the palms, bottoms of the feet, and face, can significantly boost exercise performance and endurance. This is because cooling helps maintain optimal body temperature, preventing the rise in heart rate due to heat (known as cardiac drift) that can lead to early fatigue 1.

  2. Reduced Muscle Soreness and Enhanced Recovery: Cooling can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which helps in performing at high intensity across multiple sessions. This enables a higher training volume over time, contributing to better overall conditioning. Proper cooling helps in retaining gains and improving performance even when cooling is not used in subsequent sessions 2.

  3. Protection Against Heat-Related Issues: Cooling protects against hyperthermia and heat-related injuries by maintaining safe core body temperatures. Cooling the hands, feet, or face is particularly effective compared to submerging the entire body in ice-cold water, which can cause vasoconstriction, reducing the body's ability to dump heat efficiently 3 4.

    Temperature and Work

    Andrew explains how temperature affects our ability to exercise and work. He introduces the concept of cardiac drift and how it causes people to stop exercising when it gets too hot. He also discusses how cooling the body can increase work output and protect against overheating.

    Huberman Lab

    Supercharge Exercise Performance & Recovery with Cooling | Huberman Lab Podcast #19
  4. Impact on Muscle Growth: While whole-body cold exposure post-exercise might blunt muscle growth by dampening key pathways like mTOR, localized cooling confined to suitable body areas can support muscle recovery without inhibiting growth signals. This needs careful timing to match the training and recovery phases 5 6.

In summary, strategic application of cooling during and after workouts can enhance performance, expedite recovery, and safeguard against overheating, maximizing training benefits without compromising muscle growth.