In professional youth soccer players, the physiological, performance and perceptual effects of a single whole body cryotherapy (WBC) session performed shortly after repeated sprint exercise were investigated. In a randomized, counter-balanced and crossover design, 14 habituated English Premier League academy soccer players performed 15 x 30 m sprints (each followed by a 10 m forced deceleration) on two occasions. Within 20 min of exercise cessation, players entered a WBC chamber (Cryo: 30 s at -60[degrees]C, 120 s at -135[degrees]C) or remained seated (Con) indoors in temperate conditions (~25[degrees]C). Blood and saliva samples, peak power output (countermovement jump) and perceptual indices of recovery and soreness were assessed pre-exercise and immediately, 2 h and 24 h post-exercise. When compared to Con, a greater testosterone response was observed at 2 h (+32.5 +/- 32.3 pg[BULLET OPERATOR]ml-1, +21%) and 24 h (+50.4 +/- 48.9 pg[BULLET OPERATOR]ml-1, +28%) post-exercise (both P=0.002) in Cryo (trial x treatment interaction: P=0.001). No between trial differences were observed for other salivary (cortisol and testosterone/cortisol ratio), blood (lactate and Creatine Kinase), performance (peak power output) or perceptual (recovery or soreness) markers (all trial x treatment interactions: P>0.05); all of which were influenced by exercise (time effects: all P<0.05). A single session of WBC performed within 20 min of repeated sprint exercise elevated testosterone concentrations for 24 h but did not affect any other performance, physiological or perceptual measurements taken. While unclear, WBC may be efficacious for professional soccer players during congested fixture periods.
- Creatine Kinase
- muscle damage