The Impact Of Red And Near Infrared Light On Muscle Recovery, wellbeing & Performance
Red light therapy (AKA photobiomodulation) is a therapeutic technology and is fast becoming known for its array of health benefits such as treating conditions of the skin, neurological and hormonal disorders.
Additionally, there is increasing evidence to suggest that it also has a significant effect on athletic performance through improved muscle building and recovery, cellular repair, and raising testosterone and collagen levels. This list of benefits is by no means conclusive.
Jumping in front of a red light therapy unit boosts the cellular healing process while also enhancing the melatonin production in your body (melatonin is the sleep hormone our body releases to help you fall asleep.) You can also experience falling asleep faster and a sounder sleep overall. This gives you a massive advantage over a period of time and will without a doubt sustain performance, promote healing and boost vitality when used consistently.
Keeping this is mind, there are a lot of other factors at play here such as diet and lifestyle choices quality of sleep, stress etc… but in my experience given those factors haven’t changed much for me personally over the past ten years, I believe that using red light therapy has significantly increased my recovery and energy on a daily basis.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Our bodies metabolise light in the same way we metabolise food and each colour of light has a unique effect on our bodies as do the nutrients we get from different foods. There are thousands of peer-reviewed articles that show red light at 660 nanometers and near-infrared light at 850 nanometers have a powerful and therapeutic impact on cellular health.
At the core of every cell is the Mitochondria and its job is to produce energy for our bodies – albeit at varied functional efficiencies from person to person. Without this energy, our bodies could not survive.
When these wavelengths of light reach our cells, the mitochondria convert the light into cellular energy – better know as Adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
As the production of ATP increases so does the ability of the cells to perform their function at peak efficiency. As a result of this ATP boost, we can experience more rapid healing and muscle recovery at a cellular level.
THE BENEFITS OF RED AND NEAR INFRARED LIGHT
- Improved skin clarity, tone, and texture.
- Increased testosterone production in men.
- Reduced joint pain and inflammation.
- Fading of scars and stretch marks and even some skin conditions.
- Enhanced weight loss.
- Hair Regrowth.
- Enhanced muscle recovery.
- Improved athletic performance.
I purchased the JOOVV ‘Max Combo’ light therapy unit a few years ago when they first came out. This unit consists of clinically proven wavelengths – red light at 660 nanometers and near-infrared light at 850 nanometers. The irradiance is over 100mw/cm2 (which is very bright) it has 480 LEDs, 16 Cooling fans, and over 50,000 hours of use. The unit options available now are even greater and more diverse with lots of cool features and capacity for expansion and multi-use. It is the main consumer product on the market with a quality that is un matched. It optimises all the variables needed to hit the therapeutic window and its clinically proven benefits make it an undeniably powerful healing tool!
As a professional athlete for over 16 years, I wanted to try this out for myself. I had heard a lot about red light therapy. I did my research and concluded that the JOOVV light was the best in-home red light therapy unit available. I found that using the red light daily amplified my energy throughout my training and working day and could back up the next day and train just as hard, if not harder without any muscle soreness. It accelerates recovery at a cellular level which is noticeable in a very short period of time.
These days, I use it intermittently and when I need it. Obviously my training load had significantly reduced since retiring so my need to recover fast from intense training is much less. However, I use it a few times weekly to provide me with many of the other benefits such as increased energy production, skin healing, circadian rhythm regulation and down regulating joint inflammation.
The Big Take Aways For Me (and my family)
- Reduced joint pain and inflammation – The difference in my joint pain and overall inflammation throughout my body has significantly decreased.
- Regulates circadian rhythm and improves melatonin production – my sleep quality has improved and I fall asleep much faster after 20 minutes in the red light before bed.
- Increased lean muscle mass – In my professional career as an athlete, I noticed an increase in lean muscle mass and dropped body fat.
- Testosterone boost – After age 30 men’s testosterone declines at a rate of about 1% per year. I have definitely felt a spike in testosterone and this has helped in every area from recovery to muscle growth and overall energy levels.
- Better skin tone – This is mainly due to the increased collagen production within the body. Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the skin, making up 75-80 percent of your skin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for warding off wrinkles and fine lines.
- Regulation of hormone levels & energy boost – my wife swears that 20 minutes a day in the red light helps to balance her hormones and boosts her energy and mood for the rest of the day.
In my opinion and personal expereince, red light therapy does improve recovery and performance not only for athletes but for anyone looking to perform better and improve wellness. I believe everyone can benefit from having more energy, better quality sleep, and reduced inflammation in the body and using red light therapy is another valuable tool in the kit.
I like the JOOVV light because it is easy to implement into your daily routine, relatively inexpensive and the quality is second to none. Its backed by science and I have personally experienced all the benefits it provides with home convenience.