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The use of whole‑body cryotherapy: time‑ and dose‑response investigation on circulating blood catecholamines and heart rate variability

Louis, J, Theurot, D, Filliard, J-R, Volondat, M, Dugué, B and Dupuy, O (2020) The use of whole‑body cryotherapy: time‑ and dose‑response investigation on circulating blood catecholamines and heart rate variability. European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6319

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Abstract

Purpose A predominance of parasympathetic drive is observed following cold exposure. Such modulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is associated with faster post-exercise recovery. Within this context, whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) has been spreading in sport medicine, though the optimal temperature and frequency are unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of different cryotherapy conditions on the sympathovagal balance. Methods Forty healthy males were randomly assigned into five different groups (− 110 °C, − 60 °C, − 10 °C, control temperature [≃ 24 °C]) and undertook 5 WBC sessions over 5 consecutive days. Cardiac autonomic activity was assessed through heart rate variability (HRV) using power density of high frequency (HF), root-mean square difference of successive R–R intervals (RMSSD) and sympathovagal balance (LF/HF). Systemic sympathetic activity was assessed via circulating blood catecholamines. Results Mean weekly RMSSD (pre: 48 ± 22 ms, post: 68 ± 29 ms) and HF (pre: 607 ± 692 ms2, post: 1271 ± 1180 ms2) increased (p < 0.05) from pre to post WBC, only in the − 110 °C condition. A rise in plasma norepinephrine was found after the first − 110 °C WBC session only (pre: 173 ± 98, post: 352 ± 231 ng L−1, p < 0.01); whereas, it was not significant after the 5th session (pre: 161 ± 120, post: 293 ± 245 ng L−1, p = 0.15). Conclusion These results suggest that one − 110 °C WBC exposure is required to stimulate the ANS. After five daily exposures, a lower autonomic response was recorded compared to day one, therefore suggesting the development of physiological habituation to WBC.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sports & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2020 09:24
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2020 09:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s00421-020-04406-5
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13047

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