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Recovery Effects of Hyperoxic Gas Inhalation Or Contrast Water Immersion on the Postexercise Cytokine Response, Perceptual Recovery, and Next Day Exercise Performance

Peeling, Peter; Fulton, Sacha; Sim, Marc; White, Jodii

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 968–975
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31822dcc5b
Original Research

Peeling, P, Fulton, S, Sim, M, and White, J. Recovery effects of hyperoxic gas inhalationor contrast water immersion on the postexercise cytokine response, perceptual recovery, and next day exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res 26(4): 968–975, 2012—The effect of different recovery modalities on the postexercise cytokine response, perceptual recovery, and subsequent day athletic performance were investigated. Eight highly trained athletes completed 3 swimming sessions consisting of 20 × 200 m efforts, in a counterbalanced repeated-measures design. At the conclusion of each session, athletes undertook a 30-minute recovery intervention of contrast water therapy (CWT), supplemental oxygen (HYP), or passive rest (CON). Venous blood samples were analyzed for levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) at the pre-, post-, and 30-minute postswim time points, and a rating of perceived recovery was recorded at the conclusion of the 30-minute intervention and upon returning to the pool 12 hour later. Finally, a 200-m swim time trial was completed as a measure of next day performance. The results showed that there was a significant increase in IL-6 at the completion of exercise, which persisted after 30 minutes of recovery (p < 0.05), with no differences evident between the groups. Additionally, the perception of recovery after the 30-minute intervention was significantly lower in the CON when compared with the CWI and HYP (p < 0.05). However, there were no differences in the 12-hour postrecovery time trial performances. These results suggest that a 30-minute recovery intervention using CWT or HYP has limited influence on the acute-phase response or on improving subsequent day athletic performance. However, strength and conditioning specialists should encourage the use of a structured postexercise recovery procedure because the evidence suggests that the acute perception of recovery is much greater when some form of intervention is implemented in comparison with no recovery procedure at all.

1Western Australian Institute of Sport, Mount Claremont, Australia

2School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia

Address correspondence to Peter Peeling,

Copyright © 2012 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.