The effect of cold water immersion on the recovery of physical performance revisited: A systematic review with meta-analysis
Journal of Sports Sciences
Taylor & Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences
This review evaluated the effect of CWI on the temporal recovery profile of physical performance, accounting for environmental conditions and prior exercise modality. Sixty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Standardised mean differences were calculated for parameters assessed at < 1, 1 – 6, 24, 48, 72 and ≥ 96 h post-immersion. CWI improved short-term recovery of endurance performance (p = 0.01, 1 h), but impaired sprint (p = 0.03, 1 h) and jump performance (p = 0.04, 6h). CWI improved longer-term recovery of jump performance (p < 0.01–0.02, 24 h and 96 h) and strength (p < 0.01, 24 h), which coincided with decreased creatine kinase (p < 0.01 – 0.04, 24 – 72 h), improved muscle soreness (p < 0.01 – 0.02, 1 – 72 h) and perceived recovery (p < 0.01, 72 h). CWI improved the recovery of endurance performance following exercise in warm (p < 0.01) and but not in temperate conditions (p = 0.06). CWI improved strength recovery following endurance exercise performed at cool-to-temperate conditions (p = 0.04) and enhanced recovery of sprint performance following resistance exercise (p = 0.04). CWI seems to benefit the acute recovery of endurance performance, and longer-term recovery of muscle strength and power, coinciding with changes in muscle damage markers. This, however, depends on the nature of the preceding exercise.
Choo, H. C., Lee, M., Yeo, V., Poon, W., & Ihsan, M. (2023). The effect of cold water immersion on the recovery of physical performance revisited: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 40(23), 2608-2638. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2023.2178872