Effects of sports compression socks on performance, physiological, and hematological alterations after long-haul air travel in elite female volleyballers
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Broatch, JR, Bishop, DJ, Zadow, EK, and Halson, S. Effects of sports compression socks on performance, physiological, and hematological alterations after long-haul air travel in elite female volleyballers. J Strength Cond Res 33(2): 492-501, 2019-The purpose of this investigation was to assess the merit of sports compression socks in minimizing travel-induced performance, physiological, and hematological alterations in elite female volleyball athletes. Twelve elite female volleyballers (age, 25 ± 2 years) traveled from Canberra (Australia) to Manila (Philippines), and were assigned to 1 of 2 conditions; compression socks (COMP, n = 6) worn during travel or a passive control (CON, n = 6). Dependent measures included countermovement jump (CMJ) performance, subjective ratings of well-being, cardiovascular function, calf girth, and markers of blood clotting, collected before (-24 hours, CMJ; -12 hours, all measures), during (+6.5 and +9 hours, subjective ratings and cardiovascular function), and after (+12 hours, all measures except CMJ; +24 hours and +48 hours, CMJ) travel. When compared with CON, small-to-large effects were observed for COMP to improve heart rate (+9 hours), oxygen saturation (+6.5 hours and +9 hours), alertness (+6.5 hours), fatigue (+6.5 hours), muscle soreness (+6.5 hours and +9 hours), and overall health (+6.5 hours) during travel. After travel, small-to-moderate effects were observed for COMP to improve systolic blood pressure (+12 hours), right calf girth (+12 hours), CMJ height (+24 hours), mean velocity (+24 hours), and relative power (+48 hours), compared with CON. COMP had no effect on the markers of blood clotting. This study suggests that compression socks are beneficial in combating the stressors imposed by long-haul travel in elite athletes, and may have merit for individuals frequenting long-haul travel or competing soon after flying.