Health Cold-water immersion reduces player fatigue

Cold-water immersion reduces player fatigue

Jumping into cold water after a match suppresses the onset of player fatigue, new study shows.

It’s not quite ice-bathing – but jumping into cold water after a Rugby Sevens match suppresses the onset of player fatigue, new research by the University of New England has found.

Ph.D. candidate Nicola Furlan from the School of Science and Technology said the study looked at the acute effects of cold water immersion on players during a fully scheduled day of Rugby Sevens.

“We chose this particular sporting event because injury risk increases proportionally with the number of matches played within a tournament, which suggests the presence of cumulative fatigue,” said Ph.D. candidate Nicola Furlan.

Practitioners are now being encouraged to use the technique as early as after the first match of the day because of its beneficial effects on physiological and perceptual measurements of stress, fatigue and muscle pain.

The study found that the principal benefits were related to player welfare rather than performance, as sprint performance between matches remained the same with or without cold water immersion.

“We see this as a positive outcome, with the potential to reduce injury risk and improve player comfort,” Mr Furlan said.

Read more about the effects of cold-water immersion here. Story credit: University of New England newsroom.

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