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RED LIGHT THERAPY FOR RECOVERY

Find out why red light therapy after you work out is so beneficial

There is a wealth of studies that show red light therapy for recovery is prevalent.  This is why so many professional athletes are using red light therapy in their homes and gyms.

If pros are using it, then you know that they are onto something great. Red light therapy can translate into faster recovery times and fewer aches and pains. Red light therapy for recovery from muscle soreness and fatigue is one of its intended uses. The best part of all is red light therapy for recovery is clinically proven to speed us muscle recovery.

To understand how light might affect muscle tissue, we need to first understand how muscle tissue actually functions.

Energy is necessary for life in every cell of every species we currently know of. This fact of life is more obviously apparent in muscle tissue, from a mechanical perspective than any other type of tissue. Since muscles are involved in a movement, they must be generating and using energy, or they wouldn’t move. Anything that helps with this fundamental energy production will be valuable.

  • The light therapy mechanism

Light therapy has a well-known mechanism in any nearly any cell of the body with a mitochondrion (mitochondria being the organelles responsible for energy production). You can look into Cytochrome C Oxidase and Nitric Oxide to learn more of the specifics here, but basically, the hypothesis is that both red and near-infrared light help our mitochondria to complete the process of respiration, giving more CO2 and ATP(energy). This would, in theory, apply in pretty much any cell of the body, besides those lacking mitochondria such as red blood cells.

  • The muscle-energy connection

One of the key characteristics of muscle cells is that they are exceptionally abundant in mitochondria, needing them to fulfill the high energy demands. This applies to skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscle tissue like you would find in internal organs. The density of mitochondria in muscle tissue varies between species and parts of the body, but they all need a high degree of energy to function. The rich presence overall suggests why light therapy researchers are interested in the application of targeting muscles, even more so than other tissues.

 

Red Light, the food for your muscles!

So we know red light therapy creates ATP, this is your bodies cellular food. Red lights also use specific wavelengths to reduce oxidative stress and boost collagen.

Natural red and near-infrared light helps promote antioxidants, which play a central role in reducing the oxidative stress associated with muscle fatigue. Antioxidants also increase the production of heat proteins—special proteins that help protect cells from stress and early cell death. [1,2] 

Conclusion?

Adding red light therapy is a new science, but these studies do show the positive effects of the device in the area of weight loss. Taking a few minutes a day to add this to your daily routine can show positive outcomes.

 

[1] Avni D, Levkovitz S, Maltz L, Oron U. Protection of skeletal muscles from ischemic injury: low-level laser therapy increases antioxidant activity. Photomed Laser Surg. 2005;23:273–277.

[2] Rizzi CF, Mauriz JL, Freitas Correa DS, et al. Effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB signalling pathway in traumatized muscle. Lasers Surg Med. 2006;38:704–713.

 

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