Originally from https://www.lunaspanel.com/post/pro-athletes-harnessing-the-power-of-red-light
Being a professional athlete is no joke, and when your body is a central part of your job, it needs to be very well taken care of. And even when athletes are doing all the right things to take care of their body, injuries are still widespread in professional sports; but it used to be that their career was over if an athlete was injured. But now, athletes can undergo surgery and pop back up on the court or field months later. How is that possible?
As most athletes know, a large portion of time is dedicated to repairing muscles and alleviating inflammation for the next game. Regardless of the sport, teams spend millions of dollars on professional physical therapists to guarantee their athletes receive the highest physical treatment standard.
The recovery process for an athlete is essential and a determining factor of how well they’ll perform during their careers. You’ll often hear the words “optimizing performance” when discussing the recovery process for athletes. Today, the recovery process isn’t just to heal an athlete but to naturally enhance their performance.
So, how do professional therapists optimize professional athletes’ performance and recovery? Well, red light therapy is turning out to be one of the most effective treatments for these high-performing individuals.
Professional trainers are always looking for natural ways to enhance their player’s performance. With light has proven to be a lead modality, many trainers and athletes use light therapy to enhance the body’s natural healing process. But how does it work?
When used, natural red light penetrates the skin and cells. When the light reaches the mitochondria, it stimulates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a natural energy currency in the human body. With an enhanced ATP production, cells in the muscle are optimized and repaired faster.
Hundreds of peer-reviewed clinical trials have backed up the results athletes see on the courts and fields. In 2015, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials, and the results were astounding. They found that most clinical trials showed “significant improvement for the main measures related to performance,” including endurance and speed. And through this meta-analysis, it was concluded that “phototherapy (with lasers and LEDs) improves muscular performance and accelerates recovery when applied before exercise.”
However, red light therapy does more than recover muscle tissue. It also increases muscle strength, ultimately improving physical performance.
A 2016 study researched red light therapy on elite athletes and trained and untrained athletes. What was found was that red light therapy after training could increase muscle mass. So, not only does red light therapy accelerate the recovery process, but it also improves muscle strength.
But what about endurance? Being strong is only one aspect of being an athlete. Endurance is crucial when competing against an opponent. A triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in 2018 studied the effects of red light therapy on men and women undergoing endurance training on treadmills. It was found that red light therapy pre-exercise can “increase the time-to-exhaustion and oxygen uptake and also decrease the body fat in healthy volunteers when compared to placebo.”
Another study from 2018 completed by Brazilian researchers found that after their randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial on pro soccer players, those who underwent red light therapy stayed longer on the playing field. It was concluded that light therapy “…had a significant improvement in all the biochemical markers evaluated…pre-exercise [light] therapy can enhance performance and accelerate recovery…”.
Peer-reviewed clinical trials worldwide have all concluded the same thing: red light therapy works for increasing athletic performance levels. Luna’s red light therapy device can help professional athletes and the rest of us exercise regularly, recover from injuries, and improve our physical and muscular health.