You may have heard of athletes and sports people using Red Light to ‘optimize their performance’, but you may be wondering how Red Light can support a workout and actually reap benefits for those using it.
Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, you will learn a bit more about Red Light Therapy, how it works, what the benefits of it are for pain, inflammation and injury and how you can use it as part of your daily routine when working out.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy (RLT) is an alternative therapy technique that uses red low-level light wavelengths to treat several issues in and around the body, such as skin conditions (wrinkles, acne, scars), and for pain relief and healing of persistent wounds, and inflammation and pain relief.
Believe it or not, it was first used back in the early 1990s as a way to help plants grow in space. After running several tests, the scientists involved discovered that the intense red light from red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) helped promote growth and photosynthesis of plant cells. This discovery led to the study of red light for its potential application in human medicine, more specifically to find out whether RLT could help increase cellular function and energy production.
Fast forward to today and people from all walks of life are now using the power of red light therapy for home treatments – thanks to the availability of many different products on the market.
How does it work for pain and inflammation?
Now that you know a little bit more about the history of red light therapy, we want to delve a bit more into how it works and some of the best benefits related to optimizing performance and recovery for athletes – especially pain relief, inflammation, injury healing and muscle strength.
Any athlete or sports person’s ability to perform and recover boils down to the cells that make up every part of the body. It’s simple really – our bodies can perform better and recover more effectively when cells are creating, storing and using energy more efficiently.
The theory behind red light is that when it’s applied to the skin in controlled environments, it can help to increase the number of mitochondria in cells, and ultimately the production of ATP energy (also known as adenosine triphosphate), which our bodies use for everything we do.
So the more efficiently your cells create ATP energy through cellular respiration, the better your body can feel and perform. Red and NIR light, especially from an iRed device, can effectively support this essential mitochondrial function and the necessary production of ATP energy through cellular respiration so you can workout better and stronger than ever. It’s also worth noting that this light technique can improve the electron transfer process in cells and work against the nitric oxide & oxidative stress build-ups that ultimately weaken our cells and slow us down, helping our bodies to maintain a very healthy balance of energy created and energy used.
Why it’s suitable for Athletes and optimising Athletic performance
Today, the use of Red Light Therapy has become very popular, especially among athletes, to promote muscle and bone healing and recovery, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain, all while helping to prevent injuries. Especially by using a high-quality and cost effective device like iRed, these localized treatments can be performed anywhere and on the go—whether you are at your home gym or in your living room.
What’s better is that red light therapy is non-invasive, painless and has zero side effects. We recommend using Red Light Therapy during and after your workouts for best results – up to 15 minutes at a time. You can see more about the iRed devices and how they work here:
Red light therapy for sports related injuries
Have you ever suffered a sports-related injury? Well, for many athletes this can be a common problem. Whether it’s an injury to your legs, shoulders, back or arms, it can be very debilitating for your progress in your fitness journey.
If you are an athlete or sports junkie who is looking for a non-invasive treatment for soft tissue injuries as described above, you may want to consider using Red Light Therapy for pain relief and faster recovery.
The treatment of Red Light Therapy has been under the microscope for numerous official studies – and the results are definitely promising.
The 3 Main Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Sports Injuries
1. Muscle fatigue can be prevented before it even start
Red light therapy is a wonderful treatment as it quickly works to fight against muscle fatigue during and after your workouts. Red light penetrates the skin to speed up the production of ATP to provide your cells with more energy. This helps your mitochondria to improve their respiration cycle and produce energy efficiently – which ultimately means that your muscles are less likely to suffer from unwanted fatigue.
2. Muscle growth can be sped up, so you see results quicker
There has been research conducted that suggests red light therapy can naturally aide in the size and strength of muscles. It does this by targeting the muscle’s myosatellite cells. But that’s not all. Because Red Light Therapy intensifies mitochondrial action, it may also help you heal faster from muscle injury or fatigue.
3. Joint pain can be eased or completely avoided
Consistent treatments of Red Light have a huge potential to reduce inflammation and pain in the body. Researchers have found that RLT exposure can help reduce pain for several conditions such as general knee pain, arthritis and back pain. The data on red light therapy for pain relief is so convincing the FDA has approved it as a therapy for treating minor pains and arthritis.
Ready to try Red Light Therapy out for yourself?
At iRed, we offer a range of affordable Red Light Therapy devices that do not compromise on quality. You can see our full range here, including 20-bulb and 60-bulb panels and a portable Red Light torch for more localized treatments.
Please do get in touch if you have any questions about Red Light Therapy or our products, we’d be more than happy to assist you!