Should I Do Cryotherapy Before or After My Workout?


f you’re looking to enhance your workout recovery, cryotherapy might have crossed your mind. But the question is, should you do cryotherapy before or after your workout? Let’s break down the science and practicality to help you make an informed decision.

Cryotherapy –  A Quick Overview

First, what exactly is cryotherapy? It’s a cold therapy that involves exposing your body to extremely cold temperatures for a short period. This can be done through various methods, including whole-body cryotherapy chambers or localised cryotherapy, like ice baths or ice packs.


Why Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy has gained popularity for its potential to enhance recovery and performance. The exposure to cold temperatures can reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and promote muscle repair. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts turn to cryotherapy to bounce back quicker from intense workouts, improve their overall fitness, and optimise their training regimens. Whether you’re seeking pain relief, muscle recovery, or a boost in alertness, cryotherapy offers a holistic approach to bettering your physical well-being. 

How to Prepare for Cryotherapy

Dress warmly but comfortably, as you’ll be exposed to extreme cold. Remove any jewellery or metal objects, and dry your body thoroughly to prevent frostbite. Communicate any medical conditions or concerns with the cryotherapy technician to ensure a safe session.

How Long Does Cryotherapy Take to Take Effect

The effects of cryotherapy can vary from person to person. While some individuals may feel immediate relief from pain or reduced muscle soreness, others might notice a gradual improvement in their overall recovery and performance. Consistent sessions over time often yield the most pronounced benefits.



Cryotherapy Before Your Workout 


Pros Of Cryotherapy Before Workout

  • Pain Management: Some athletes and fitness enthusiasts opt for cryotherapy before workouts to alleviate muscle soreness and reduce pain. The cold temperatures can numb pain receptors, making it easier to push through tough sessions.
  • Increased Alertness: The shock of cold can stimulate your nervous system, making you feel more awake and alert. This can be helpful if you’re working out early in the morning or after a long day.

Cons Of Cryotherapy Before Workout

  • Potential for Reduced Performance: Some studies suggest that pre-workout cryotherapy might slightly decrease muscle strength and power temporarily. This could impact your performance, particularly in high-intensity workouts.
  • Limited Scientific Evidence: While cryotherapy before exercise has gained popularity, there’s still limited scientific evidence to definitively support its benefits for performance.


Cryotherapy After Your Workout


Pros Of Cryotherapy After Workout

  • Enhanced Recovery: Post-workout cryotherapy is often favoured for its potential to accelerate the recovery process. It can reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, helping you bounce back quicker for your next session.
  • Muscle Repair: Cryotherapy may promote muscle repair and growth by increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery to muscles. This is especially beneficial for strength training and muscle-building workouts.

Cons Of Cryotherapy After Workout

  • Timing Constraints: Cryotherapy after your workout may require extra time, which can be inconvenient if you’re on a tight schedule.
  • Individual Variations: How your body responds to cryotherapy can vary. Some individuals may not experience the same level of benefits as others.

So, What’s the Verdict?

The choice between cryotherapy before or after your workout depends on your specific goals and preferences. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Pre-Workout Cryotherapy: Consider this if you’re dealing with significant muscle soreness or pain and need relief to exercise comfortably. However, be aware that it might temporarily affect your strength and power.
  • Post-Workout Cryotherapy: Opt for this if you want to enhance your recovery, reduce inflammation, and promote muscle repair. It’s especially useful after intense workouts or strength training sessions.

In the end, the choice between cryotherapy before or after your workout should align with your unique needs and workout routine. Experiment with both approaches and observe how your body responds to find the best fit for you. 

Cryotherapy in Dublin and Beyond

If you’re in Dublin, you may be wondering about cryotherapy options in the area. Be Well Physio, a trusted physio clinic in Dublin offers a range of services, including cryotherapy. Our experts can guide you on the most suitable cryotherapy approach for your fitness goals. Contact us today and secure your spot for a cryotherapy session.