Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 616 - 623

Research article
The Effects of Cold Water Immersion after Rugby Training on Muscle Power and Biochemical Markers
Masaki Takeda1, , Takashi Sato1, Tatsushi Hasegawa1, Hiroto Shintaku1, Hisashi Kato1, Yoshihiko Yamaguchi2, Zsolt Radak3
Author Information
1 Faculty of Health and Sports Science, Doshisha University, Kyotanabe City, Kyoto, Japan
2 Yamaguchi Orthopedic Hospital, Joyo City, Kyoto, Japan
3 Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Masaki Takeda
✉ Faculty of Health and Sports Science, Doshisha University, 1-3 Miyakodani Tatara, Kyotanabe City, Kyoto 610-0394, Japan
Publish Date
Received: 09-01-2014
Accepted: 11-05-2014
Published (online): 01-09-2014
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During rugby game, or intensive rugby training there are many high intensity explosive exercises and eccentric muscle contractions, therefore adequate recovery is very important to rugby players. In the present study we have tested the effects of cold water immersion (CWI) after game-simulated (80 min.) rugby training on muscle power recovery and blood markers of muscle damage. Twenty well-trained collegiate male rugby players (age: 20.3 ± 0.6 years old, body height: 1.74 ± 0.05 m, body weight: 85.4 ± 2.0 kg, body fat: 18.2 ± 1.4 %) volunteered for this study. This study was conducted as a cross-over design; i.e., the subjects were randomly assigned either to CWI (n = 10) or passive rest condition (n = 10) for the 1st trial and 1 week later the subjects were switched conditions for the 2nd trial. After the simulated rugby training, including tackles and body contacts, muscle functional ability and blood markers of muscle damage were tested immediately, after CWI or passive rest, and again 24 hours later. Statistical analysis of all muscle functional tests (10 m dash, counter movement jump, reaction time, side steps) except for 10 seconds maximal pedaling power and blood makers of muscle damage (aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, and creatinine) revealed significant main effects for time (p < 0.05). However, no statistically significant interactions were found in any of the muscle functional tests and blood markers between groups and time courses. Our results suggest that a rugby game induces muscle damage and reduces muscle function. However, CWI has no significant restorative effect after an 80-minute rugby game in terms of muscle damage.

Key words: Cold water immersion, muscle power, muscle damage, rugby

           Key Points
  • Cold water immersion study for the recovery of rugby players
  • Muscle strength and muscle power were mainly evaluated as well as muscle enzymes of muscle break down
  • Subjects were highly trained rugby players with control group
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