Study aim: To investigate the effect of cold water immersion (CWI) on muscle damage indexes after simulated soccer activity in young soccer players.
Material and methods: Eighteen professional male soccer players were randomly divided into two groups: CWI (n = 10, age 19.3 ± 0.5, body mass index 22.2 ± 1.3) and control (n = 8, age 19.4 ± 0.8, body mass index 21.7 ± 1.5). Both groups performed a simulated 90-minute soccer-specific aerobic field test (SAFT90). Then, the CWI group subjects immersed themselves for 10 minutes in 8°C water, while the control group subjects sat passively for the same time period. Blood samples were taken before, immediately after, 10 minutes, 24 hours and 48 hours after the training session in a fasted state. Blood lactate, creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme levels were measured.
Results: Lactate, CK and LDH levels increased significantly after training (p < 0.001). There were significant interactions between groups and subsequent measurements for CK (p = 0.0012) and LDH (p = 0.0471). There was no significant difference in lactate level between the two groups at any aforementioned time.
Conclusion: It seems that CWI after simulated 90-minute soccer training can reduce the values of muscle damage indexes in soccer players.
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