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5 Reasons Why Red Light Therapy Can Help Your Gains!

Faster Muscle Growth & Recovery?

Posted by Scott_Herman - August 23rd, 2017

I have been experimenting with red light therapy for a little while now to see how it can help with my muscle growth and recovery. A few months ago I did a video called “The TRUTH Behind My Recent Gains”, when I had just picked up my red light from Joove and had only been using it for a few weeks. So, I want to make sure before I stake my claims on the benefits of red light therapy that I thoroughly tried it out for myself first exploring its benefits and seeing if it really does help. Now it’s time for the results!



If you guys are anything like me when I first heard about red light therapy, you probably also thought it was something that women exclusively used in spas for their skin. But once I started doing my own research I was quite surprised to learn that this technology is now being used for some amazing fitness benefits and has been adopted by professional athletes and trainers. I also found out that athletes like UFC fighter Jeremy Stevens, Director of Spartan Race Joe DiStefano and Ben Greenfield, who's been named the #1 fitness trainer in America, were all using red light therapy to get the most out of their bodies in terms of performance and recovery, and it made me think that maybe there’s something here that I’m missing.


So I started digging more and was surprised to find that instead of a unearthing a fad with little science to support it, there was actually an impressive amount of research that demonstrated clear benefits in terms of peak performance, muscle recovery, and recovering from injuries, just to name a few.  


How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Now, the question you may be asking, and I know because this was my question, is "how the hell can light do all of that?"  Well, it turns out that our cells contain mitochondria and that is essentially the engine of our cells, and the cells that make up muscle tissue have a particularly high concentration of mitochondria that is responsible for virtually all cellular functions such as ATP production, reducing oxidative stress, and even repairing muscle tissue.


For those of you who’ve seen my videos on creatine, the term ATP production should be very familiar to you. Remember that supplementing with more creatine essentially supercharges the ATP-ADP-ATP cycle to provide your muscle cells with more energy and power output.


But how is this related?  Well, getting back to red light therapy, scientists have discovered that the mitochondria that is bountiful in your muscle tissue responds to specific wavelengths of red and infrared light with increased function.  And, when given the right amount of these specific wavelengths, the resulting enhanced cellular function produces measurable results.


What Impact Can It Have On Muscle Growth?

One study randomly divided participants into two separate groups for an 8-week training program. One group received a red light treatment before every training session while the other group did the same training without the light treatment.  They found that the group receiving the light therapy had improvements in muscle growth 50% greater than those with muscle training alone. Pretty amazing, right?  

 

Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using red and infrared light on the biceps demonstrated peak and average performance of more than 12% more than the control group. But while this is all very interesting, I’m sure you’re wondering whether Red Light Therapy is worth it and what it can do for YOU. First of all, I’m sure many of you appreciate the science breakdown but some of you may not be able to follow, so here’s the simple explanation.


Scientists have discovered that our cells show an incredible response to light, but not just any light. Only in the 660 – 850 nanometer (NM) range which is the so called red light range. This type of light energy penetrates deep into the skin, muscle and joint tissue and stimulates the production of ATP which you should think of as your body’s way of transporting energy to where it needs to go. In layman’s terms, more ATP means more efficient energy transfers which translates to various benefits at a cellular level.


So, by exposing our body to the therapeutic red light, our cells receive this rejuvenating, anti-aging energy boost that enables them to perform every single function at a heightened level and now that you understand the science behind it, let’s a look at the 5 reasons why it might be a good idea for you to invest in this technology.


Reason #1: Increased Energy & Testosterone

Do you guys sometimes feel lethargic and out of energy? Like your body is constantly running on empty? Then you spend some time outside on a nice hot summer day and you all of a sudden feel amazing? It’s because our bodies rely on light as a source of energy, helping our glands to regulate adrenaline, testosterone, metabolism and several other functions, and it has been shown that Red Light Therapy can increase testosterone production which in turn can increase overall energy levels and even improve peak muscle performance.


Reason #2: Reduced Muscle Recovery Time

After a challenging workout, your body is working around the clock to repair and strengthen torn muscle fibers. We know this. We also know that nutrition plays a huge role in providing the body with the resources it needs for this process. But what most of you don’t know is that specific wavelengths of light play a role in this process and by enhancing mitochondrial function, red light has been proven to produce measurable gains in peak strength and reduced recovery times.


Reason #3: Faster Healing For Joint & Muscle Injuries

Injuries, repetitive motion, or aging in general can lead to severe joint pain and tissue damage. But the body’s natural healing response can be greatly accelerated by red and infrared light. Also, relief from pain, faster recovery times and reduced symptoms of arthritis are just a few more of the benefits of Red Light Therapy.  For bodybuilders, yes Red Light is also great for reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. After all, it’s a type of muscle tissue injury as well.


Reason #4: Healthier & Younger-Looking Skin

Red Light Therapy can improve skin clarity, tone and texture, reduce fine lines, wrinkles and puffy eyes, help fade scars, acne and stretch marks, even enhance wound healing and circulation, simply by increasing the production of collagen and elastin.


Remember, collagen is a long-chain amino acid and the most abundant protein in the body. It’s responsible for giving skin its elasticity, hair its strength and connective tissue its ability to hold everything in place. In fact, the collagen protein makes up 30% of the total protein in the body and 70% of the protein in the skin!


Now while collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it’s most noticeably beneficial to the skin. This is because as we age, the epidermic (or outer layer of skin) thins and loses elasticity in a process known as elastosis. As this happens we tend to show more signs of aging and acquire more wrinkles and stretch marks. But by restoring normal cellular function, because red light stimulates the production of collagen, red light therapy can help keep your skin looking healthier and younger for LONGER.


Reason #5: Stress Relief

You can’t argue that our mind and body is under constant stress because of the busy lives we lead. Well, Red Light Therapy has been proven to calm our physical and mental state by reducing oxidative stress. Now, I cannot personally attest to that, simply because some days my stress is through the roof and other times I get my mind right and relax, but it makes sense. Oxidative stress is not just harmful to our physical health but also to our mental state as well.


For me personally, especially with all the traveling I do, being able to utilize red light therapy in my home has helped me stay on track with my training. It might seem silly to you guys, but one of the few things I hate about traveling is that when I get home and hit my routines hard again, I get incredibly sore for the first week because I’m not able to reach the same kind of intensity when traveling around the world.Especially my legs, whether it is a hardcore leg workout or outside running 5 miles. The first time always leaves my legs sore to the touch for DAYS.  But after using red light therapy before and after training I can honestly say I am still sore, but not as much and I am recovering much quicker.



All I do is use the joove on whichever muscles I am training that day for about 10 – 15 minutes before training and then another 10 to 15 minutes after training usually once I get out of the shower. This is perfect for me because I just basically watch an episode of one of the animes in my cue on Crunchyroll! Also, this isn’t “tanning”, so even though the joove comes with goggles, you don’t have to wear them and the red light can actually be beneficial for your eyes as well.


Conclusion

Now, after hearing what I had to say about it, if any of you are interested in Red Light Therapy, you can check it out for yourself by clicking on the word joove in this article. But to be honest, depending on the quality of the lights you get, it can be expensive, but it is what it is guys. At the end of the day you get what you pay for and cheap money usually gets you a cheap product and vice versa. Like anything else it’s an investment in your body and you only have one. However, if you do pick one up, with just 5 - 10 minutes of daily exposure you will start noticing some significant changes, especially if it’s in combination with a solid nutrition and exercise plan.



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