Effects of post-exercise recovery interventions on physiological, psychological, and performance parameters

Int J Sports Med. 2010 May;31(5):327-35. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1248242. Epub 2010 Feb 23.


At present, there is no consensus on the effectiveness of post-exercise recovery interventions on subsequent daily performances. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of 20 min low-intensity water exercises, supine electrostimulation, and passive (sitting rest) recovery modalities on physiological (oxygen consumption, blood lactate concentration, and percentage of hemoglobin saturation in the muscles), psychological (subjective ratings of perceived exertion, muscle pain, and feeling of recovery), and performance (countermovement, bouncing jumping) parameters. During three experimental sessions, 8 men (age: 21.9+/-1.3 yrs; height: 175.8+/-10.7 cm; body mass: 71.2+/-9.8 kg; VO(2max): 57.9+/-5.1 ml x kg x min(-1)) performed a morning and an afternoon submaximal running test. The recovery interventions were randomly administered after the first morning tests. Activity and dietary intake were replicated on each occasion. ANOVA for repeated measures (p<0.05) showed no difference between the morning and afternoon physiological (ratios: range 0.90-1.18) and performance parameters (ratios: range 0.80-1.24), demonstrating that post-exercise recovery interventions do not provide significant beneficial effects over a limited time period. Conversely, subjects perceived water exercises (60%) and electrostimulation (40%) as the most effective interventions, indicating that these recovery strategies might improve the subjective feelings of wellbeing of the individual.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet
  • Drinking
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Sleep
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared
  • Young Adult