Effect of body cooling on subsequent aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance: a systematic review

J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Dec;24(12):3488-96. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fb3e15.


Body cooling has become common in athletics, with numerous studies looking at different cooling modalities and different types of exercise. A search of the literature revealed 14 studies that measured performance following cooling intervention and had acceptable protocols for exercise and performance measures. These studies were objectively analyzed with the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale, and 13 of the studies were included in this review. These studies revealed that body cooling by various modalities had consistent and greater impact on aerobic exercise performance (mean increase in performance = 4.25%) compared to anaerobic (mean increase in performance = 0.66%). Different cooling modalities, and cooling during different points during an exercise protocol, had extremely varied results. In conclusion, body cooling seems to have a positive effect on aerobic performance, although the impact on anaerobic performance may vary and often does not provide the same positive effect.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobic Threshold
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Physical Exertion / physiology