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Hot or Cold? What really helps with injuries or sore muscles

We have often been asked in relation to our sports gels on Amazon when and if you should use them for sore muscles. Since we noticed that there is no one-line answer to this question, we decided to write a small blog post.

Research fundamentally distinguishes between two types of (sports) complaints:

Acute / blunt injuries: Twisting, overstretching, after a blow or impact, etc.
Chronic complaints: Regularly or irregularly occurring similar complaints.
When should cooling be applied?
Immediately after an acute / blunt injury. The cold from cold sprays, cooling pads and the like constricts the blood vessels and slows down the metabolism. This can and should relieve swelling and pain.

When should warming be applied?
After the swelling and possibly bruising have been stopped in the case of an acute / blunt injury, heat therapy should be started. Heat promotes the blood supply to the respective body part, gets the lymph flow going and supports the relaxation of the muscles. This allows the body to start healing itself faster and directly on the spot.

In the case of chronic ailments, heat should also be used to relax the muscles and stimulate the metabolism. Here, too, the support of local self-healing plays a role.

Special form of sore muscles
Surprisingly, researchers are not yet 100% agreed on what sore muscles actually are. The majority, however, believes that it is a small hairline fracture of the muscle fibres. That's why you should cool down immediately after exercise: Like the pros in the cold chamber that stops lactate formation (up to minus 110 degrees) or with a few cooling pads if your own cold chamber is too expensive ;). And here, too, the heat should then be used afterwards for higher blood circulation / better self-healing and shorter regeneration phases.

Note: Of course, the blog post written here does not replace a trip to the doctor and is only meant to serve as a guide that you hopefully won't need so often.

Now we wish you an injury-free and healthy time and are always happy to receive feedback and questions of all kinds.