Ask any athlete at the top of their sport what they believe to be the biggest factor in continued improvements in fitness, speed, and strength–nearly all of them will tell you, “faster recovery”. Athlinks recently sat down with the staff over at AmpHP to talk about more than their new PR Lotion, but to really understand the science behind what really makes it an effective tool for the endurance athlete:
As we push our body during training and increase stimulus either through volume or intensity, sometimes both, our body fatigues and requires a period of recovery that can range from a matter of hours up to several days. It’s during this recovery period that overcompensation happens, which is our body’s way of saying, “that really hurt, so I’m going to rebuild even stronger in order to be better prepared next time that happens”. Our body’s adaptation to the work stimulus is what improves fitness.
It’s no secret that if we can reduce the time it takes to recover between workouts we can increase the training load, ultimately resulting in greater fitness gains. Because of this, there’s no shortage of products available that aim to improve recovery; everything from foam rollers to electric stimulation machines to compression garments, just to name a few. Many of these recovery tools work quite well, but none of them actually lay the groundwork for faster muscle recovery before the workout even begins. One product we’ve tried actually does do that, Performance & Recovery Lotion from AmpHP.
One key component in reducing recovery time is keeping your body’s pH in an alkaline state, rather than acidic. Intense exercise produces free radicals that cause damage and inflammation in muscle tissue that leads to pain and soreness. Recent evidence shows that alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate reduces free radical release from mitochondria, thus reducing muscle soreness in the days after intense efforts. For decades professional athletes have known that bicarbonate supplementation provides performance advantages, but the recovery aspect is something that has only recently been proven. Unfortunately, there’s one drawback to oral supplementation, and it happens to be a big one–severe GI distress when the bicarbonate interacts with stomach acids. This well known draw back is reflected in comments made by IRONMAN World Championships bike record holder and Olympian Cameron Wurf:
“I used to think sodium bicarbonate was simply an acid blocker, but since I began using the PR Lotion I’ve discovered it has so much more to offer in training and recovery benefits. It really has been a bit of a game changer.”
That’s why PR Lotion has caught the attention of a number of top professional athletes since the products’s proprietary technology takes bicarbonate, a compound naturally found in the body that acts as an acid buffer to control blood pH levels during intense exercise, and delivers it directly through the skin and into the muscles. In a clinical trial, PR Lotion was proven to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by an incredible 54%! Now, athletes can benefit from bicarbonate in a simple lotion form that is rubbed into the main muscle groups pre-workout to combat muscle soreness before it even starts without any of the side effects that come with oral supplementation. After an especially challenging workout or event, many athletes are using a second application post-workout for additional recovery benefits.
The same clinical trial that showed a 54% decrease in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by the PR Lotion group also showed a number of performance benefits. Using 20 elite cyclists for the double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled, cross-over study at San Diego State University, results of the trial concluded that PR Lotion aids with:
- Faster recovery: From the first day to the second day following a series of short, intense efforts, subjects using PR Lotion experienced a 53.5% reduction in DOMS versus a continued rise in pain of 34.3% with control (p=0.007).
- Less taxing effort: Heart rate was 3 beats per minute (1.6%) lower versus control immediately after a 5-minute time trial of short, intense effort (p=0.031). The workload in the time trial was consistent across PR Lotion and control at 98 kJ. Heart rate was 3.1% lower and rate of perceived exertion was 2.6% lower measured 15 minutes into a 1-hour time trial (p=0.004, p=0.054). Lactate threshold and peak power in the 30-second sprint, and average watts and total work done in the 1-hour time trial all directionally favored PR Lotion over control.
- Robust buffering: Blood lactate was 11% higher for subjects using PR Lotion when compared to control by the end of the series of high-intensity tests.
To experience PR Lotion for yourself and see what it can do to improve recovery and reduce muscle soreness, use code ATHLINKS20 for a 20% discount on your first purchase.