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Objectives: There is a growing body of evidence supporting the role of whole-body cryostimulation (WBC) and sauna – bathing as treatments for relaxation, mental well-being and several health problems. Despite their polar opposite temperatures, both of these treatments come with a dose of similar health benefits. This study is designed to compare effects of WBC and sauna application on the athletes’ response to exercise.

Design: The blood samples were collected from 10 professional cross-country skiers at four stages: before exercise, after exercise, at 1-h recovery and after 24 h of rest in sessions before and after 10 thermal treatments. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to examine the process of serum denaturation. The parameters of endothermic transition were compared at various stages of each exercise session.

Results: Post-exercise changes in DSC profiles of athlete’s blood serum are similar in character but clearly stronger in the session held after sauna treatments and slightly weaker after WBC than those in the session not preceded by treatments. These changes can be, at least in part, explained by the exercise induced increase in the concentration of oxidized albumin. A return of serum denaturation transition to pre-exercise shape has been observed within a few hours of rest. It suggests relatively quick restoration of a fraction of non-oxidized albumin molecules during the recovery period.

Conclusions: An exercise performed by athletes after a series of sauna treatments leads to temporary greater modification of the blood serum proteome than the similar exercise during the session preceded by WBC treatments.

Michnik, A, Duch, K, Pokora, I, Krępa, ES. (2020)

Full Article : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32507419/