Light therapy for sports performance

by Laura Falls on 22 Jan 2015

Can light therapy really boost athletic performance?

Over a decade ago it was proven that athletic performance was enhanced at certain times of the day. During the early evening, factors such as speed and strength improve, enabling us to perform better.

Supporting research includes:

  • Previous evaluations of world record breaking performances in sports events seem to indicate a circadian variation (Atkinson et al., 1999) with world records broken by athletes competing in the early evening, the time of day at which body temperature is highest.
  • Muscle strength, independent of the muscle group measured or speed of contraction, consistently peaks in the early evening (Reilly et al., 2000).

So what if professional athletes could shift their circadian rhythm?

Flinders University has proven that Re-Timer (blue-green light therapy) is an effective tool to shift the circadian rhythm. Light therapy is commonly used to shift sleep times, to avoid jet lag and for the winter blues, however light is also useful for shifting the circadian rhythm and shifting the time of peak performance.

The Socceroos, Olympians and other international sporting stars such as former Formula one ace Mark Webber have used Re-Timer light therapy glasses.

Re-Timer is a safe and portable light therapy device to shift your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock). It is used by athletes because of its effectiveness, convenience and because it is a natural drug-free solution.

Imagine what would be possible if all athletes shifted their circadian rhythms to achieve peak performance? What new world records would they set?

Image credit: MindScape Workshops