Should you wear compression sleeves for recovery? Let's find out.
As you may know compressions sleeves aren’t a recent invention, they have been around for a long time and we have heard arguments from both sides of the “it’s a fad” and “it’s not a fad” camps for years. But science has advanced and there are numerous studies being conducted which are beginning to point to the fact that these sleeves do help in several ways. Recent studies show that there is a major improvement in recovery while wearing compression sleeves.
Here are 5 reasons you should be wearing compression sleeves, if you are looking to recover quickly:
1- Muscle Repair
I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
The worst part about working out is the pain and fatigue that follows immediately after. The more vigorous the exercise, harsher is the pain you experience. This pain stems from the damage caused to muscles while they repeatedly relax and contract.
Research shows that compression can actually aid the recovery of muscles, accelerating the repair by a significant margin. If you want the scientific gist of it, here you go – compression actually affects the rate of cellular membrane turnover and alters the inflammation caused in the muscles immediately after exercise. The aforementioned big and scary words basically mean that they boost the recovery of weak and fatigued muscles by a healthy margin.
2- Recover From Injuries Faster
Every athlete’s worst nightmare – an injury that prevents them from continuing to practice the sport that they love. One of the reasons of an injury being persistent and taking a long time to heal is the damage and strain to the muscle/tissue while it is in that injured state.
Looks bleak, doesn’t it? Well, I’m glad to tell you – compression sleeves help with this too. They restrict the amount of contraction and relaxation muscles and tissues can undergo, thereby significantly improving the rate of your recovery.
3- Decreased Oxygen Consumption
Here’s the kicker:
Compression sleeves will allow you to consume less oxygen compared to the amount you consume without them!
As we have established, compression sleeves limit the extent of contraction and relaxation, this has a marvellous ‘side effect’, if you will, your body needs to consume a lower amount of oxygen for the same work.
This excess oxygen keeps circulating in the body which can be used in aiding recovery, instead of getting burnt for energy.
4- Improved Blood Circulation
You might be wondering: ‘Improved? Doesn’t it squeeze your arm and restrict blood flow altogether?’ Well, that would be an awful product to begin with; compression sleeves actually assist blood circulation as they keep the tissue just rigid enough for blood to flow through arteries optimally (studies show that arteries dilate at a certain level of compression).
In a state of perpetual contraction and relaxation, the body tends to change from its usual state which is not conducive to blood flow. Compression sleeves help maintain the natural arm shape, which in turn aids the circulation in our bodies during exercise.
5- Your Brain Makes You Think You Feel Less Pain
When your brain feels less pain, your body feels as if it has less pain and fatigue to recover from.
This might seem like a joke, but It’s absolutely true!
Wearing compression sleeves have proven to affect the psyche of the wearer by a huge margin where they experience little to no fatigue while wearing them, although science shows that the muscle damage incurred during a workout does not change significantly even if you wear compression clothing.
This speaks volumes about the psychological effects of wearing compression sleeves. When your brain feels less pain, your body feels as if it has less pain and fatigue to recover from, which will improve your recovery process significantly.
The bottom line is: even though compression has little no proven uses in enhancing on-field performance, the benefits it provides with regards to recovery will positively affect the subsequent on-field performances of the wearer compared to people who do not use them. The plethora of benefits it provides in the recovery of fatigued and injured muscles, make it a very important tool for every athlete, professional or casual.
Nobody likes feeling tired and sore after a day of exercise, so why put yourself through the torture when compression sleeves exist to greatly reduce these effects?