2022 will see the first-ever northern-hemisphere winter FIFA World Cup taking place. The reason for this is due to the extreme heat that Qatar experiences in the summer, where temperatures can reach on average 40℃ – 50℃ . This winter tournament will affect players two-fold. Firstly, how footballers recover after playing matches in the Qatar heat. Secondly, how well football players recover in between matches. The Qatar FIFA World Cup will be 4-days shorter than normal, leaving even less time in-between matches for players to recover. One of the most popular recovery strategies is cold water immersion.
How Footballers Recover
The recovery goal is to reduce the risk of injury, minimise fatigue and maximise performance for return to play. Immediately after a match, a cool-down is essential. It’s important that a player’s breathing rate returns to normal to help lower their heart rate. Breathing training, such as with POWERbreathe breathing training will help with this when used as part of a cool-down recovery session.
Stretching and or massage, when performed carefully, is also vital, with a particular focus on the hamstrings, calves, hips and quads.
Typical recovery strategies for footballers include:
- Good hydration – particularly pertinent in Qatar’s heat.
- High-carb meal with protein that has a high-glycaemic index.
- Ice bath.
- Compression garments.
Football Recovery Equipment at World Cup 2022
The World Cup final is taking place at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, which is where players will find world-class football recovery equipment, including the CETCryoSpa Sport Ice Bath. This will be essential when it comes to how footballers recover. It will help players to reduce pain and fatigue, aid recovery, lower their risk of injury by reducing inflammation and improve overall performance. In fact, players at the Al Bayt Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium will also benefit from CET CryoSpa’s Ice Baths as they are installed here too. The CET CryoSpas Sport Ice Bath is the ideal solution to help with these elements of recovery, thanks to its state-of the-art technology:
- Salt concentration
- Depth of water
- Turbulence – aeration of the water
- Range of treatment modalities
See how the CET CryoSport Ice Bath works in the video below.
Football Recovery Equipment
Due to the packed calendar of football over the autumn in the run-up to the tournament, and a full fixture list just eight days after the World Cup final, concern for players’ welfare is a top priority. If players reduce their football recovery sessions, then injuries may increase. It is important therefore that they have the best football recovery equipment at their disposal.
Recovery strategies include cold water immersion and contrast water therapy. Recovery sessions in cold water, such as CET CryoSpa Ice Baths, provide a positive effect on recovery of performance and also it reduces onset of muscle soreness.
Protocol for CET CryoSpa Cold/Hot Water Football Recovery Sessions
The typical protocols for the CryoSpa Sport ice bath are 3 to 6 minutes at 6°C to 10°C. There are exceptions but this is the general rule. This differs from the protocol for traditional ice baths which is usually around 15-minutes. This is because in traditional ice baths, the water cannot remain at a set temperature as body heat gradually increases the temperature of the water. This is where the newer technology that CET CryoSpa water immersion solutions offer, comes into its own.
The contrast bathing protocols vary. Contrast bathing should start with one minute of hot water immersion followed by one minute of cold water immersion. This should be repeated 3 times. After this, hot water immersion should be undertaken for a further two or three minutes which is then followed by two or three minutes of cold water immersion. This is repeated two or three times also.
Following these protocols will ensure that players gain the most benefit from their football recovery sessions.
The older, more traditional cold water immersion or contrast therapy protocol is of 14-15 minute duration at temperatures of 10–15°C for cold water and 38–40°C for hot water.
All cold and hot water immersion, including contrast bathing which is time efficient with the CryoSpa Sport, will accelerate the recovery process for improving performance1,2 especially if performed immediately after a match.
Aspetar Football Recovery Strategies
The Aspetar Academy Sports Medicine Center is one of the top Sport Science facilities in the world and is located in Qatar. Professor Gregory Dupont, PhD, (Football Performance & Science Department; Real Madrid, Spain) presented ‘Football Recovery Strategies’ at Aspetar’s Post-Exercise Recovery Conference, referring to ice baths and contrast water therapy in his Recovery Protocol. Watch his presentation below.
Aspetar Recovery Centre
Aspetar’s new Recovery Centre includes a dedicated area for recovery. They use a variety of modalities that includes contrast bathing using the CET CryoSpa hot bath and cold bath. They use these in combination or isolation as a different type of modality of recovery, to benefit athletes including footballer players in the FIFA World Cup 2022.
How Footballers Recover Across The World
HaB Direct is the UK distributor for CET CryoSpas ice bath solutions, which are available across the world in renowned sports clubs, facilities and educational establishments, including:
- AC Milan FC
- Bayern Munich FC
- Club Brugge KV FC
- Crusaders FC
- English Institute of Sport
- FC DAC 1904
- Fulham FC
- Hull FC
- Legia Warsaw FC
- Loughborough University
- Manchester City FC
- Manchester United FC
- Oriam Scotlands Sports Performance Centre
- Olympique Lyonnais FC
- Red Star FC
- RSC Anderlecht FC
- VfB Stuttgart FC
- Wembley Stadium