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Accelerate Metabolism and Boost Workout Recovery with Infrared

Infrared light, especially Far Infrared (FIR) is the best light wavelength for training. Why is this true?

FIR absorbs more deeply into the skin (more so than medium or near infrared), and (1) ignites the metabolism while (2) soothing muscle tension and preventing pain. Now, let’s break those two benefits down.

FIR and Metabolism

Far Infrared light, when absorbed into the skin, triggers mitochondria in the cells to accelerate energy production through the energy molecule ATP. ATP transports chemical energy within the cells providing a vital function of metabolism.

An infrared sauna is far superior to a traditional convection heat sauna because of the additional non-thermal effects, or results that can only be obtained from energy present in an infrared sauna as opposed to a traditional sauna. There is an additional element beyond heat associated with an infrared sauna experience. This “beyond thermal” effect is why HOTWORX named its training process the 3D Training Method. Infrared energy is the 3rd dimension. There’s traditional hot yoga, then there is yoga in an infrared sauna. The latter is more beneficial due to the infrared energy infused workout.

One study has shown that FIR increases ATP production. As reported by, FIR light enhances the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (adding phosphate group to an organic molecule) pathway to increase ATP production. The study concluded a previously unappreciated function of FIR which was that it may just be the mechanism to improve cognitive dysfunction and suggests that FIR treatments could be an effective therapeutic strategy for Alzheimers Disease. (1)

Mitochondria are vital to the production of energy. As an organelle (structure within a cell that has its own membrane) they are found in large numbers in most cells. Mitochondria serve the biological process of respiration and production of energy. They are found in large numbers in the heart, the brain, the liver and muscles. They transform glucose and fatty acids to synthesize ATP creating energy for the cells. Exposure to FIR can enhance this process.

FIR improves mitochondrial biogenisis! Healthy synthesis of substances within the mitochondria is essential to the metabolic process.

When the mitochondria are dysfunctional it can lead to energy consuming conditions like aging and cardiovascular disease along with cancer and other degenerative diseases. Type 2 diabetes is also associated with weakened mitochondrial ATP levels.

FIR and Muscle Recovery

Workout recovery begins to happen immediately when the body is exposed to FIR rays. Far infrared has effects on atoms and molecular structures within cells due to the radiation and vibration frequencies. 

Studies have shown that FIR radiation produces results from heat, but that there are also non-thermal effects. These non-thermal effects are from the radiation and vibrational qualities of infrared light. They provide for increased artery blood flow and peripheral blood flow. They help to improve endothelial (cells that make up the lining of blood vessels) function involving the opening and closing of arteries and the control of fluids and electrolytes in the blood. FIR alleviates fatigue, lowers blood pressure and promotes vasodilation, all of which enhances muscle recovery.

In my research for this week’s blog article, I came across some information on the treatment of sports fatigue. Of course this is an important consideration for any workout regime. The best way to alleviate sports fatigue is to reduce lactic acid in the body. I am sure that most of you have experienced the extreme burn and pain from an all out set that you have done at the gym. The burning pain is from lactic acid buildup. The goal is to decrease that pain so that you can perform at a higher level.

When you train inside of an infrared sauna you experience less pain and less fatigue. I hear from HOTWORX customers all the time who rave about the reduced workout pain and increased workout energy from infrared workouts. This is because of the infrared causing a reduction in lactic acid buildup during sets and postures.

…the far-infrared energy reaches deep tissues and organs, causing the body to produce a warming effect, dilating blood vessels, accelerating blood flow, and blood Stagnation is reduced, which can reduce lactic acid in the body during exercise and achieve the purpose of alleviating fatigue. (2)

Muscle tension and pain are a result of skeletal muscle fatigue. FIR penetrates the human body to create a warming effect raising the temperature of the skin which then dilates the superficial tissues and capillaries that in turn increases blood circulation resulting in a reduction of lactic acid build up and thereby alleviates sports fatigue.

The bottom line is this. Working out in an infrared sauna makes your metabolism more efficient and it greatly enhances your body’s ability to recover from an intense workout session during the workout session itself! Who wouldn’t want a better metabolism and faster recovery?!


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Stephen P. Smith, MA
CEO and Creator of HOTWORX, Author, Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player, Certified Professional Trainer


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