Earthing For Athletes: The Secret to Muscle Recovery

Performance is a learning curve. When you’re a fitness fanatic or a high-performance athlete, you’ll be constantly searching for new ways to improve your performance and recovery. Better growth of muscle fibres, superior healing from injuries, and deeper sleep are just a few of the things that can make or break your performance. 

But there’s one key factor that can massively impact healing, muscle gains, and recovery that many athletes and gym bunnies are missing out on: Earthing. If you haven’t heard of Earthing, you’re not alone. So, here’s a brief summary!

The term “Earthing” does a pretty great job of describing the process, which is also sometimes called “grounding”. Basically, Earthing is when you connect to the earth by touching the ground with bare skin, walking barefoot, or making contact with specially-designed socks, mats, or pads.

What Does Earthing Do, Exactly?

When your body makes contact with the earth without any barriers, your atoms exchange free electrons with the atoms of the earth. These electrons are negatively charged particles, which act like an antioxidant in your body.

Antioxidants help you by protecting your body against harmful processes caused by atoms called “free radicals.” Neutralising free radicals with antioxidants can:

  • Reduce levels of inflammation naturally
  • Help to heal diseases in the body
  • Decrease the risk of cancer
  • Protect against heart disease
  • Slow down ageing 

What Are The Benefits Of Earthing For Athletes?

As well as the health benefits of those antioxidant electrons, there are a range of benefits of Earthing that are crucial to athletes and fitness fanatics. Without optimal muscle recovery, all of that hard work in the gym or on the trail will be for nothing. A good night’s sleep, and the right conditions for muscle recovery is what allows us to make the gains in strength and muscle mass that we strive for every day.

The benefits of Earthing for athletes and sports enthusiasts include:

  • Faster muscle recovery from intense exercise
  • Less muscle pain (DOMS) after workouts
  • Reduced blood thickness after exercise
  • Improved sleep quality

Is Earthing Scientifically Proven?

For all you sceptics out there…yes, there is heaps of high-quality scientific evidence showing that Earthing has a positive impact on muscle recovery and healing!

A 2015 study at the University of Oregon showed that athletes who used Earthing as a part of their recovery routine from intense weightlifting sessions recovered faster than their non-Earthing counterparts. The study participants who did Earthing were less sore during the recovery period, had lower levels of inflammation, and showed faster healing of the muscle micro-tears caused by heavy lifting.

Another study in 2019 at the University of Salzburg investigated how muscle recovery was impacted by Earthing during sleep, after an intense session of downhill running designed to cause muscle fatigue and pain in the participants. In all of the participants who spent the night Earthing after their run, there were fewer signs of muscle damage, lower inflammation levels, and overall faster recovery.

How To Get Started

If you don’t want to walk around barefoot all day, there’s an easy solution to get your Earthing fix - an underlay kit or Earthing pillow cover for your bed so that you can connect to the earth while you sleep, and enjoy all the benefits of Earthing when you wake up in the morning and get ready for your next workout.

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