This summer’s Olympic games in London has set the stage for many moments of international sporting glory. But the event may also witness more than its fair share of unusual, behind-the-scenes techniques for speeding up recovery and boosting performance.
In 2012, for instance, some elite athletes and sportspeople may use a highly specialised technique called whole body cryotherapy, where the body is briefly exposed to extremely low temperatures of around -80ºC to -120ºC. Sports scientists believe that, when used after a competition or training session, this freezing technique helps to relieve inflammation and pain, as well as speed up the removal of lactic acid and promote the release of endorphins.
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