Most of us are likely to have experienced the performance motivation boost that listening to a throbbing beat can give us while mountain biking or exercising. However, findings from Brunel University (opens in new tab), recently reported in Men's Health (opens in new tab) Magazine, have shown that listening to chill out tunes could give recovery benefits too.
During hard rides our adrenal glands produce the stress hormone cortisol to help us generate more energy. But too much of it remaining in our bodies once the hard work is over can delay repair to our recently overworked muscles.
In a research study, Brunel students were asked to undertake an intense cycle ride, then listen to music during a 30-minute easy recovery pedal. Those listening to high intensity tunes had a very similar recovery to with no music at all. However, the students listening to chilled out tunes more quickly lowered their heart rates and blood pressure, helping to ease their spiking cortisol levels and recover more quickly. The researchers also observed that the additional recovery benefits where more significant in female subjects than their male counterparts.
So next time you're out beasting yourself on a big day out or smashing your nearest enduro trails, stick on some soothing melodies over an easy pedal home for a quicker recovery.