Could listening to mellow music help boost your cycling recovery?

(Image credit: Lapierre)

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, recently reported in Men's Health 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.

A woman riding at sunset

(Image credit: Liv)

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.

Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races, not to mention also now adding gravel to his riding repertoire. A resident of North Devon, he can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 178cm

Weight: 68kg