Nicholas Rech

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation


Dennis Dolny


Purpose: To establish a protocol for cold water immersion (CWI) temperature and duration based on adipose tissue thickness and desired cooling at 2 cm sub-adipose tissue of rectus femoris (RF) after exercise.

Methods: Sixteen participants received a CWI treatment (10 °C) until either intramuscular thigh temperature (2 cm sub-adipose) decreased 7 °C below pre-exercise level or 30 minutes was reached. Temperature was recorded every 30 seconds using skin and implantable fine-wire thermocouples. Temperature reductions and cooling rates were analyzed.

Results:Five out of the 16 participants cooled 7 °C below baseline within 30 min. Adipose thickness and percent body fat are significantly correlated with CWI cooling rate (M=0.27 °C/min) (p

Discussion: CWI treatment protocols need to be based on adipose thickness and target tissue depth. Recommended cooling of acute injuries to reduce secondary hypoxia is likely greater than cooling needed for post-workout recovery to reduce EIMD.