Do Compressions Socks Help?

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Compression Socks

Compression socks have become very popular if for no other reason than a fashion statement. As you would expect, companies that make compression socks for athletes claim compression socks and tights increase oxygen delivery, decrease lactic acid, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue.

The theory is that the compression of the lower leg increases the blood flow. Partially due to gravity, blood can tend to pool in the lower legs while exercising or at rest. Admittedly, they have been used medically for some time.

In terms of improving performance during, for instance, running, the idea is that if increased venous blood flow can occur, more by-products that are transported by the blood can be flushed out and cleared better. The same idea applies to recovery after athletic performance – improve your blood, improve your recovery.

According to a recent study – at least as it pertains to marathons – compression socks were ineffective. The use of compression socks did not improve running pace and did not prevent exercise-induced muscle damage during the marathon.

This study only applied to one type of exercise – marathons. Moreover, there was no evidence that compression socks hurt performance. So if you like the fashion statement or like the way compression socks feel when you exercise it would appear you can live it up.

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