1. What does REDCHARGE do?
Numerous studies have proven that light therapy—otherwise known as photobiomodulation—provides great benefits when a device combines the right wavelength of light with the right amount of power. Some of those benefits include:
- Improved skin tone and complexion
- Enhanced muscle recovery
- Reduced acne, rosacea, and eczema
- Improved appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, scars, and stretch marks
- Enhanced circulation
- Quicker healing of wounds and injuries
- Reduced pain and inflammation
2. How does red and near infrared light therapy actually produce these types of results?
If you’ve done some research regarding the benefits of light therapy, you’ll often see the following as the rationale for its anti-aging properties:
- Increased circulation, via the formation of new capillaries, is responsible for some benefits. Or, in other words, more blood and oxygen helps deliver proper nutrients to damaged areas in the body.
- Enhanced activity within your lymph system leads to a reduction in swelling and inflammation.
- Increased collagen production, which directly relates to the elasticity, firmness, and fullness of your skin.
1. How our cells are supposed to function
All living things need to make a certain kind of cellular energy called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Some people even refer to ATP as the “energy currency of life.” ATP is a small molecule with a huge job: to provide usable energy for our cells. ATP is produced through cellular respiration, which includes the following 4 steps:
- Pyruvate oxidation
- Citric acid cycle (aka Kreb’s cycle)
- Oxidative phosphorylation
Most of this activity occurs within the mitochondria, the “powerhouse” of the cell. We’ll focus on the last step, oxidative phosphorylation. That’s where light therapy is believed to help the most.
This fourth step of cellular respiration involves an electron transport chain. As electrons move down this chain, energy is released and used to pump protons out of a matrix, forming a gradient. Protons flow back into the matrix through an enzyme called ATP synthase, which creates ATP. [6,7]
So where does ATP synthase come from? Well, a certain enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) helps oxygen bind with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H)—NADH—to form the necessary hydrogen ions that produce ATP synthase. If you remember anything, make sure it’s this fact: oxygen plus NADH is a good thing when it comes to healthy cellular function.
2. What happens when our cells aren’t healthy?
When we get sick, injured, stressed, etc., mitochondria in our cells can produce excess nitric oxide (NO). To understand the ramification of this, let’s go back to that enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase.
During the creation of ATP synthase, nitric oxide competes with oxygen and binds to CCO. This, in turn, stops the eventual production of ATP and thereby increases oxidative stress, which can lead to cellular death.
So in summary, stressed cells produce nitric oxide, which binds to cytochrome c oxidase and halts the production of ATP synthase.
3. How does red light therapy restore cellular health?
Nitric oxide competes with oxygen and binds with cytochrome c oxidase, which stops the eventual production of ATP. Well, it might be best to consider red and near infrared light to be heroes when it comes to nitric oxide.
You see, red and near infrared light (with the right wavelengths and intensity) breaks the bond between nitric oxide and cytochrome c oxidase. This allows oxygen to bind to NADH, which restores the normal pathway for hydrogen ions to produce ATP synthase. So in summary, red and near infrared light frees up cytochrome c oxidase to allow for the eventual production of ATP.
By breaking that bond and restoring the production of ATP, normal cellular metabolism can resume. And once our cells are healthy again, we’ll see the following benefits that have been proven time and time again through published clinical literature:
- Increased collagen production due to stimulated fibroblasts via the release of cytokines
- Enhanced circulation through the formation of new capillaries
- Improved anti-inflammatory emissions due to increased lymph system activity
- Increased muscle recovery, peak athletic performance, and weight loss
- Enhanced fertility
- Reduced inflammation and joint pain
4. Why collagen is so important for enhanced health
Collagen is a long-chain amino acid and the most abundant protein in the body. It’s responsible for giving skin elasticity, hair its strength, and connective tissue its ability to hold everything in place. In fact, the collagen protein makes up 30% of the total protein in the body, and 70% of the protein in the skin!
While collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it’s most noticeably beneficial to the skin. This is because as a person ages, the epidermis (outer layer of skin) becomes thinner and loses elasticity through a process called elastosis. As this happens, a person tends to show more signs of aging and acquires more wrinkles.
Red light therapy restores healthy cellular function, stimulating the production of collagen—which is why so many people have reported about the rejuvenating benefits of light therapy!
1. Is REDCHARGE safe?
Light therapy has been approved by the FDA and its effectiveness has been studied throughout the world. Red light in the mid-600 nm range and near infrared light in the mid-800 nm range have been proven time and time again.
2. Is there a benefit to using LEDs?
LEDs allow for more usable light because of their tight wavelength span. They generate very little heat and are incredibly durable. And because they’re so efficient, LEDs are considered more eco-friendly than incandescent or fluorescent sources. Without a doubt, LEDs are the preferred delivery mechanism for light therapy.
3. How long does it take to see results?
Changes in the skin happen slowly over the course of a few weeks, but some people report feeling changes right away. Every reacts differently and your nutritional intake will effect the results. In general, best results are seen after 8-12 weeks. 3-5 times a week is recommended for the first 8 weeks, then maintenance is 1-2 times a week.
4. How is this different from other red and infrared light sources?
To maximize the benefits of light therapy, there are two main factors to consider: the wavelength and intensity of light energy.
Let’s start with wavelengths. While most devices deliver red light between 630-700 nm, you’ll also see ranges from almost orange (600 nm) all the way to 800-900 nm, which is in the near-infrared range. So, which wavelength is the best?
You can find published studies that show benefits from virtually all of these wavelengths. However, the bulk of clinical literature suggests that light in the mid-600 nm range and low- to mid-800 nm range is extremely effective.[13,14] That’s because these wavelengths have the greatest effect on the cellular respiration process.
So, it’s critical to use a device that delivers optimal wavelengths of light.
Our devices deliver red light at 660 nm and near infrared light at 850 nm.
Now let’s talk about intensity, which governs the amount of energy delivered to your cells. NASA-supported research and many other published studies have utilized devices that deliver 4 to 6 Joules/cm2 of energy to the body. For the relief of deeper symptoms, like joint inflammation, up to 120 Joules/cm2 has been shown to be very effective.[15,16]
You can then calculate the Joules by multiplying the irradiance by time (in seconds) divided by 1000.
For example, let’s say a device has an output of 17 mW/cm2. The calculation is as follows:
- 17 mW/cm2 x 60 seconds / 1000 = 1.02 Joules/cm2 per minute
For comparison purposes, the lights in our JUVE Booth are capable of delivering well over 100 mW/cm2 at the recommended treatment distance. The per-minute calculation looks like this:
- 100 mW/cm2 x 60 seconds / 1000 = 6 Joules/cm2 per minute
As mentioned before, for benefits related to skin health, clinical research has demonstrated that a total dosage of 4-6 Joules/cm2 can be effective. But for deep tissue treatment, sometimes dosages in excess of 50 Joules/cm2 are needed to show efficacy. With other machines, this could take over an hour. But in our REDCHARGE you can receive an effective amount of energy in under 10 minutes.
In summary, the equation is fairly straightforward. As the power of the device increases, the amount of time you need to use it decreases. And as you can see, the power output of REDCHARGE sets them apart from other lights, providing clients an effective treatment in a much shorter amount of time.
5. What are the long-term benefits?
In addition to enhancing muscle repair, improving strength and size, and decreasing muscle fatigue, light therapy also offers long-term benefits for future muscle health and development by targeting muscle stem cells called myosatellite cells.
Like other types of stem cells, muscle stem cells remain in an undifferentiated state until activated, at which point they develop into specific types of muscle cells. Just as mitochondria produce the energy cells need for optimal function and repair, they also help regulate muscle stem cell activation and differentiation—essentially guiding stem cells into their final form as healthy muscle tissue. Since light therapy enhances mitochondrial action, it may also play an important role in stimulating the growth of new muscle cells and tissue used to “speed up” the repair process following muscle injury or fatigue—improving overall muscle health and function in the long run.
1. Can REDCHARGE help with arthritis?
Red and near infrared light therapy—also called photobiomodulation, or PBM—has been studied extensively and found to be effective for improving multiple forms of arthritis in various parts of the body. In fact, according to these studies, PBM even shows promise in physically changing the condition of the joints.
2. Does clinical research show benefits of light therapy for arthritis and overall joint health?
Light therapy has been studied extensively since the early 90’s, when it was first introduced as an alternative treatment method for people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. And even though red and near infrared light therapy still isn’t considered a standard treatment option for arthritis, countless clinical studies have supported its use for this disease, and researchers have recommended it as an effective form of treatment.
PBM works by targeting the cellular origins of arthritis. Cells absorb wavelengths in the red and near infrared range and convert that light into cellular energy, which enables them to function at a higher capacity.
In 2000, a systematic review in The Journal of Rheumatology set out to see just how effective light therapy could be for arthritis. This review found significant results across thirteen randomized controlled trials:
The best results were demonstrated in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, with light therapy reducing participants’ pain by 70 percent compared to the placebo.
Also, light therapy reduced morning stiffness in participants by 27.5 minutes, and significantly increased hand flexibility.
The researchers concluded that PBM should be considered for the relief of pain and morning stiffness, especially since it has few side effects.
PBM has also been shown to improve other symptoms of arthritis, as documented in a 2012 study in Clinical Rehabilitation. Participants in this study who received light therapy along with exercise showed significant improvements for many variables—including pain, functionality, and range of motion, when compared to placebo treatment.
Other studies support the use of PBM for improved joint health. A systematic review in Lasers in Medical Science found that light therapy plus ultrasound showed strong results for treating hand osteoarthritis in women, with a major decline in pain. This meta-analysis also documented extensive, positive results for the use of light therapy for arthritis in the knees, neck, back, jaw, and other areas.
And it turns out that PBM can improve general joint problems not related to arthritis. A 2003 systematic review in The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy looked at 11 clinical trials of light therapy for chronic joint disorders in the knee. Across all of these studies, light therapy reduced pain while improving overall joint function.
1. Can REDCHARGE improve thyroid function?
The thyroid is a tiny gland with huge importance, and its currently receiving a lot of attention among and health and nutrition experts across the world. And rightfully so—it’s estimated that nearly 20 million Americans suffer from some type of thyroid disorder. But most people don’t even know where the thyroid gland is, let alone what it does. So let’s start with the basics. Then, we’ll move on to how the health and function of this highly important gland can be enhanced through natural means.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the lower front part of your neck. It’s one of several glands that comprise the endocrine system, and it secretes hormones responsible for literally every cell, tissue, and organ in the body.
But a lot can go wrong with this gland, causing various thyroid-related problems throughout the body. For instance, some people develop hypothyroidism, a condition in which their thyroid does not secrete enough hormones—leading to extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, and weight gain. Some people develop the opposite problem, hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid secretes too many hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, vision problems, and sleep loss. It’s also possible to develop thyroiditis (thyroid swelling), a goiter (an enlarged gland), nodules (gland lumps) or thyroid cancer.These thyroid-related problems can be really damaging to a person’s overall health.
Depending on the specific condition, traditional treatments for thyroid problems include medication, surgery, and radioiodine therapy. In some cases, a person has to take medication throughout their life to keep a thyroid problem under control. Of course, the average person doesn’t want to be on medication forever—which is one reason so many people are pursuing natural alternatives to improve the health of their thyroid gland.
One of those remedies is red and near infrared light therapy—otherwise known as photobiomodulation (PBM). Based on recent research, PBM is showing impressive results as a safe, effective way to enhance thyroid function.
2. Does clinical research show positive results for thryroid problems using light therapy?
There is strong research supporting the benefits light therapy can have on different types of thyroid problems. In one clinical study printed in the May 2013 issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, researchers found that near infrared light therapy helped improve the overall thyroid health of participants with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis.
The study reported improvements in various markers—most impressively, the participants’ need for levothyroxine treatment declined, and even went away in some cases. Additionally, 47 percent of participants no longer needed levothyroxine during the entire nine-month follow-up after light therapy. Since so many people suffering from thyroid problems are stuck on levothyroxine treatment for their entire lives, this was a very exciting result! Study participants also showed a decline in levels of thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb), which are antibodies indicating an autoimmune problem—further demonstrating the benefits of near infrared light therapy.
There are many other studies and dissertations that report the positive effects light therapy can have on thyroid health. For example, a 2003 dissertation by Viktor Dubovik studied people with postsurgical hypothyroidism and found that light therapy reduced the need for medication by 50 to 75 percent. And a 2010 Russian dissertation showed that light therapy helped 38 percent of the participants reduce their hypothyroidism medication dose, with 17 percent being able to stop taking the medication altogether.
1. How can REDCHARGE help you lose body fat?
Just as red and near infrared light is demonstrating promise for a host of health issues, it has shown surprisingly effective results for fat loss as well. Our bodies absorb light energy—especially at certain wavelengths —and our cells respond by performing their day-to-day functions at an improved level. Not only does this help with things like skin health and muscle recovery, but it also plays a role in the body’s ability to process fat.
It has been well documented that red light at certain wavelengths stimulates mitochondrial and cellular energy (called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP) production. This happens as part of the cellular respiration process in which cells break down and convert stored energy, releasing waste products along the way.
Most researchers agree that light therapy affects adipocytes, which are cells that store fat, causing the lipids to disperse. In other words, light therapy helps the body wash away fat cells.
Light therapy may work in other ways that affect fat and weight loss. For instance, a 2012 study in the International Journal of Endocrinology showed that light can affect hunger, which could help prevent the buildup of extra fat before it even begins. This study found that red light helped control levels of the hunger-related hormones leptin and ghrelin in sleep-deprived participants.
Besides the obvious health concerns related to obesity and excess fat, one of the primary motivating factors for people trying to lose weight has more to do with what they see in the mirror, not what they read on the scale. The concept of “body contouring” has become a commonly used term to market all sorts of therapies and treatments. Unfortunately, a lot of these either don’t work, or they produce undesirable side effects. Red light therapy, on the other hand, has proven itself be extremely effective when it comes to physically changing the way your body looks.
2. Do clinical studies show improvement of fat loss using light therapy?
A study in the Journal of Obesity Surgery researched red light therapy for body contouring. This 2011 double-blind, randomized study performed light therapy at 635-680 nanometers (nm) on participants for four weeks and recorded effects on the waistline. At the end of study, participants had achieved a statistically significant reduction in waistline girth.
In a similar study published in Lasers in Surgery Medicine, participants who received light therapy showed a significant reduction in overall circumference, including each part of the body. Researchers concluded that light therapy can cut down on the circumference of the specific areas that are treated.
A 2013 study in the same journal also found benefits from red light therapy at 635 nm for contouring the hips, thighs, and waist. At the end of the trial, researchers found a mean loss of 2.99 inches in overall body size compared to the starting point. Separately, the thigh, waist, and hip areas all showed a reduction too. Researchers concluded that red light therapy at this level and wavelength was safe and clinically effective.
1. Can REDCHARGE improve testosterone levels?
Around age 30, testosterone levels start to drop. This is normal, but it can bring a lot of challenges to a man’s life—things like reduced sexual function, decreased energy, a decline in muscle, and an increase in fat. To make matters worse, testosterone is adversely affected by a host of common challenges that affect nearly all men today, such as poor nutrition, stress, and lack of sleep—and that’s just to name a few. These factors combine to produce dramatically decreased testosterone levels for a lot of men.
Doctors often suggest supplementation or medication to help with the difficulties of low testosterone or to treat testosterone abnormalities. But these traditional solutions may lead to unwanted side effects. That’s why so many people are after a more natural option. And it turns out that red and near infrared light therapy shows promise for increasing testosterone in a safe and efficacious way.
2. How does red and near infrared light therapy improve testosterone levels?
Red and near infrared light encourage increased cellular chemical energy transportation, otherwise known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Just as improved function can be observed throughout various bodily processes, Dr. Olli Sovijarvi, author of the Biohacker’s Handbook, has stated that red and near infrared light wavelengths encourage the production of ATP in the Leydig cells that produce testosterone, enhancing their energy production and helping increase amounts of the hormone.
Other theories exist about how light therapy boosts testosterone levels. Dr. Sovijarvi has also described a theory that light wavelengths stimulate photoreceptive proteins in the testes, resulting in higher testosterone production. In addition, researchers in the aforementioned 2016 University of Siena study suggested that the light therapy used could have blocked the brain’s pineal gland, which resulted in the creation of more testosterone.
In a 2013 study in the Nepal Medical College Journal, researchers observed that the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are connected to the production of testosterone, were elevated in rats subjected to light for 70 days. The researchers suggested that these increased hormones may have encouraged elevated testosterone production.
While there are multiple theories in terms of the mechanism of action, it’s pretty clear that light therapy does indeed lead to increased testosterone production!
3. Do studies show an increase of testosterone by using red and near-infrared light therapy?
To the surprise of most, exposing the torso or the testes to light has been shown to increase testosterone in men. In fact, studies related to the effect of light on the testes actually go back to the 1930s. In an initial study in 1939, it was found that men’s testosterone levels went up by 120 percent when the participants’ chests were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Even more impressive, these testosterone levels went up by 200 percent with UV exposure to the genital area. Even though most people want to limit their exposure to UV light because of its potential to cause cancer, this nearly 100-year-old study demonstrated the positive impact that natural light can have on testosterone production.
Today, new studies are demonstrating positive results from light therapy on testosterone levels. A 2013 study in Biomedical Researchexamined the effect of light therapy on testosterone production in rats. This study found that light therapy at 670 nanometers (nm) increased the serum testosterone levels, with no noted side effects. Due to their findings, the researchers stated that red light therapy could potentially work as an alternative treatment method to traditional testosterone treatments.
The positive results hold up in human trials as well. A 2016 randomized, placebo-controlled study conducted by the University of Siena evaluated men with a low sexual desire. It found that using light therapy generated a testosterone increase that resulted in better sexual satisfaction. Although this was a relatively small pilot study, it suggests light therapy can indeed lead to enhanced testosterone levels.
4. Which wavelenghts of light are best for increasing testosterone?
Some people have reported potentially negative effects to testes when using light therapy. However, any detrimental ramifications are related to longer wavelengths that produce more heat, which isn’t optimal for boosting testicular function. In fact, wavelengths above 1,000 nm produce much more radiant heat because water in the body absorbs more of these frequencies. This isn’t an issue with red or near infrared wavelengths, which generate very little heat and have been proven in multiple clinical studies to boost sperm health.[43,46,47]
1. How does REDCHARGE reduce muscle fatigue?
One of the primary ways light therapy helps promote better muscle health and function is by preventing or limiting muscle fatigue, especially strenuous exercise and training. A 2012 trial printed in Lasers in Medical Science, for example, found that red and NIR light therapy is effective in preventing muscle fatigue and enhancing skeletal muscle performance. So how does light therapy actually provide these benefits?
At the most basic level, red and NIR light therapy improve the cellular respiration cycle, helping the mitochondria in cells produce energy more efficiently—and that means muscles are less likely to suffer from fatigue. Red and NIR light also help promote the production of antioxidants, which play a central role in reducing oxidative stress associated with muscle fatigue. And they also increase the production of heat proteins—special proteins that help protect cells from stress and early cell death (called apoptosis).[18,19] Plus, light therapy helps reduce inflammation that can lead to cell damage.[20,21,22]
Some studies have even shown an increase in circulation following light therapy, indicating tissues are receiving more oxygen and other nutrients important for healing—while also ridding themselves of toxic byproducts.
2. How can REDCHARGE help you grow muscle?
Muscle function and repair are important for improving strength and endurance, while reducing fatigue and soreness following workouts and physical activity. But the benefits of red and NIR light therapy don’t stop there. Research found in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation shows that the application of light therapy also promotes the growth of healthy muscle tissue, or muscle hypertrophy, naturally increasing muscle size and bulk—as well as strength.[24,25]
In fact, a separate study printed in the European Journal of Applied Physiology compared muscle growth and strength between two groups of athletes—one using light therapy combined with exercise, the other using exercise alone—and found that muscle thickness and strength were significantly improved (by over 50%!) in those who used light therapy. These results were clearly measurable using ultrasound imaging and isokinetic dynamometry.
- 10 8 minute sessions
- Must use within 1 year
- 20 8 minute sessions
- Must use within 1 year
- 50 8 minute sessions
- Must use within 1 year
“Rock’s approach towards fitness and health is unique and effective. I first met him when I was rehabbing tendonitis in my knee, and he has been amazing in both identifying the structural issues and movements that aggravate it, and designing exercises around them. He is constantly learning and refining his exercises, and putting that knowledge to work with his clients.
The weight loss program he uses, Precision Nutrition, has been a game changer for me. It’s gotten me off the diet wagon and into approaching my food in a whole different, healthier way. I’m not binging. I’m also not drinking hot lemon water every morning or eating bucketloads of sweet potatoes and kale because that’s what I’m *supposed* to do. I make choices that make sense to me, I pay more attention to what I’m tasting, and I eat until I’m satisfied, not stuffed. This is what sustainability looks like for me – not counting points or calories, just eating sensibly.
I highly recommend Maverick’s Fitness to anyone who wants to feel happier in their own bodies, and is frustrated with the traditional approaches to both fitness and dieting. It’s been an incredibly empowering journey. “