Recent years have witnessed a lot of discussions related to ice baths. It is considered the post-workout treatment that is gaining a lot of fame among sportspeople and athletes. There are several Benefits Of Ice Bath, although they may not sound much appealing to all.
Today, we have explained all that you need to know about ice baths to help you decide whether it is the right option for you or not!
- 1 Benefits of Ice Bath Detailed
- 2 What is an ice bath?
- 3 How to take an ice bath?
- 4 Watch for side effects
- 5 FAQs
- 5.1 1. What to do after an ice bath?
- 5.2 2. How much ice is for an ice bath?
- 5.3 3. How many calories does an ice bath burn?
- 5.4 4. How long should you be in an ice bath?
- 5.5 5. How often should you ice bath?
- 5.6 6. Why do athletes take ice baths?
- 5.7 7. Can ice baths hurt?
- 5.8 8. Does ice speed up healing?
- 6 The Final Verdict
Benefits of Ice Bath Detailed
The following are the benefits that can be derived out of an ice bath as noted by the research and studies:
Eases achy muscles
Your muscles will become hot and inflamed by the time you are done with your workout due to the strain that is imposed on your muscles during exercising. You need to rest and recover completely, as reducing muscle soreness plays the most intricate role in making your body come back to its normal condition.
The studies conducted compared varied kinds of recovery techniques, measuring elements such as ice baths, contrast therapies, and massages. They are also effective enough in terms of managing muscle damage, inflammation, and fatigue. One study, in particular, discovered that ice baths were the best way for reducing inflammation with the help of massages which are the best to deal with muscle soreness and fatigue.
Improves your recovery from workouts
The athletes train faster and harder as it comes as no secret that this technique is in rapid use.
The doctor, who is mainly the hidden mind behind this technique, had retracted his claims that he used it for exercise recoveries in the 1970s. He even claims that ice baths help in delaying the recovery process.
The research also remains completely inconclusive on whether ice bath supports healing or not, although most people these days choose ice packs for soothing a sore muscle.
Reduce stress and anxiety
You will have to control your breathing after you step into the ice bath, which is the perfect way to stay in control for about 10 minutes. It allows you to focus your mind on the tasks at hand, eradicating any anxiety and stress levels that you may feel. It helps in elevating your ability to deal with situations driven by anxiety as you get to adapt to the abrupt change in temperature.
An ice bath is never a long-term solution or even a replacement to deal with severe depression and other kinds of mental disorders. But, it will aid you in becoming extremely resilient to deal with harsh situations with the latest approach, mainly when you take them daily.
It helps you Cools down
Cool baths can cool you off and are more effective than the other techniques.
The researchers have concluded that contact with cold water has cooled off overheated people twice faster. So simply immerse your skin as much as possible.
Cooling off quickly can be quite important in several situations, whether you have endured a killer workout or the temps that are getting high wherever you are living.
You can have a happy heart with the freezing baths.
Blood would be rushing to your vital organs when you are submerging in cold water. Your heart will have to work harder pushing the blood through the vessels giving your body important nutrients and oxygen that it needs.
Supports a healthy immune system
According to a few studies, taking an ice bath can have a positive effect on your immune system. This is because constant exposure to cold water will increase the white cell count present in the body. They even play the most important role in fortifying the immune system since they can ward off the germs, pathogens, and viruses trying to spread in your system.
It is also found that the metabolism will increase as an outcome of taking ice-cold baths on a regular basis. Brown fat is mainly encouraged for converting into energy at a faster rate for combating the low temperatures and potentially reducing the chances of putting on excess amount of weight.
According to a study, it has been found that people will positively impact their own immune response by immersing in cold water, meditation, and deep breathing. Participants using this technique had fewer symptoms and generated stronger anti-inflammatory responses when exposed to bacterial infections.
It gives your mood a boost
An ice bath a day would be keeping the blues away.
According to a review, it is found that cold showers have antidepressant effects. The researchers say that this is mainly due to the cold receptor that sends jolts of electrical impulses to the brain’s nerve endings, thereby enhancing the mental state.
A bit of ice in your life will aid your mood, while more research would be required for understanding the link between ice baths and depression.
Relax and sleep more easily
Taking an ice bath will directly affect the central nervous system, allowing you to relax more easily, as mentioned. It is beneficial when it comes to getting proper sleep at night, being an essential part of the athlete’s daily routine for getting most of their body.
It should also aid in improving your general mood with low levels of cortisol in the body, which is a steroid hormone allowing you to have a positive mindset before your start your next workout. It allows you to aim at performances and nothing else as these kinds of smaller changes greatly impact your feel mentally before exercising.
What is an ice bath?
The ice bath is mainly used when an athlete dives into chilly water for some time after a workout. The recommended temperature for an ice bath is generally between 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also termed cold water immersion, where you will have to sit in water up to your chest and adapt to the low temperatures. It mainly takes around 5 to 10 minutes to adjust the initial shock to your system, with people becoming more flexible when they take ice baths regularly.
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How to take an ice bath?
It is something great if you feel like taking an ice bath. However, before plunging into the pool of ice, there are a few things that should be kept in mind, such as:
Start off slow
You will have an unforgettable experience in your first ice bath. We are not used to the temperature extremities as we all live in climate-controlled settings. So you might have an incredible experience when you get exposed to the ice for the first time.
Look out for something that is known as the mammalian diving reflex, as this is the reflex that all mammals will have. The reflex will be making you gasp when your face comes in direct contact with icy cold water as it is responsible for most of the tragic deaths occurring when people fall into frozen lakes or oceans.
Start with a cold shower or cold water face dunk before you try a complete-blown ice bath for training your body to avoid this kind of reflex.
You should also consider the temperature of your ice bath as the coldest is not the best option at all times.
The perfect ice bath temperature should surely be between 50 to 59 Fahrenheit. Ensure to monitor the temperature of the water with the help of a thermometer if you try an ice bath from the comfort of your home. You need to add more ice if the water temperature is relatively high. Make sure that you add a bit of warm water.
The greater would be the powerful benefits of ice bathing when your body is exposed to ice water. Try immersing your whole body in the ice bath, as it will allow your circulatory system to benefit as much as possible.
You can always work up to it if you submerge yourself and it appears daunting. Simply start by submerging your feet and then your legs, and then your cores.
Timing is important
Timing is of a lot of essence here if you use ice baths for pacing up the recovery process after an exercise. The better it would be, the sooner you enter into the water. You will not be able to reduce the inflammatory effects after an exercise. Focus on starting your ice bath no more than an hour after completing your workout.
The other important consideration you should keep in mind is that you should never take an ice bath before working out, as your body should be warmed up completely before the intense exercises.
Alternate hot and cold
There are a few people who believe the benefits of ice baths have become quite pronounced when there is a temperature contrast that is thrown into the mix.
If you switch between cold and hot water, you may also speed up the vasodilation or vasoconstriction process.
Watch for side effects
Ice baths can be the best option. However, they are associated with side effects, specifically the mammalian drive reflex.
You should avoid taking ice baths if you suffer from preexisting blood pressure or any other cardiovascular issues. Cold showers will offer a few benefits without any intense side effects if you are in doubt.
Below we share some FAQs related to the “Benefits of Ice Bath”.
1. What to do after an ice bath?
You will have to dry off and wear some warm clothes to increase your body temperature.
2. How much ice is for an ice bath?
It depends on the cold tolerance level, as one to three bags of ice will be enough to attain the optimal water temperature between fifty to fifty-nine degrees Fahrenheit.
3. How many calories does an ice bath burn?
You can burn up to 400 calories in an hour spent shivering in ice water.
4. How long should you be in an ice bath?
Try staying in the ice bath for as long as possible, but make sure that you are not exceeding 15 minutes. It is recommended to work up for 15 minutes without pushing much beyond your body limits.
5. How often should you ice bath?
You can derive several benefits from a single session of cryotherapy as it is quite effective when they are used routinely. There are a few athletes using cryotherapy about twice a day. There are even others who will go daily for ten days and then once a month later.
6. Why do athletes take ice baths?
Among several athletes, you need to take a post-workout plunge in an ice water bath. It is used for a speedy recovery and reduces pain in muscle and soreness after intense competitions or training sessions.
7. Can ice baths hurt?
It is not for faint-hearted people to get into the icy bath, mainly when you enter into it quickly. However, you can add more water for getting out if the pain is not subsiding after a couple of minutes.
8. Does ice speed up healing?
Ice is quite effective in terms of reducing pain, but it will not pace up the healing process or reduce any form of inflammation. Feel free to use ice if you wish to have a quick medicine-free painkiller.
The Final Verdict
The verdict can be out when it arrives at the science-backed Benefits Of Ice Bath as it has not stopped the health and wellness enthusiasts as well as the athletes from bringing theory to practice in deriving the advantages of ice baths. Ice baths will present a valuable opportunity if you are looking to break out of the climate-controlled modern world. This might just be it if you want to try any kind of challenge!