2023 09 11 15.20.18

Ice Bath Benefits: Everything You Need To Know

Ice baths are not a new phenomenon. Chances are that you’ve witnessed professional athletes make a beeline for an ice bath immediately after a game. Ever wondered why? Cryotherapy, which involves employing cold to treat a variety of ailments, includes cold-water plunges. The method is not new, despite the fact that it has recently regained popularity. Immersion in cold water has been utilized for health and wellness for centuries. All about Ice Bath Benefits in this guide designed for you.

Some people might not find it enticing to hop into a cold bath. Your physical and emotional health, however, might be aided by the practice. Having said that, avoid hopping into a cold bath in search of a magic fix. A lot of the research on the advantages of ice baths is contradictory. 

Coldwater therapy, in the form of ice baths, cold-water exposure, or even chilly swimming sessions, has been a fascination for both athletes and health enthusiasts alike. Beyond the invigorating sensation of plunging into icy waters, this practice boasts an array of health benefits that extend far beyond the surface. 

From aiding in exercise recovery and reducing stress to boosting the body’s metabolic response and promoting fat loss, the advantages of cold water on the body and mind are becoming increasingly evident through scientific studies and medical research. 

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With growing interest in this therapeutic method, more people are turning to regular cold showers or immersive ice baths to improve mental clarity, enhance sleep, and help the body’s natural response to inflammation and pain. In this article, we will delve deep into the cold-water therapy phenomenon, exploring the well-documented benefits and uncovering how it can positively impact various aspects of our health and well-being. 

As the evidence continues to grow, the allure of cold-water immersion and its undeniable advantages are captivating more people from all walks of life, making it a trend worth exploring for those seeking to optimize their body, mind, and overall health. What you need to know is as follows. 

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Ice Baths: A Sneak Peek into the Current Research

Ice baths have long been used as a method of treating sore or painful muscles. But a 2017 research might challenge that conviction.

According to a recent study, there is no benefit to painful muscles, and that earlier theories regarding the advantages of ice baths for sportsmen are false.

While the study does support the use of active recovery, such as 10 minutes of low-intensity exercise on a stationary cycle, experts in the field still support the use of ice baths. Did you consider ice bath in Bangkok?

Ice baths continue to have advantages, according to Dr. A. Brion Gardner, an orthopedic physician from The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics.

The benefits of ice baths are not completely disproven by the study, he claims. It implies that the advantages of a quicker recovery, a lesser degree of muscle and tissue damage, and better function aren’t necessarily true.

And the head of the Yorkville Sports Medicine Clinic, Dr. Thanu Jey, concurs.

“There will always be research that will support both sides of this debate,” he asserts. “Despite the fact that much of the research is conflicting, I support the best practices currently being used to treat professional athletes who frequently take ice baths.”

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Benefits of Taking Ice Baths

Reduces Swelling and Inflammation

Your blood vessels narrow as a result of the cold temperature of an ice bath. Your muscles’ blood supply is reduced as a result, which may lessen swelling and inflammation. Additionally, studies show that cold therapy reduces post-exercise inflammation more effectively than other approaches, such as compression stockings. 

Aids in recuperation after a workout

Your blood vessels dilate or reopen after you exit an ice bath, hence improving circulation. Your muscles’ access to nutrient-rich blood may aid in flushing out metabolic waste that accumulates during exercise. People utilize ice baths for post-workout rehabilitation for this additional purpose. 

Consequently, some research does support the idea that ice baths are a useful rehabilitation technique. But do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? A review from 2021 reveals that going for a chilly swim lessens inflammation brought on by activity.

They can also prevent training adaptations that help you gain muscle and enhance your performance, according to the study. This possible side effect may be relevant to endurance training but not to aerobic exercises. 

According to a different study, both cold baths and active rehabilitation can reduce inflammation. Active-recovery exercises may therefore be a better choice if you wish to gain strength or more muscle. 

Cools the body’s core temperature 

The ability of ice baths to relieve heat exhaustion may be one of their most obvious advantages. According to one study, after working out, soaking in cold water for less than 10 minutes lowers your core body temperature. Avoiding heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be accomplished by cooling off after working up a sweat. 

Promotes immunity 

According to certain data, ice baths help maintain a strong immune system. In a tiny study, participants who practiced deep breathing, cold water immersion, and meditation saw fewer signs of bacterial illness. However, because the study examines multiple techniques, it is difficult to determine the precise impact of cold water immersion on your immune system.

Strengthens mental health 

Ice baths may also be beneficial for your mental health. In a small study, it was discovered that giving gout sufferers four 20-minute ice baths per week enhanced their quality of life. They were less stressed, anxious, and depressed, and their joints moved more easily. 

According to scientists, being in cold water causes the body to go into a stress response and stimulate the nervous system. Over time, these adjustments may lift your spirits and assist you in handling stress.

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Strengthens the vagus nerve

Aurimas Juodka, CSCS, CPT, a qualified strength and conditioning specialist, claims that being able to train your vagus nerve is one of the key advantages of an ice bath.

He explains that by strengthening the vagus nerve, which is connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, you would be better able to handle stressful events.

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Things You should know before Taking an Ice Bath

There are a few things you should be aware of before immersing your body in ice.

  1. Temperature: According to Gardner, an ice bath should be between 10-15° Celsius, or 50-59° Fahrenheit.
  2. Time spent in an ice bath: In an ice bath, staying too long can have negative effects. You should therefore keep your time to a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Body Exposure: According to Gardner, for the optimum results in blood vessel constriction, it’s normally advised to submerge your full body in the ice bath.
  4. However, you might wish to start by exposing your lower legs and feet initially. You can advance toward your chest as soon as you’re at ease.
  5. Taking Ice Batch at Home: Gardner advises using a thermometer to assist you get the ideal temperature while balancing the ice-to-water ratio if you choose to take an ice bath at home.
  6. Add ice gradually if the temperature is too high (over 15°C or 59°F). Likewise, if the temperature is too low, gradually add warmer water until the correct temperature is reached.
  7. Time for the bath: The results should be better the sooner you enter an ice bath following a workout or competition, according to Gardner.
  8. He claims that some of the healing and inflammatory processes have already started or have already concluded if you wait an hour after the workout.
  9. Lewis Reaction/Hunter Reaction: Using the Hunters Reaction/Lewis Reaction method according to the 10-10-10 format is an additional way to benefit from the cooling effects of ice on sore muscles.
  10. This allows for 20 minutes of an efficient physiological icing treatment, according to Jey. “I recommend icing for 10 minutes (not directly on bare skin), followed by 10 minutes of removing the ice, and then another 10 minutes of icing,” she says.
  11. Cryotherapy: Full-body cryotherapy chambers, which are essentially cold therapy in an office setting, are a popular choice. These sessions can cost anything from $45 to $100 per session, so they are not inexpensive.
  12. Temporary usage: There isn’t much information on how frequently you should take ice baths. However, it’s significant to note that some specialists advise against using chronic CWI and only allow short-term use to speed up recuperation.

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Ice bath benefits in Bangkok

In conclusion, the myriad benefits of cold-water therapy, ranging from improved exercise recovery to reduced stress and enhanced mental well-being, make it a compelling addition to anyone’s health and fitness regimen. 

Regular exposure to cold temperatures, whether through ice baths, cold showers, or chilly swimming sessions, can help increase the body’s metabolic response, leading to potential fat loss and improved muscle recovery. 

Moreover, the therapeutic effects of cold water extend to the skin and deeper tissue, aiding in alleviating pain and inflammation. As more people embrace the plunge into the icy depths, they discover a newfound sense of mental clarity and rejuvenation, along with enhanced sleep quality. 

Cold-water immersion has proven its worth as a versatile and accessible tool to optimize body and mind, benefiting athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone seeking to elevate their health and well-being. 

Ready to experience the immense benefits of taking an ice bath? Book a session with us at Fast and Fit and unlock the full potential of ice bath benefits for a healthier, happier, and more revitalized you!