6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge- Here's What We Know

Let’s find out ‘6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge’ Few things are as important for maintaining your peak lifting performance as a good recovery strategy in between training sessions. On their “off” days, some athletes swear by low-intensity jogs, while others enjoy foam rolling. Others focus solely on loving the cold, particularly by immersion in cold water (CWI).

Ice baths, a more common name for CWI, have gained popularity recently. Celebrities like Joe Rogan and fitness instructor Wim Hof, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro while wearing just his underpants, advocate for the advantages of prolonged exposure to low temperatures. High-level strength and power athletes utilize ice baths to speed up their recovery after intense contests and training sessions. Some inconsistent studies imply that CWI may or may not be an useful rehabilitation option for weightlifters, powerlifters, and other athletes, while the precise processes remain unknown.


6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge- Here's What We Know
6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge- Here’s What We Know


What we presently know about CWI’s possible advantages and long-term disadvantages for muscle regeneration and adaptation are presented below.


Advantages Of Ice Baths

  • Decreased Muscle Soreness
  • Increased Perceived Recovery
  • Faster Recovery from Intense Cardio
  • Improved Recovery from High Impact Training
  • Reduced Cardiac StressA Stronger Immune System

Reduced Muscle Soreness

A 2017 research found that CWI can lessen inflammation and muscle discomfort following intense training sessions. After their workouts, 15 individuals in the research submerged themselves for 15 minutes in water that was 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). A control group slept in air that was at normal temperature.

Two hours following participants’ mixed martial arts training sessions, researchers discovered that CWI was successful in lowering the inflammatory marker neopterin. In other words, spending 15 minutes in cold water after a workout may be more effective in reducing muscle discomfort than just cooling off in room temperature air.


6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge- Here's What We Know
6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge- Here’s What We Know


Greater Perception Of Recovery

Immersion in cold water might also give athletes the impression that they are recuperating more rapidly. A 2017 research found that MMA fighters who doused themselves in cold water after a workout felt less sore than those who did not. A 2018 research also had participants soak in cold water for 15 minutes (50 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius) following a mixed martial arts match.

Shortly after immersion, those who sat up to their torsos in cold water baths performed poorly on several fitness measures (sprinting, for example). Contrarily, athletes regularly stated that they felt better following CWI, including having better sleep, feeling less agitated, and having less weariness. In other words, if you want to relax in a chilly bath, it will probably be beneficial for you. If you don’t, there’s usually no reason to push yourself.


More Rapid Recovery After Cardio

Do you require a little period of recuperation in between strenuous cardio sessions? 41 elite cis male athletes participated in a 2010 research in which they underwent 20-minute intervals of intense, all-out effort exercise. A 15-minute rest break came after these intense aerobic workouts.

During the 15-minute interval, individuals who used cold water immersion recovered more quickly than those who did not. Therefore, immersing yourself in 10 degrees Celsius cold water between sessions will help you recover even stronger if you want to engage in several bouts of all-out exertion.


Improved Recovery From High Impact Training

According to a 2010 research, athletes who workout hard may benefit from submersion in cold water. If you’re training in a high-impact way, this is especially true.

In the short run, CWI appears to help MMA fighters as athletes report feeling less sore and inflamed following training and practice matches.

Dip yourself in some cold water if you’re feeling disoriented after a particularly taxing deadlift or squat exercise.


Lowered Cardiac Stress

After your exercises, you should immerse yourself in cold water to ease any heart stress you may have had from exercise, especially if you were working out in the heat. A 2019 study found that CWI might neither lessen physiological stress or enhance hormonal recovery. The study found that CWI helped individuals lower their heart rate more quickly than passive recovery after 45 minutes of cycling in a hot setting.


May Boost Your Immune System Performance

A 2014 research investigated the hypothesis that people might improve their immune system response by combining cold exposure, breathing exercises, and meditation. The group that followed the aforementioned methods was shown to have less symptoms when research participants were exposed to a bacterial illness.

The researchers state that they believe deep breathing to have had a greater impact. Deep breathing often goes along with exposure to lower temperatures, and experts believe that over time, exposure to cold temperatures can help develop a stronger immune system.


6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge- Here's What We Know
6 Ice Bath Advantages That May Persuade You To Take The Plunge- Here’s What We Know


Who Should Try Ice Baths

Not everyone should take an ice bath, and they may be rather painful, especially for beginners. However, it’s natural to question if they’re appropriate for you if they’re popular in your CrossFit box. In the end, everything boils down to your particular tastes and your training goals.


Martial Artists

CWI could be able to assist if your training entails a lot of getting punched or otherwise pushed around. Martial artists may decide to brave some chilly waters if they want to prepare for their sport in high-impact conditions or if they want to recuperate fast after a tournament.


Athletes Who Train At High Intensities

High-intensity exercise can result in significant discomfort as well as mental exhaustion. Your muscles may feel better right away from a coldwater soak, which will also help you get ready for your next exercise.


Athletes Who Enjoy The Cold

Regardless of your activity or training techniques, cold water immersion might be beneficial if you like the cold. It is quite likely that it will make you feel better if you think it will. Because of this, even if your hormone levels don’t change after CWI, your perception of recovery is likely to be high, according to the research mentioned above.


How to Include Ice Baths In Your Schedule

If you decide that ice baths would be a beneficial addition to your recuperation regimen, you’ll need to be thoughtful about how you include them in your plan. Start with your objectives, as you should with most things in training, and be sure to progressively switch up your routine.


Assess Your Goals

A 2020 research found that prolonged exposure to cold water may be bad for hypertrophy. Following extended submersion in cold water, muscle biopsies showed that the cold exposure decreased the quantities of proteins needed to build muscles following workouts. As you explore including ice baths in your routine, keep this in mind. Avoid CWI if your objective is to achieve hypertrophy.

However, you might wish to go ahead if your objective is to recover more quickly between intensive sessions or to feel less sore after a high-impact workout.


Find Your Tolerance Level

The bulk of the experiments addressed in this article required athletes to spend 15 minutes submerged in cold water (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius). If it sounds like a walk in the park, that’s great. However, keep in mind to gradually develop your tolerance if the notion of spending even 15 seconds in cold water makes you tremble.

You’ll need to progressively build an efficient ice bath program, just as you would gradually raise your exercise load. If you find that 15 minutes is too much time, start with 30 seconds or a few minutes and build up the duration each week until you feel comfortable.


Periodize Your Recovery

A 2021 research found that periodized recuperation can assist athletes get the most out of CWI. You do not have to recuperate in the same manner throughout the year, just as you do not workout in the same manner. The results of this study suggest that you should base your CWI strategy on your training activities.

Do you now have an especially demanding or impactful training schedule? Are you returning from a sporting event? You could be a good fit for CWI. However, you might want to wait to use the cold water if you are in a block of hypertrophy. Organize your CWI the same way you schedule your training if you want to get the most out of it.


Should You Try Immersion In Cold Water?

Why do so many athletes vouch for CWI immersion if it is harmful to hypertrophy objectives and prospective long-term training success? How come? It appears that perspective is key.

Consider your methods for measuring effectiveness while assessing CWI’s performance. It’s great if your intention is to make you feel better and it succeeds. You may want to stick to more tried-and-true recuperation techniques if your objective is to put on muscle or perform better.

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