Heat and cold are commonly used by people that regularly engage in physical activity. They can both have a positive effect on your muscles, and they help you maintain optimal performance while also helping to improve the condition of your body.
Cold water immersion (also known as CWI or cryotherapy) is the practice of taking a short bath in very cold water after intense physical activity. The idea is that the cold can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and soreness.
But is this good for your body in the long run? In this post, we’re going to look at some of the 15 minutes benefits of ice baths, but also offer some guidance on how to properly take one for maximum ice bath benefits.
What is considered “very cold water” for an ice bath?
Contrary to the name, an ice bath doesn’t involve ice cold water. For a bath to be considered a cold-water immersion, the water should be around 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit (between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius) and the bath should be no longer than 15 minutes.
It is typically used after a high intensity workout but can also be used to cool the body or even improve your skin. While it eases sore post workout muscles, you can also use ice baths to reduce inflammation, thus helping you recover quickly.
Ice baths can ease sore muscles
Personal experience shows that ice baths are a great way to relieve aching muscles and joints after high intensity exercise . Many professional athletes and gym enthusiasts enjoy taking a cold shower or bath to help make the body feel better after an intense workout. Your body temperature can spike up during a workout and lowering this with an ice bath can be a great way to provide relief to those muscles before they start to ache.
In fact, some sports medicine specialists suggest taking ice cold baths after intense physical activity because it can help cool down multiple groups of muscles at the same time. It’s like how one might have an ice pack to reduce swelling and limit damage to muscles after engaging in sports or a heavy workout.
Another solution would be to use something like an Ice Roller Ball. This is a far more convenient and immediate solution for relieving sore muscles because it doesn’t require you to run a bath and soak in it. A roller ball can be used at a moment’s notice and will provide much-needed relief to the parts of your body that are in pain.
Ice baths can improve your body
Ice baths can offer a plethora of benefits to your body. Potential benefits of ice baths include helping your central nervous system by assisting in sleep and reducing fatigue, and even improving delayed muscle soreness (DOMS).
It’s also believed that cold therapy can help improve your skin too. This is because taking hot baths and showers will typically strip away the natural oils in our skin. This can make our skin extremely dry, which is why some people prefer a cold-water bath. This can help to maintain the oils on our skin while also tightening our pores and reducing redness, resulting in smoother and healthier skin.
Are there side effects to an ice bath?
Many people suggest avoiding ice baths because they can make you feel uncomfortable. After all, dipping into a bath of cold water doesn’t sound like the most pleasant thing. Unfortunately, there are some precautions that you need to consider.
The water can be too cold
If the water temperature is too low, then cold therapy can lead to hypothermia or even frostbite. It’s important not to stay longer than 15 minutes and to check the temperature of the water to ensure that it is safe.
It can restrict blood flow
Decreasing your core body temperature can make blood vessels constrict, resulting in a slower blood flow that may be dangerous if you have a medically diagnosed, pre-existing cardiovascular condition. This can include high blood pressure or other similar diseases.
If you think that a cold bath might be too uncomfortable for you, then why not consider a Cold and Heat Therapy Massage Gun instead? It can be used to target specific areas of the body and can also be used for heat therapy instead.
Both techniques are great for dealing with sore and aching muscles, providing many of the benefits that an ice bath can but without the added complication of filling a bathtub with cold water.
With a massage gun, you can get many of the benefits of an ice bath in a much more convenient and on-demand package.
Ice baths can be good for you if you use them correctly. Whether it’s to lower your temperature or for the wellness benefits, there are many reasons to try an ice bath and brave the cold. Interested in the benefits of cold therapy? Why not check out our products, such as this convenient Ice Roller, that could help with aching muscles and improve relaxation before you go to bed?