Today we are discussing the age-old question: are ice baths good for your health? It is a topic that has divided fitness enthusiasts and athletes for years, with some claiming that ice baths can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, while others argue that they can be harmful to the body.
First, let us define what an ice bath is. An ice bath is a recovery method in which a person immerses their body in a tub of cold water and ice for a brief period, usually 10-15 minutes. The water temperature is typically around 50-59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, let us dive into the potential benefits of ice baths. Some proponents of ice baths argue that the cold water can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness after a workout. This is because cold water can constrict blood vessels, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation. In addition, cold water can numb nerve endings, which can provide temporary pain relief.
However, it is important to note that the research on the effectiveness of ice baths is mixed.
We decided to find out what the research has to say. Alex Hutchinson has written about the research multiple times and he joins The Nation to review the research and give us his opinion.
Alex mentioned the book The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning
Here are some of his articles:
- Ice baths, cryosaunas, sleep trackers: If it feels good, should you do it?
- Do ice baths really fight inflammation?
- The Ultimate (Evidence-Based) Guide to Recovery
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Alex’e MUST READ Book, Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance