Taking a cold plunge after a hard workout is one of the quickest and most effective ways to soothe post-workout muscle soreness.
Although cold water immersion therapy has been used for centuries, it’s been rediscovered and popularity has been rising. This is because many studies show that ice baths after workouts are beneficial. In this article, you will find links to relevant studies as well as an explanation of their findings.
In recent years, several concepts and products have been developed to make cryotherapy (cold water immersion) effective and safe. Ice Barrel, for example, is a cold therapy training tool that offers an easy way to bring ice baths to your wellness routine.
What is an Ice bath?
Cold water immersion (CWI) is a form of cryotherapy that involves sitting in chilly water for up to ten minutes. Ideally, the body should be submerged as high as the neck or isolated to a specific part of the body.
To help first-time users become familiar with cold therapy, we have a great FAQ section where you’ll find guidelines for introducing yourself to ice baths. In the early stages, we recommend that you start with warmer/higher temperatures. As you continue to use Ice Barrel, you can drop the temperature a couple of degrees. Each time will be different, but you’ll be able to adapt quickly until you arrive at the recommended temperature.
How do Ice Baths Work?
One of the reasons CWI is very effective in dealing with pain is that exposing the body to cold temperatures causes blood vessels to constrict. Once this happens, recovery is improved and inflammation reduces because the flow of blood and other fluids have been altered.
When you step into an Ice Barrel filled with cold water at 15° Celsius, your blood vessels constrict, and they begin to dilate or open back up as soon as you step out. This process helps flush out post-workout metabolic waste.
5 Benefits of Ice Bath After Workouts
1. Muscle Recovery
Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is not just painful but can also negatively affect future competitions and workouts. This is why athletes look for the best and most effective remedies.
Muscle inflammation and swelling are areas that benefit from ice baths. DOMS is caused by muscle swelling resulting from heavy training, which is why you feel so sore and tired after working out. Cold water immersion therapy can help you recover quickly and make you feel a lot better during the process.
This benefit means ice baths can help with stiff, sore, and swollen muscles by reducing pain and improving recovery time. By speeding up your recovery time, you can get to your next workout faster and stronger.
2. It Reduces Inflammation
Reducing inflammation and aiding muscle recovery are like two faces of a coin. They’re quite similar, but inflammation is one of the reasons why cold water immersion therapy is so popular today.
There have been several case studies that suggest that ice baths help reduce muscle inflammation after a workout. Have you ever wondered why you’re advised to put ice on a swollen part of your body? This is a clear example of how ice can stop swelling or inflammation.
In this case, Ice Barrel takes cold water therapy to a new level. Here you wouldn’t be using a bag of frozen peas but taking a plunge into actual ice. This way, the effect is felt around your entire body and you’re able to recover quickly from heavy workouts. You’ll be ready for your next workout physically and mentally.
3. Stimulates the Central Nervous System
Ice baths stimulate our parasympathetic nervous systems, stress response, and recovery process, all of which can create a natural high that boosts our mood and attitude. In addition, CWI can aid sleep which means your body feels less fatigued and users feel better. This could mean better reaction times and more explosiveness in future workouts for the user.
4. Boost Metabolism
Immersing yourself in an Ice Barrel can help burn fat in a rather interesting way. Exposing the body to cold increases the brown adipose tissue in the body. Adipose tissue is responsible for converting energy into heat to keep the body warm.
5. Aids Mental Health
Cold water immersion therapy calms the body and improves alertness. An ice bath can work like a reset button for your brain. Doing it regularly has been known to help with mood swings and stress.
Getting Started with Cold Water Therapy
An easy-to-use guide, a timer, and a supervisor (optional but recommended) are all you need to enjoy the benefits of ice baths after workouts.
As a beginner, you should prepare your body by taking progressively colder baths. You prepare your barrel with tap water and then add cold water and ice until it reaches the desired temperature.
How Cold Should Ice Baths Be?
To be safe, we recommend that you keep the temperature at an optimal 15° Celsius (60° Fahrenheit). Colder has been shown to have fewer benefits.
How Long Should an Ice Bath Last?
Staying longer than the recommended time in an ice bath does not provide additional benefits. In fact, soaking for more than 15 minutes in an ice bath could lead to unwanted issues like shock and hypothermia. Therefore, we recommend bathing for up to 10 minutes and absolutely no more than 15 minutes.
Here is a link with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Ice Barrel and cold water immersion therapy.
Get an Ice Barrel Today
Taking a cold plunge after a hard workout has many benefits, such as quick recovery from DOMS, stimulating the CNS, and boosting metabolism. Cold water immersion therapy is a game-changing active recovery and muscle growth tool that anyone can use to their workout recovery advantage.
Making this a routine not only keeps you fit but also exposes you to other benefits. Thankfully, Ice Barrel makes it easy and convenient for you to take ice baths after a tough workout at home. Place your order today or contact us for more information about our product.
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