There are many reasons why people swear by ice baths. Ice baths can be a beneficial addition to your journey for overall wellness, even more so than cold showers. Once you try an ice bath and feel the effects yourself, you’ll probably never turn back.
Ice Baths vs. Cold Showers: Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Research has shown that a dip in cold water can relieve stress due to activation of the Vagus nerve. Cold showers can achieve this to a point, but an ice bath takes it to the next level. The Vagus nerve may be the secret to overall well-being.
With a cold shower, there will be a point at which you cannot make the temperature of the water any colder. An ice bath breaks through this threshold and allows the water to be colder than you can take a shower.
Vagus Nerve Activation for a Feeling of Calm
When your body perceives a stressor, which includes everything from life and work-related stress to actual threats to survival, it responds by releasing the stress hormone cortisol. When the threat is gone, the Vagus nerve takes over and dampens the stress response. The Vagus nerve has been found to make you feel calmer when activated.
The full cold water immersion provided by ice baths allows for the complete surrounding of the Vagus nerve in cold temperatures, which helps to activate it. This is not possible with a shower.
Ice Baths Are Better than Cold Showers for Workout Recovery
An ice bath will make you feel less sore. This decrease in the soreness of your muscles after a workout prepares you sooner for your next round of exercise and may improve performance. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is significantly improved after a workout when cold water immersion is used post-workout. A recent meta-analysis found that the most effective protocol is 11-15 degrees C (50-60 degrees F) for 11-15 minutes.
Ice Baths will be more effective than a cold shower in this sense, partly due to your own confidence and conviction. A cold shower is good, but when you build up to the capability of submerging in ice-cold water, your perceived level of recovery, mental toughness, and confidence is greatly enhanced.
Also, there is evidence that immersion in near-freezing water increases the production of white blood cells, which fight infection.
Ice Baths May Provide Fat Loss and Metabolism Benefits
In addition to aiding in the recovery from a workout, repeated exposure to cold water may help with fat loss. Exposure to colder temperatures has been shown to increase the amount of brown fat in our bodies. Brown fat is not like regular fat. Brown fat helps with the processing of glucose and fat molecules: leading to improved metabolism.
Dr. Dino Premilovac from the University of Tasmania said, “If we expose our bodies to the cold environment, the way our bodies deal with it over a long period of time is to produce more brown fat.”
He goes on to say...”It’s more muscle-like than it is fat-like in what it does.” It is the repetitive nature and adaptation of the body that produces this result. Ending your shower with a rinse of cold water won’t get the job done. Having a singularly focused and purpose-driven modality to be used daily for cryotherapy will strengthen your resolve to utilize the benefits of cold water immersion.
Cold Water Immersion May Prevent Both Dementia and the Loss of Skeletal Mass
Cold water swimming has been shown to induce something in the body called the cold-shock protein RBM3, which can stave off muscle loss by increasing protein synthesis, and has neuroprotective effects.
Researchers from The University of Cambridge studied swimmers in swimming clubs who regularly swim in unheated water. Cold water swimmers were compared to participants of another sport (Tai Chi) that did not perform in a cold environment. The results showed higher levels of the RBM3 protein in the swimmers and none in the Tai Chi participants.
Cold Water Immersion May Help with Restful Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is paramount to any wellness plan. Whatever your goal may be, be it weight loss, increasing strength, or relieving anxiety: proper sleep is essential.
Ice baths may help with sleep quality. Research has verified this. Ice baths and cold water swimming improve sleep. It’s no placebo effect—the improvement is real.
Upgrade from Cold Showers to Ice Baths Today
Immersion into water exerts a compression effect from the hydrostatic pressure of the water. Immersion into cold water using Ice Barrel is especially beneficial for edema, pain, and respiratory volume. Using an ice bath has many advantages over a shower, which cannot provide the same level of confidence in the temperature of the water.A cold shower is good. Ice baths are better. With a product like Ice Barrel in your home with a dedicated purpose toward improving physical, mental, and emotional health, you will be better equipped to engage in all the benefits that cold water immersion treatment has to offer.
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