Should You Take Ice Baths?



I believe that's the wrong question. The question isn't IF, but WHEN. ⠀


@davecharlesbryan77 sparked this post. He was asking about using ice baths post-endurance exercise to reduce inflammation and speed recovery. So let's dig in!⠀

Coldwater exposure has been around for centuries. There are records dating back as far as 1600 B.C. that mentioned cold therapy in treating illness and disease. Hippocrates (460–370 B.C.) documented the benefits of hydrotherapy. There are even stories of Egyptian women dunking their babies in cold rivers to help build health and resilience. ⠀

Research on the topic is becoming more prevalent and it's helping shed some light on what people have been doing for thousands of years. ⠀

Research from the Cochrane Review is pretty clear that ice baths will help reduce soreness (DOMS), decrease fatigue and improved ratings of physical recovery. Other studies have looked into the improvements in immune system function, mood, energy and autonomic regulation. It's hard to argue against ice baths. ⠀

BUT ⠀

There have been studies to show that ice baths DIRECTLY AFTER strength and endurance training can blunt the adaptation response. This is because your body doesn't have to deal with the inflammation, muscle damage and other disruptions to homeos