How do ice-baths help in recovering fatigue and soreness?

There is no doubt that we have felt fatigued and dealt with soreness in our life after intense exercise or muscle exhaustion. There are some days in our life when you are required to do some household works that involve intense movement and exertion of your body, which leads to bodily exhaustion.

That sudden severe fatigue reduces the ability of our muscles to perform at its pick. So, after strenuous activity, we need something that can heal our bodies. It is required that our body muscles regain their strength and perform at its pick. For example, players, specifically football players or athletes, need instant recovery from fatigue and soreness so that they can be fully prepared for their next round. So, you might ask how those players and athletes stay at their pick form even after continuous body exhaustion and strain.

The modern solution that every athlete and footballer is now leaning to is ice-bath. You will be astonished to know that even high-profile football players like Cristiano Ronaldo routinely take an ice-bath after a match. It helps him regain his strength. Ice-bath is not exclusive to only football players or athletes. You can also take ice-bath after a day of strenuous activity or to keep your muscles young and free from fatigue and soreness. So now you might ask what the heck this ice-bath is. To know more about it, let’s dive in.


What is ice-bath therapy?

The term ‘ice-bath’ is also known as cold therapy or cold-water immersion. This ice-bath therapy is generally taken after a period of intense activities. For example, as we have mentioned earlier that footballers take ice-bath after a match. In ice-bath treatment, your substantial part of the body, i.e., usually up to the chest, is immersed in ice or ice water for a limited period. The duration is typically 10 to 25 minutes. The temperature of the ice-water should be between 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius to get the full benefit. You can take an ice-bath by standing or sitting in a bucket or bathtub of icy water. It is reported that taking ice-bath can reduce your fatigue and soreness of muscles after intense, strenuous activities. People make an ice-bath in the belief that it will speed up muscle recovery.

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How does ice-bath therapy work?

The first thing that ice-bath therapy does is that it reduces inflammation. It also changes the way blood flows through our bodies. When you submerge your body in icy water, your blood vessels constrict. So, what does that mean? That means that constricted blood vessels put pressure on the flow of your blood in your body. That means it forces out the metabolic waste of your body as soon as possible through your blood.

On the other hand, increased blood flow also helps in delivering necessary nutrients to our cells as fast as possible. So automatically, due to increased blood flow, an ice-bath facilitates the recovery of your body.

What are the benefits of ice-bath therapy? 

As we have already understood that ice-bath therapy somehow helps in recovering muscle soreness and weariness. It speeds up physical recovery. So, to understand the benefits of ice-bath treatment in detail, let’s dive in.

  •      Recover sore and weary muscle faster

As we have discussed earlier, taking an ice-bath after an intense workout or strenuous activity speeds the recovery of your muscles. Thus, it helps athletes and players to be ready for their next performances. If the gap between two matches is less than a natural recovery period, you need to fasten your recovery to be game ready. Here comes the play of ice-bath as its benefit of speedy recovery helps the players or athletes to be prepared for their next game as quickly as possible.

  •      Helps in recovering sleep deprivation

Our modern daily life is so stressed out that we often become sleep deprived. Out agitated nervous system makes it impossible to fall asleep peacefully. Ice-bath efficiently helps in this purpose. Taking an ice-bath after a mentally strenuous day helps in soothing your central nervous system. Soothed central nervous system means a better ability to fall asleep fast and peacefully. On the other hand, as ice-bath therapy helps in reducing extreme fatigue and exhaustion, it aids sleep. That is why an ice-bath is so essential not only for athletes but also for ordinary people too, people who are related to strenuous, mentally exhausting jobs.

  •      Reduces inflammation

Ice-bath therapy helps in reducing inflammation. After intense exercise or workout, your body is bound to have swelling. As an ice-bath helps in recovering inflammation, that means your body is taking less time in improving. It in turns means that you are prepared for your next workout session faster than you imagine,

  •      Lessen the effect of heat and humidity

If you are to work outside in hot and humid temperatures or if you are a player or an athlete who needs to perform in hot and humid weather, an ice-bath is recommended for you. You might ask how taking an ice-bath can help in achieving better in hot and humid weather. The answer is straightforward. Taking an ice-bath reduces the body core temperature a few degrees, which in turn means that you have a better tolerance in coping with the outside heat and cold. It leads to improved performance.

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What are the risks of taking ice-baths regularly? 

You have to keep in mind that though ice-baths have many benefits as mentioned above, taking ice-baths regularly after training or after a workout can hurt your body. As submerging your body lowers the body temperature, you can be a victim of hyperthermia if you stay in ice-bath for a long time. Sometimes you can also catch a cold that can lead to other physical complications. Ice-bath is also not so much suitable for people with high blood pressure or people with both type-one and type-two diabetes.

So, keep in mind the risk factors and use ice-baths according to your physical needs. If you judiciously use ice-bath in your training regimen, then you can achieve plenty of benefits from ice-bath therapy or cold therapy.

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