Do Ice Baths Really Help Your Muscles Recover? You May Want To Read This Before You Try It

Do Ice Baths Really Help Your Muscles Recover? You May Want To Read This Before You Try It

Professional athletes endure pain after their workouts, and the one thing they do to help relieve the pain and help their muscles recover is by taking ice baths. They call it “cold water immersion”. They bathe in cold water for about five to ten minutes because there is a claim that cold water can improve the recovery of muscles and improve sports performances in the future. However, is there any real scientific claim to this? Let’s delve into this further and learn about whether or not cold baths really do help with the recovery of muscles and helping to improve sports performances.

What Ends Up Happening To Muscles When They Are Affected By Cold Water?

As you know, if you sprain your foot, ankle, or another body part, the one thing you will do is put ice packs or a bag of frozen vegetables on your sprained foot or ankle. That helps to keep the swelling and pain low. The same goes if you have pulled a muscle. What happens if that cooling helps to reduce the transmission of nerve impulses? Therefore, that is how there is a reduction in pain perception. Additionally, it induces blood vessels in peripheral tissues to constrict. Therefore, it results in lower fluid diffusion which can help acute inflammation caused by too much exercise.

Additionally, cold baths can help restore the variability of heart rare. Cold water baths can also have a significant influence on your mind in addition to your muscles. There was a study conducted at Victoria University in Australia that compared the effects of an ice bath to a placebo. Each participant in the placebo condition was made to believe that they were given a remedy in a warm bath that would have the same effects as a cold water bath. They were really given a skin cleanser in the bath. The studies found that those in the placebo conditions and those who had ice baths were believed to have received the same amount of benefits. This was after going through strenuous exercise 48 hours beforehand.

So does this mean that ice baths or cold water baths are useless? Not necessarily. These baths can still help reduce the symptoms of muscle pain and soreness whether it is exercise-induced or a muscle strain from lifting something heavy. That is the reason that ice baths are used for muscle recovery after strenuous exercises such as competitions involving sports.

How Do Ice Baths Effect Exercise Performances?

Since ice baths can help with muscle recovery, they can also likely help with some sports performances. Though this analysis is not overly simple. Studies have found that ice baths can only marginally help when it comes to performances. Sometimes, ice baths do not help at all. The issue with that is that there are different types of exercises to measure such as strength training and it has been found that after strength training, cold water may even hinder the benefits of that exercise.

There are findings that the reason for that is the cold water had a negative effect on the natural cellular and protein responses that occur in the muscles after each strength training session. However, for endurance training, the cold water may help with improving performance. Therefore, the bottom line is that whether ice baths do help with performance all depends on what type of exercise you are doing.

However, if you want to take an ice bath because you strained your muscle for one reason or another, you can do it if it brings you relief. If you are sore for reasons that have nothing to do with sports, then take that cold bath if it makes you feel better.

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