How Long Should You Stay in an Ice Bath?

Filed in Articles by on June 22, 2022

– How Long Should You Stay in an Ice Bath –

Even though you undoubtedly feel cold and queasy at the mere thought of taking an ice bath, there are several advantages to doing so.

The very thought of hopping into an ice bath after a run will undoubtedly make you shiver and cringe unless it’s a hot and muggy summer day and you’ve just finished a challenging tempo run.

However, there are many advantages to taking an ice bath that might just make it worthwhile.

What is an Ice bath?

An ice bath is a form of cryotherapy (cold therapy). It entails bathing the lower back, hips, and legs in an ice bath or very cold bath after exercise to lessen swelling and pain.

Advantages of taking an Ice Bath

If you’re thinking about taking an ice bath, you might be wondering what the benefits could be and whether it would be beneficial to expose your body to such intense cold.

The good news is that taking an ice bath may have certain advantages, especially for athletes or those who regularly work out.

1. Eases Sore and Aching Muscles

The fundamental goal of ice baths is to lessen muscular discomfort, and numerous studies have confirmed that this is actually possible.

Your immersed legs and hips experienceconstricted blood vessels as a result of the chilly exposure.

As soon as you exit the ice bath, these blood vessels expand quickly, increasing nutritive blood supply and clearing away metabolic waste products that may contribute to delayed-onset muscular soreness (DOMS).

2. Improves Performance

While many runners believe that taking an ice bath helps them recuperate from their workouts

Routinely taking an ice bath may actually allow you to train harder and more frequently, which could result in better performance gains.

3. Improves Sleep

Cold water immersion therapy may help with sleep issues, according to some data.

It’s crucial to emphasize, though, that full-body immersion including the athlete’s head produced the best effects.

This benefit is believed to be mostly attributable to the ice bath’s impact on the central nervous system.

4. Ice Baths Could Help With Inflammation

After a run, inflammation can be reduced by the cryotherapy and hydrostatic pressure of water against your legs in an ice bath.

5. Reduces the Impact of Heat and Humidity

The impact of heat and humidity may be lessened by taking an ice bath.

“An ice bath before a long race can drop core body temperature by a few degrees, which can boost performance in settings where there is an increase in temperature or humidity

How Long Should You Stay in an Ice Bath?

What typically dissuades us from the idea is the response to the question of how long an ice bath should last.

According to the literature, an optimum ice bath should last between 11 and 15 minutes.

This increases the body’s ability to benefit from cryotherapy while minimizing stress, the risk of tissues becoming frostbitten, and the body becoming hypothermic.

Start with 5 minutes if you’ve never had an ice bath before, then increase the time gradually up to 15 minutes.

At 32°F and 0°C, water begins to freeze. An ice bath should be around 10-15 degrees C, or 50-60 degrees F, according to the majority of rehabilitation doctors.

How to do an Ice Bath at Home

You’ll probably need to create an ice bath at home if you don’t have access to an athletic training room.

1. You will require a bathtub or a very large container, such as a kiddie pool.

2. Ice and cold water should be added to the tub. A 3:1 water to ice ratio is advised by the majority of experts.

3. Fill the tub as full as you can, leaving space for the water your body will displace when you go in it unless you just want to bathe your lower legs.

4. Allow the water to cool for around 10 minutes. If you have a thermometer, you should aim for 10-15 C or 50–60 F.

5. Take a deep breath, then enter. Spend 5 to 15 minutes soaking.

Side Effects of Ice Bath

Feeling extremely chilly after submerging your body in the icy water is the most obvious side effect of an ice bath.

There are other concerns to think about besides this merely apparent side effect.

1. People with high blood pressure or a history of cardiovascular disease are most at risk when taking an ice bath.

2. Constricting blood arteries and being submerged in ice both lower core temperature and delay blood flow in the body, respectively.

3. Hypothermia is a potential risk as well, particularly if you stay in the ice bath for an extended period of time.

4. Since both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are linked to a decreased ability to regulate core temperature during high temperatures, people with these conditions should use caution when taking ice baths.

Tips for Taking an Ice Bath

Here are some suggestions to make an ice bath more bearable so you can benefit from it.

1. The process might become excessively unattractive by tentatively dipping a toe in. Try to enter all at once after taking a deep breath.

2. The most uncomfortable part of your body is usually your feet, but neoprene wetsuit booties or socks can give you the defense you need.

3. Having a hot beverage can help you feel better.

4. If your torso can’t fit in the tub under the water nonetheless, keep your upper body toasty by donning a hoodie or top.

5. Start with cold water if you are finding it difficult to enter your ice bath. Pour the ice inside once you’re inside.

We hope this article was helpful. Do well to share it on various social media platforms.

CSN Team.

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