Despite the controversy and concerns about hypothermia, ice baths have gained popularity in recent years. This surge in popularity can be credited to the impact of podcasts and social media platforms such as TikTok, where ice bath enthusiasts go on about the numerous benefits they provide for health and recovery. This article will delve into the health benefits of taking an ice bath.
Both cold showers and ice baths are excellent examples of positive stressors (also known as hormesis) that push your body beyond its comfort limits, enabling physical and cognitive adaptation. The idea behind hormesis is that applying a small amount of stress to an organism can actually improve its performance. Therefore, immersing oneself in an ice bath for a specific duration and in a safe manner can result in several health benefits.
Hot water may feel nice, but it removes natural oils and makes the skin dry. On the other hand, cold water can reduce redness and inflammation, prevent moisture loss, tighten pores, and give the skin a beautiful, healthy glow.
Cold water has anti-inflammatory properties that cool and soothe your skin, reducing itching and inflammation. On the other hand, warm water removes protective oils, which can worsen eczema, psoriasis, and other conditions that make the skin itchy.
Cold water makes your heart beat faster, which helps improve blood flow. This has several advantages for your overall health, such as giving your skin a natural glow and gradually reducing blemishes.
Hot water opens up the hair follicles, allowing shampoos and conditioners to work effectively. However, rinsing with cold water afterward closes the follicles, which helps lock in moisture, makes the hair stronger, and gives it a healthy shine.
Showering with cold water can make your heart beat faster and help you breathe in more oxygen. It also increases the amount of adrenaline in your body, making you more alert. This can improve your mood and improve your concentration throughout the day.
Taking regular cold showers can lower your stress levels. Each cold shower puts a small amount of stress on your body, which actually helps your body become more resilient to moderate levels of stress. Research has shown that immersing yourself in cold water can stimulate your vagus nerve, which in turn promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
The exposure to cold water can trigger a chemical reaction that stimulates the transmission of electrical impulses from our nerves to our brain, potentially resulting in an antidepressant impact.
A 2021 study shows that regular exposure to cold temperatures can lead to the conversion of white fat into metabolically healthy brown or beige fat. Furthermore, immersion in cold water can boost your metabolism and support weight loss.
An ice bath can wake up the body, but a randomized study on male athletes found that those who took a complete ice bath after running on a treadmill had better sleep quality.
Some fitness enthusiasts intentionally expose themselves to cold water in order to reduce inflammation after an intense workout round. Additionally, you can take a cold shower to improve your performance in strength and endurance training.
The Polar Recovery Tub is a multifunctional, inflatable ice bath that can be used anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors. It is made from strong double-stitch PVC material, making it durable for both domestic and commercial use.
The Recovery Tub Duo is constructed from a similar material as inflatable paddle boards. It has a double insulated wall to keep the water cold for a longer time. Setting it up is very easy and can be done in just 10 minutes. The tub has a spacious interior, making it suitable for two people.
Ice baths are becoming an increasingly popular option for muscle recovery after exercising and overall health improvement. They can help reduce muscle pain and make you feel better. However, they are not a solution for all health problems. It is important to speak with your doctor before trying an ice bath.