Ice Baths: The Cold Truth
During a warmer (thanks humidity and dew point) run the other day I started thinking about prepping an ice bath at home for the summer training ahead. With some big miles planned for the summer, recovery will be key so the ice bath idea sounds perfect. Then I got thinking that I really didn’t know how the ice bath actually helps with recovery, or if it even did and was instead just something people did because they’d seen others do it too. So I went digging and here’s what I found.
An Ice bath could be considered over-recovering. The damage, the inflammation, the fatigue are the signals that tell our bodies to get stronger. Ice Baths mute that signal too soon and that could mean part of your hard earned workout was wasted. So, if you’re looking to improve your performance by becoming stronger or faster, then it’s best to ditch that ice bath and let your body run it’s natural cause or look to an active recovery session such as cycling, aqua running, or swimming etc.).
If you want to dig a little deeper into the research that this article was based off I recommend reading the following: