Ice Baths for Muscle Recovery
Ice baths jump start the healing process
Professional athletes have been including cold therapy for years, stating that it reduces inflammation, speeds recovery and prevents muscle soreness.
Ice baths are very helpful
In comparison to doing nothing, researchers from the University of Ulster in Ireland say that ice baths are very helpful, by 20%. The data was taken from 17 studies using 366 athletes who were required to recover in ice baths after extensive weight training, running and cycling. When compared with ‘passive’ treatment evidence showed that cold-water immersion therapy reduces muscle soreness from 24 to 96 hours after exercise.
When safety comes to mind, ice baths can increase heart rate and cause shock. Although this evidence shows that ice baths can reduce muscle soreness, there is little research on safety and of cold therapy versus active treatments like ibuprofen or compression sleeves, so when it comes to muscle recovery, it is unknown what treatment is more effective.
Usually practiced in a bath tub, plastic tub or makeshift version using brand new trash bins as a cold tub, Irish rugby team Ulster discusses this unique designed model, the popularity of the therapy and health concerns.
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