As more and more research is being done on the effects of ice baths, we’re getting a better understanding of how to utilise the power of cold therapy to leverage performance and enhance mental health.
WHAT IT WAS.
For athletes, the standard practice was; straight after training, jump in to an ice bath for as long as you can handle to get rid of any pain, treat any injuries and reduce inflammation.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED.
When to take an ice bath really depends on what you are hoping to achieve.
If you’re looking to gain muscle, ice baths should be avoided for at least 4 hours after training, as inflammation is crucial for building muscle.
If your sport is high endurance, then ice baths right after can help to cool your core body temperature and reduce onset injury risk.
But when performing at your best is important, an ice bath right before could be your secret weapon…
HOW TO REALLY USE THE ICE.
What we now know about ice baths is that the power truly lies in when and how you use it.
How much better would you perform if you had motivation, sharp focus, increased energy and enhanced agility?
Ice baths put your body in to a ‘fight or flight’ mode. Our primal instincts make us want to move away from danger, which can make you feel motivated, energised and sharpen your focus.
The neurological response in your brain spikes a release of dopamine and serotonin, which makes you feel great.
To keep you agile, cold water reduces inflammation, flushes out your lymphatic system and activates your inner healing.
So, taking an ice bath right before you train could be the key to unlock your high level performance.