Ice baths for athletes: research questions any benefit


What awaits you within the locker room generally is one of the disadvantages in finishing a lengthy run. Professional and amateur runners alike will know about the cringe-inducing publish-run ice bath, but several researchers in the College of Nh have discovered that it might not be as useful as formerly thought.

Research, printed within the European Journal of Applied Physiology, had 20 active college men running downhill for 40 minutes in a grade of -10%.

Later on, researchers had 1 / 2 of them stand it a recycling bin full of cold water as much as their thighs for 25 minutes. Another lucky half offered like a control group and didn’t undergo the ice baths.

Water was cooled to five levels Celsius (40 levels F), and lead investigator Naomi Very admits it had become “really cold. I’d some guys near to tears.”

Using ice baths after being active is a method that athletes use to lessen inflammation and speed recovery, note they, but it’s also time intensive and quite painful.

For that study, there have been measurements taken at 1, 6, 24, 48 and 72 hrs publish-run:

Thought of soreness while walking lower stairs

Quads strength on the resistance machine

Leg circumference.


Man running

A publish-workout ice bath made no improvement in soreness or strength for males who ran downhill for 40 minutes

Additionally, they checked out the power of plasma chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), that is an indication of inflammation, in bloodstream samples.

Results reveal that there wasn’t any improvement in strength or observed soreness between both groups, and leg circumference didn’t change for the subjects publish-workout.

However, there would be a slight trend toward lower concentrations of CCL2 within the ice bath group, they say it wasn’t statistically significant.

Naomi Very states from the ice baths:

“It does not assist you to feel good also it does not assist you to perform better. Ice baths are extremely common as a therapy, however the scientific studies are really mixed whether they are advantageous. They are miserable. Whether it does not work, you won’t want to waste your time and effort.Inch

They observe that ice bath studies have created such an array of conclusions because there’s not really a “standard protocol” for that technique.

Although the finding in the study that utilizing an ice bath publish-workout isn’t an efficient way to mitigate soreness, Very continues to be “not convinced” that they’re an entire total waste of time. She states:

“Rely on them sparingly. Rely on them in tournament situations, rely on them by having an athlete that has done something remarkable. However for day-to-day athletes, I would not recommend them. They are painful, and they are time intensive.Inch