We’ve talked about the importance of supplements for cellular health but what about exploring some other avenues? Let us walk you through 3 Proven Ice Bath Benefits of what we see to be a developing craze.
Ice Bath. Let’s chill out here for a bit.
One would naturally think – yeah, not sure about this Ice Bath talk, I prefer my water warm, spa-like. Sure, Hot Tubs and Spas are relaxing and you probably either have a spa or know of someone that does.
Go direct to – Ice Bath NZ
But what if I told you that Ice Baths are becoming more popular than the Spa industry? Okay, I won’t – because they aren’t, but heck they are growing in popularity.
Why? Simply because of the evidence that cold water therapy provides our bodies. Ice Baths or Ice Therapy is certainly not a new thing, in fact, it’s been around longer than the Spa industry. But Ice Baths have just been found tucked away in high-performance sports facilities and not often, the everyday person like you and I could find.
But things are about to change. Freeze Tub has designed and developed a portable tub that you can carry with you if you move house or travel, or perhaps you are wanting to use it as part of a sports team training day. It’s easy to erect and fill plus its 5 thermal layers ensure the ice maintains a temperature suited to what it’s intended to do for longer time periods.
Let’s explore 3 Ice Bath Benefits.
1. Ice Bath Reduces Inflammation.
You’ve probably worked out a little too much before and after a couple of days, the muscle pain hits you. This is called DOM’s, or Delayed Muscle Onset Soreness. It happens when there has been some damage and inflammation caused within the muscles.
Often, this just goes away after a few days and you can get back into the gym again. But at times, athletes or professional sports people need to recover a little faster and this is where Ice Therapy, coupled with a good supplement and protein regime could help.
Ice Bath benefits the body by reducing pain associated with eccentric exercises. DOM’s reduces the more you exercise however, the more intensity you have during training, the more inflammation occurs and the cycle can continue to repeat.
Within 5 to 25 mins post exercise, if you submerge your body into iced water. You can either use tap or cold water if you’re relatively new to Ice Baths or if you want to go a little harder you can chill the water somewhere in the vicinity of 50 to 60F (10 to 15C)
Some Studies suggest, that you will experience a narrowing of blood vessels which in turn, decreases the blood flow to your muscles. This in itself helps reduce the pain associated with overexercise.
The research around why cold water reduces inflammation isn’t overly clear, except the researchers do know ice baths are very effective and studies are continuing.
2. Ice Baths Improve Mental Health
Jumping into a bucket of cold water certainly wakes you up! But the team at Freeze Tub assures you that submerging your body into one of their Ice Baths will impact your mental well-being. I must admit, I do feel great after plunging into one of them.
Okay – the image isn’t selling it here but when Freeze Tub sent me one of their ice baths to trial, I could say this wasn’t too far off what was going through my mind when I started looking online at some of the regular users of ice therapy. It didn’t look fun.
After I looked online, I saw Freeze Tub was legit. They had great a great product, awesome reviews, and from what I saw, way better than the cheaper options out there. Mostly to do with their thermal layering.
I’ll admit however, I didn’t open the package for close to a week so I thought I had better unwrap and have a go. If Freeze Tub didn’t follow me up and asked my thoughts, it might still be wrapped up in the corner of the office. Sorry guys.
I also thought one of the main reasons I left it so long is I tend not to like cold water.
I’m one of those guys at the beach (during summer) who tip-toe into the water and when a wave hits my mid-thigh, I would cringe and hop a little closer to shore. So, cold water and I aren’t the best of friends.
It did take a while for me to ‘take the plunge’ as they say. But after 30-odd minutes of coaching myself, I have to do it, I entered the water. No ice…it was just hose water. There might have been a kettle of hot water or two, a shot of tequila to help but it was winter and I was determined.
4 minutes later – a new man. I felt I had achieved something – I didn’t do much that day anyway, but I felt exhilarated. I certainly felt less anxious than 4 minutes prior.
But Ice Therapy research has proven that submersion into cold water and lowering the core temperature of the body for short bursts can trigger a stress response and activates the nervous system and lowers the heart rate by 15%.
But get this, plasma cortisol (stress hormone) was also lowered by up to 46%.
Get your body in a tub of iced water from Freeze Tub – that bad boy works wonders!
Ice Bath Improves Your Sleep
Just in the same way ice baths can improve mental well-being, they can also help you sleep by having a positive effect on the central nervous system.
The optimal time for this to occur is between 3 and 5 mins if the water temperature is between 54F and 12C. The Freeze Tub has temperature gauges that can help keep your ice water temperature at its optimal ‘coldness’.
You want to try having a cold ice bath about 1 to 2 hours before bed. The reason you don’t want to do it right before bed is because you might feel more alert, over being drowsy.
Ice baths can produce melatonin, the natural sleep hormone which researchers say helps you sleep. Not only this, studies have shown that cold water therapy moves your nervous system from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state – one of rest.
The Freeze Tub experts suggested I meditate for five to ten minutes prior to getting in their ice baths. Mindfulness helps to prepare the mind and body.
I tried…not sure if it worked. But perhaps I could try one where I just undressed and just got in, then the next night bring in my inner-Bali-meditation-like self and see if there is a difference.
Meditation or not, the neighbors still think I’m weird but either or it was still bloody cold but I felt like it was worthwhile.
Verdict: I’ll still be doing it. I actually felt fantastic afterward, I slept like a baby, and my sore shoulder which I have been nursing for a week after a football injury felt better!