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Friday, June 26, 2020

How to Take an Ice Bath

How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath How to Take an Ice Bath

Stepping into icy cold water doesn't sound like much fun, but an ice bath might help you reach your goals. You can use ice baths to relieve soreness after a workout and reduce inflammation in your body, though doing so will likely reduce your muscle gains.[1] Additionally, you might use ice baths for a burst of energy to make you productive or to help with depression and anxiety.[2] While ice baths are mostly safe, it’s important that you don’t stay in the water longer than 5-10 minutes.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Soaking After a Workout

  1. Take your ice bath within 30 minutes of exercise. Ice baths are only helpful if you take them right after a workout. Plan your bath for immediately after you finish a hard cardio or strength training workout or competition.[3]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • Don’t take an ice bath before a workout or competition because it will cause muscle stiffness and may worsen your performance.
  2. Shower off before your ice bath to prevent skin conditions. During a workout, your body naturally sweats to cool itself down. Additionally, you will likely come into contact with equipment, flooring, or terrain that exposes you to bacteria and dirt. While it’s rare, it’s possible that bacteria or grime on your skin can lead to a skin condition if you get in an ice bath dirty. Before your bath, take a short, lukewarm shower to soap up so that you’ll be clean when you get in the bath.[4]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • If you are sharing an ice bath with fellow athletes, it’s especially important that you wash off beforehand. Sharing a bath without washing increases the risk of infection for everyone who uses it.
  3. Put on shorts and foot booties to protect sensitive areas. Cold water can damage sensitive skin, so you might decide to wear protective clothing over some parts of your body. Swimming trunks, shorts, or briefs can help keep your genital area warm. Similarly, toe warmers or booties made out of wetsuit material can keep your feet from freezing.[5]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • You can get booties at sports stores, surf shops, or online. If you can't get booties, try wearing socks.
    • If you are only soaking the lower half of your body, you might even wear a sweatshirt in the bath so your upper body stays warm.
  4. Fill your tub halfway with cold water. Since the ice and your body will increase the water volume, don’t worry about filling up the tub. Turn on the cold water and wait for the water level to rise about halfway up the side of the tub. Then, shut off the water faucet.[6]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Use cold water because your ice may melt too quickly if your water is too warm.
    • If you feel like your water level is too low, you can always turn on the cold water to raise the water level.
    • If you don’t have a bathtub, use a kiddie pool or large plastic tub for your ice bath. Use your garden hose to fill it up.
  5. Add three bags of ice to the water to chill it to . Use store-bought ice or ice from your freezer, depending on what’s most convenient to you.[7] Pour the ice into your bath in small quantities to lower the temperature. Use a thermometer to check the water’s temperature and stop adding ice when it reaches about .[8]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • If you don't have a thermometer, you can estimate the temperature by plunging your elbow beneath the surface. You'll feel some discomfort but it shouldn't burn your skin.
    • At first, you might use slightly warmer water so you don’t feel shocked by the temperature. Add just enough ice to lower your water temperature to around to get you used to an ice bath. Slowly decrease the temperature of your ice bath by 1-2 degrees each time you take an ice bath until you get down to about .
  6. Submerge your lower body under the ice water slowly. Getting into the cold water too quickly can shock your system and may make your heart race too fast. Give yourself time to adjust to the cold by slowly entering the water. As you get into the bath, take slow, deep breaths to stay calm.[9] Start with your feet, then ease the rest of your lower body into the water. [10]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • It’s okay to sit on the side of the tub with just your feet in the water if the water is too uncomfortable. Take as much time as you need to adjust to the cold water.
  7. Dip your upper body into the water if desired when you're ready. When you feel like you’ve adjusted to the cold temperature, sink lower in the water to immerse your arms, shoulders, and chest. Stay under the water only if you feel like you can tolerate it. If you start to feel too cold or shaky, lift your body out of the water immediately.[11]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Always do what feels comfortable to you, and don’t push yourself. Cold water can be very shocking to your system, so take things slow.
    • You may not want to soak your upper body if you’re only trying to soothe your leg and hip muscles. Do what’s right for you.
  8. Soak for 5-10 minutes to help you recover. Settle into the water and take deep breaths to help you relax. It may help to count your breaths, which can take your mind off the cold. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and try to stay in your bath until the timer goes off.[12]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • If you can’t stand the cold, it’s okay to get out of your bath early. Don’t push your body past its limits.
    • Put a towel outside your tub on the ground so you don't slip when you get out of the water.[13]

[Edit]Using Ice Baths for Energy or Mental Health

  1. Check with your doctor before using cold therapy to treat yourself. Ice baths may help you get a burst of energy or might help you improve your mood. However, they aren’t appropriate for everyone, especially if you have an underlying health condition. Talk to your doctor about why you want to try cold therapy and if it’s right for you.[14]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • For instance, taking ice baths can be dangerous if you have a heart condition. Your doctor can help you determine if you have any risks that might make it harmful to take an ice bath.
  2. Fill your tub halfway with cold water. Don’t fill up your tub because the ice and your body will raise the volume of the water. Turn on the faucet that controls the cold water and wait for the water to rise about halfway up the tub. Then, switch off the water faucet.[15]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Use cold water because warm water will melt your ice too quickly.
  3. Add ice to lower the temperature to about . Use store-bought ice or ice from your freezer, whichever is most convenient to you. Drop a few handfuls of ice in the tub, then check the temperature with a thermometer. Continue to add ice in small amounts until the water reaches about .[16]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • If you like, it’s okay to lower your temperature so that it’s colder. However, don’t lower it below , which can harm your skin or your health.[17]
  4. Relax in the tub for about 5 minutes by taking slow, deep breaths. Sit back against the back of your tub and try to enjoy your soak. Breathe slowly in and out, drawing the air deep into your lungs. You might also count your breaths to help you relieve any tension in your body. Set a timer for 5 minutes and try to stay in the bath until it goes off.[18]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • Get out of the bath early if you feel too uncomfortable or feel like your heart is racing. Don’t push your body further than it’s ready to go.
  5. Take a 1-3 minute cold shower for an easier option. You can still get the benefits you want without soaking in a tub. Instead, stand under a cold shower for at least a minute. If you can stand it, stay under the water for a full 3 minutes.[19]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 13.jpg
    • For a daily energy boost, end your morning shower with a blast of cold water.
  6. Use cold therapy once or twice a day to improve your mood. Take your bath or shower early in the morning to improve your mood for that day. If you like, take another bath or shower later in the day. Continue using it as long as you feel like it’s helping you have more energy or to cope with your anxiety or depression.[20]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 14.jpg
    • Cold therapy isn’t a substitute for working with a therapist or taking medication for anxiety or depression. Don’t stop any of your prescribed treatments unless your doctor says it’s okay.

[Edit]Warming Yourself up After an Ice Bath

  1. Towel off with a dry towel after your bath. Get out of the tub and immediately wrap a towel around yourself. Pat yourself down to remove all of the cold water from your skin.[21]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 15.jpg
    • If it’s possible, use a towel that’s straight out of the dryer so it’s still warm.
  2. Put on sweats or cover yourself with a warm blanket to warm yourself. Once your skin is dry, pull on thick clothing to help raise your body temperature. Wear sweats or something similar, like a thick bathrobe. You might also cover yourself with a blanket.[22]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 16.jpg
    • If you’re shivering, add more clothing to help you warm up faster.
  3. Increase your body temperature by sipping on a hot beverage. Hot coffee, tea, or broth will help you warm up faster. Brew your coffee or tea or heat up some broth. Then, take small sips of your beverage so you don’t shock your body.[23]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 17.jpg
    • If you want energy, you might drink a caffeinated drink.
    • If you’re trying to calm down, stick to decaffeinated coffee, herbal tea, or broth.
  4. Wait 2 hours before you take a warm bath or shower if possible. Taking a warm shower or bath too soon after an ice bath may reduce the effects of the cold therapy, no matter your goal. Unless you’re having trouble warming yourself back up, wait at least 2 hours before you take a warm bath or shower.[24]
    Take an Ice Bath Step 18.jpg
    • Go ahead and take a warm bath or shower if you’re still shivering and feeling cold after putting on thick clothing and drinking a warm beverage. The warm water should warm you up faster.

[Edit]Tips

  • Ice bathing is usually used after intense training or athletic performance because it will help limit soreness by flushing out the lactic acid in your muscles. Save it for days when you've trained hard or after a big event, such as running a marathon.[25]
  • Some gyms, spas, and sports facilities have cold water baths. These are like hot tubs, except that they use cold water instead of hot.[26]

[Edit]Warnings

  • Do not take ice baths that are colder than . Hypothermia or muscle damage could result.[27]
  • Do not stay in an ice bath longer than 20 minutes, as this can damage your muscles. If you start feeling too cold, uncomfortable, or in pain, get out of the bath.[28]
  • Ice baths will not help you build muscle or improve your strength. In many cases, they can actually reduce gains. You should only use an ice bath if you need to reduce soreness.[29]

[Edit]References

__

[Edit]Quick Summary

  1. https://www.stack.com/a/ice-baths
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inner-source/201407/cold-splash-hydrotherapy-depression-and-anxiety
  3. https://www.stack.com/a/ice-baths
  4. https://www.stack.com/a/ice-baths
  5. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/benefits-of-cold-therapy/
  6. https://www.self.com/story/is-taking-an-ice-bath-actually-worth-the-pain
  7. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/benefits-of-cold-therapy/
  8. https://www.stack.com/a/ice-baths
  9. [v161164_b02]. 25 October 2019.
  10. https://www.self.com/story/is-taking-an-ice-bath-actually-worth-the-pain
  11. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/benefits-of-cold-therapy/
  12. [v161164_b02]. 25 October 2019.
  13. [v161164_b02]. 25 October 2019.
  14. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inner-source/201407/cold-splash-hydrotherapy-depression-and-anxiety
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/
  16. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inner-source/201407/cold-splash-hydrotherapy-depression-and-anxiety
  17. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full
  18. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inner-source/201407/cold-splash-hydrotherapy-depression-and-anxiety
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/
  20. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inner-source/201407/cold-splash-hydrotherapy-depression-and-anxiety
  21. https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP270570
  22. http://www.ccolife.org/teamcco/training-with-team-cco/dos-and-donts-of-ice-baths/
  23. http://www.ccolife.org/teamcco/training-with-team-cco/dos-and-donts-of-ice-baths/
  24. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full
  25. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full
  26. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full
  27. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full
  28. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full
  29. https://www.stack.com/a/ice-baths
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