The Benefits and Risks of an Ice Bath
Hot And Cold Therapy For Lower Back Pain
An ice bath has many benefits, such as the ability to reduce swelling, lactic acid, stress and reduce heart rate. However, there are also risks associated with cold therapy. A cold bath isn’t for everyone. Patients suffering from medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure should seek out a doctor’s guidance before starting any type of cold therapy. Additionally, ice baths should not be used by those who are not used to physical training, as they could hinder the growth of muscle.
Swelling is reduced
The benefits of ice bath cold therapy include reducing inflammation and pain as well as reducing joint swelling and muscle spasms. Although ice therapy may not be effective for all injuries but the icy temperatures can be soothing and effective in treating swollen joints and muscles. The process is secure and effective in most instances, but cold bathing in ice is not recommended for those who have open wounds or who are pregnant or nursing.
Make sure to consult your doctor prior to start an ice bath. The water should be kept at 53 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Some people are more comfortable with cold temperatures than others. Therefore it is crucial to wear warm clothes and fleece. Ice bathing cold therapy is beneficial for active and athletic people. However it is not recommended to ice your body for too long and only soak to the waist.
Reduces the amount of lactic acid
While the benefits of an ice bath cold therapy are well-known, you might be surprised to learn that cold temperatures can reduce swelling. Cold therapy also slows down physiological processes that can lead to lactic acid buildup within the body. The negative effects of cold therapy may be worth a shot, however. Let’s look at the negative effects of cold therapy. Let’s begin by identifying causes of lactic acid buildup.
The colder temperatures also boost the conversion of white fat to brown fat, which can burn more calories. This type of fat also increases the body’s efficiency in burning calories. A cold bath can boost the production of brown adipose tissues. In addition to improving your body’s capacity to lose weight as well, cold therapy can help to promote the growth of muscles. Although this method of cold therapy isn’t for everyone, it can be a potent tool to lose weight.
High levels of stress are an issue that affects everyone including the older. Cold baths have been proven to help in reducing stress levels and improving quality of sleep. Cold baths stimulate the vagus nervous system, which regulates blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, they decrease stress hormone levels in the body. They also assist the brain to release neurotransmitters that elevate mood and decrease stress. This effect of grounding can be used to help prevent insomnia and anxiety-related sleep disorders.
Wim Hof, the Master of Ice is an innovator in cold therapy for decades. He is referred to as “The Iceman” and has broken many records during extreme cold exposure. He has walked in the Arctic Circle in bare feet and completed the Namib Desert Marathon in freezing conditions. He also endured running in ice cubes for 112 minutes. Wim Hof believes that cold therapy can be used to ease anxiety and stress in other areas of life.
Lowers heart rate
Ice baths offer many advantages. Ice eases inflammation and decreases heart rate. However, the cold shock can be harmful to your heart and your circulatory system. Ice baths should be done only when in conjunction with other proven methods to recover. This method is particularly effective for those suffering from stress as it can help reduce anxiety. Also, it reduces the soreness of muscles and reduces the potential to strengthen your muscles.
The body’s natural reaction to exposure to cold is called noradrenaline. It boosts the production of a hormone known as noradrenaline. This hormone is responsible to raising blood pressure and heart rate. While the benefits of an ice bath are not immediately apparent, they can be beneficial in the long-term. A recent review of 19 studies found that exposure to ice helps people cool down more quickly than other methods. There are some risks including hypothermia, and frostbite. Ice bathing can slow the heart rate but does not improve recovery.
Improves cognitive function
Ice baths and cold showers have been proven to improve cognitive performance by as much as 30 percent. These treatments are believed to boost memory concentration, focus, exam performance, and memory. Studies have shown that soaking in cold water enhances the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, and improves sleep. Research has shown that cold therapy has many advantages. Continue reading to learn more about the many ways that cold therapy can benefit your body and mind.
Blood circulation is vital for a healthy heart, strong immune system, and a high level of energy. Insufficient blood flow to the brain could cause body systems that are critical to malfunction, which can cause a myriad of health issues. This can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue and headaches. In extreme cases poor blood circulation may contribute to heart attacks. Cold immersion however, increases blood flow to brain and improves nitric oxygen delivery to the brain.
It promotes muscle recovery
An ice bath promotes muscle recovery by reducing inflammation, which can lead to delayed muscle soreness after an intense workout. The cold water constricts blood vessels and removes metabolic waste from the body. Furthermore, the water aids to reduce swelling in the muscles and eliminate lactic acid. These are just a few examples advantages of an ice bath. Find out more about the benefits and advantages of an ice bath.
While ice baths have been proven to be beneficial for many athletes, a study in the Journal of Physiology published in 2019 suggested that they could hinder the production of muscle proteins. Furthermore, research from the year 2017 found that ice baths could help reduce inflammation. In general the ice bath is recommended for athletes and those who enjoy an intense workout. They are often used in conjunction with stretching, massage, and compression garments to aid in their recovery after intensive exercise.