Ice Baths The Benefits of faster Recovery

Ice Baths Benefits

From footballers to runners the ice bath has become one of the most frequently used forms of recovery, used by athletes today.

We have all seen the pictures of rugby players jumping into ice baths after a match.

We have seen the pictures of Craig Mottram. 

And other elite athletes immersing themselves in the icy waters of Falls Creek, after a hard training session.

For those that have been brave enough to immerse themselves in an ice bath for 10-15 mins.

They will no doubt tell you how much better they feel afterward. How much better they feel going into their next training session.

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Ice Baths benefits

When an athlete jumps into an ice bath and remains there for up to 10-15 mins. The cold water causes their blood vessels to tighten and constrict draining blood from their legs. Blood is drained from their legs the waste products produced during the training session, primarily lactic acid drain.

When the athlete finishes with the ice bath. their legs will then fill up with ‘new’ blood carrying with it greater oxygen. Helping the cells and muscles in the body to regenerate and function better.

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Are Ice Baths Good for You?

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Ice Bath Incorporated into Training

Some simple ways in which athletes can incorporate this into their training. Either fill up a large garbage bin or auto-bin with cold water. And then add a packet of ice (easily bought from a service station or 7/11). Immerse their legs for 10-15 mins.

Alternatively, if the athlete has access to a bath at home they can run the bath with cold water and then fill it with ice to achieve the same effect. It is important to note that an athlete should not stay in an ice bath for more than 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the cells in the body actually begin to vasodilate instead of vasoconstrict. Meaning that inflammatory reactions increase.

If the athlete has any form of soft tissue injury any increase in inflammation to the area will prolong healing time.

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How do Ice Baths Work?

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