We've often seen athletes doing this strange exercise after going through a rigorous workout or a big game; they would dip themselves in a tub full of ice. Known as Cold Water Immersion (CWI) or cryotherapy, ice bath is a practice commonly used to recuperate faster from intense training sessions and reduce muscle pain and soreness thereafter. Apparently however, not only athletes enjoy doing ice baths, celebrities like Lizzo, Kim Kardashian, Harry Styles, or Bretman Rock were seen diving down to the activity.
Chris Hemsworth incorporated ice baths as his muscle-building workout. Lizzo uses a whopping $5000 tub specifically made for ice baths called Plunge and uses it to help with her anxiety. Both Lady Gaga and Usher claim to take an ice bath both pre and post show in an attempt to remain in peak physical condition. Kendall Jenner shares on her Insta a quick video of her relaxing in an ice bathtub in effort to "tap into her highest self."
Drowning yourself to an icy, freezing bathtub sounds a bit peculiar-so what are the benefits of taking an ice bath and how does that feel therapeutic?
Ice baths claim to have its own perks to our body health which includes not only for treating sore muscles, but also to decrease inflammation and swelling, encouraging a huge additional rush of endorphins, dopamine spikes, as well as improved sleep. We're not talking about the ice bucket challenge that went crazy among public figures a few years ago-just like the name, an ice bath practice is done by filling your tub with cold water as well as bags of ice. The water shouldn't get any colder than 11.6 degrees Celsius and soaking yourself for about 10 minutes will do to avoid adverse consequences.
Scientifically speaking, the water temperature of an ice bath can lower the damage of affected tissue and reduce further swelling, says Everyday Health. Plunging your body into the icy water causes your blood vessels to constrict. When blood vessels contract, they push blood toward your organ which supplies the blood with more oxygen and nutrients. Once you get out of the cold water, your blood vessels open up which allows oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to return to your tissues and help flush the muscles metabolic waste products such as lactic acid buildup.
But it's not merely beneficial for physical health. As mentioned, dipping your body into a freezing bath sounds pretty bizarre (at least for me). However, exposure to cold water helps trigger the release of adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. In fact, research says that ice baths led norepinephrine to increase by 530 percent! Acting as a hormone released as your body's natural response to stress, regularly challenging yourself to withstand the chilliness of an ice bath may help you build the ability to handle stressful situations when they arise. So, for people who struggle with anxiety, ice baths can be a useful method to teach the body and mind to remain calm when experiencing extreme situations.
All in all, ice baths are good for rejuvenating energy, treating injuries, keeping a healthy heart, a strong immune system, well-balanced mental health, and a high energy level. That's the cold truth about ice baths. Would you try it?