When and how long should I do an ice bath


For ice baths, here are some points to consider:

  • Timing: Early in the day is recommended for cold exposure, as it can increase core body temperature. Immediate post-training cold exposure can also be beneficial for recovery and reducing soreness 1.
  • Duration: For new participants, 30 seconds to 2 minutes at a temperature ranging from about 37°F to 55°F is sufficient. Start warmer than needed and ease into colder temperatures over time 2. For moderate pain relief and recovery, 15 minutes in 40°F to 50°F water or as little as 5 minutes in sub-40°F water is suggested 3.

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  • Caution: Always ensure safety and start colder exposure gradually 3. Avoid ice baths within six hours of strength or hypertrophy training to prevent attenuation of muscle growth 4 2.
  • Brief before training: A short ice bath of 1 to 3 minutes before training can increase dopamine and adrenaline, which may enhance performance 5. However, extended exposure before workouts may have negative effects 5.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new physical regimen like ice baths to ensure it is appropriate for your individual health and circumstances.