We know that icing an injured muscle immediately helps healing but what about for general recovery after you’ve had a good leg day workout for example? This ACE-sponsored research explores the question of whether the non-athlete who wants to recover faster would benefit from a cold bath.
The Effect of Cold Water Immersion on Recovery and Exercise Performance
by Lance C. Dalleck, Ph.D., Elyza E. Montano, M.Sc., Sadie Carrillo, M.Sc., and Ryan M. Weatherwax, M.Sc., with Daniel J. Green
We’ve all seen videos of athletes giving post-game interviews from the discomfort of locker room ice baths. Does this recovery strategy really work, and can those benefits be enjoyed by typical gym-goers in addition to competitive athletes?
The mechanisms by which cold water immersion (CWI) aids in recovery are not yet well understood, though it is believed to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness (Versey, Halson and Dawson, 2013), as well as the overall time needed for recovery. Potential mechanisms include the fact that the cold water helps to decrease core and skin temperature, which increases heat-storage capacity, causes peripheral vasoconstriction and increases central blood volume. The increased vasoconstriction…
Featured photo by Karla Alexander