Plunging into an ice bath might seem like one of the latest fitness fads that you might want to skip, or at best, brave once a year for a polar plunge. However, there’s real evidence to consider incorporating it into your fitness routine.
Research has proven overwhelmingly that ice baths offer a range of physical and physiological benefits. Exposure to cold water constricts the blood vessels, helping to reduce inflammation while promoting a healthy blood flow. This reduces swelling and soreness particularly after a workout and alleviates any aches and pains. A study in 2016 showed that top athletes enjoy maximum benefits when they soak for 10 to 15 minutes in temperatures between 10 – 15 ºC or 50 – 59 ºF, but anyone experimenting with ice baths should consult with their doctor first and start with a one-minute immersion and build up.
Ice and cold water also boost the lymphatic system and your immunity by flushing bacteria and toxins.
Numerous studies have also demonstrated ice baths can also lower the stress-inducing hormone cortisol while increasing dopamine and serotonin, both of which help replace anxiety and tension with calmness and wellbeing.
I train high school and professional athletes and I’ve seen the difference the ice baths make firsthand. In conjunction with proper stretching, ice baths help heal injuries faster, assist recovery and boost mood and performance. The great thing is, all you need is a vessel and some ice, and as you shouldn’t be in an ice bath for more than 15 minutes, and most times less, it is a fast and effective option to incorporate into a training and recovery program.”
– Cody Hoyt, former athlete, high school coach and gym owner in the Hamptons.
Ice Barrel Ice Bathtub
With 105-gallon capacity the plastic barrel ice tub is durable, portable and easy to drain and clean. It’s also large enough for most adults to fit comfortably.
Muro Spa Bath
Much less expensive, this version is portable and can be folded and stored away. It uses a hose to drain but it can work as a hot tub.
Hiwena Inflatable, Portable Bathtub
Quick to inflate and deflate, you can take this ice tub with you! Drains on both layers speed up breakdown and a patch kit is included for repairs.