What Is An Ice Bath Exactly??
The recent growing debate of ice baths vs hot bath creates much speculation as to whether ice baths are better than traditional hot baths. First, let’s explore ice baths vs hot baths. This question deserves an in-depth analysis.
Let’s start off by acknowledging that cold baths are nothing new. Take the Finns of Northern Europe for example. Their ritual bath, sauna to be exact, is almost always followed by an icy plunge in a nearby lake. Finland has an estimated 188,000 lakes, so many saunas literally sit next to a lake.
The process of a cold water plunge directly after a soak or steam accomplishes three things.
- First, it cools you off immediately
- Secondly, it causes your pores to close and draws out toxins and impurities from your skin
- Lastly, it stimulates your brain to produce endorphins which make you feel great and forget about the pain or aches in your muscles
Ice Baths Are Trendy — Do They Work??
We see the tradition of cold soaks has much to offer. So what’s with the current trend and does it warrant ‘standalone’ cold soaking?
We’ve seen many celebrities from Lady Gaga to Jack Dorsey take ice baths, all of whom claim amazing health benefits.
Are Ice Baths Worth The Torment?
If you can stand the discomfort, it’s really up to you to decide whether the benefits you receive are worth enduring the extreme cold sensation and numbing effect.
Consider The Benefits Of A Hot Bath
- Warm water immersion gently soften tight muscles
- Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) relaxes muscles. See recipe here.
- The addition of botanicals and oils can aid the skin in it’s detoxification
Most ritual soaks from around the world, the Turkish Hammam, Russian Banya for instance all are proponents of a quick cold bath immediately after a hot soak. So they were on to something…
If you want to try a modified version at home, take a warm bath and then rinse off with cold water for a full minute. This should cool the body, close the pores, and release some endorphins to help you feel great. You’ll rest better at night too!