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Do cold baths compare with ice baths?

Would having a bath run with only cold water, have a similar effect as having one filled with ice. The temperature is obviously not as low but would the benefit of the cold water be worthwhile?

Thanks in advance


  • tomroomtomroom Posts: 33
    Yep, definitely worthwhile. Try alternating between hot and cold for 30 secs cold, 1min warm (easier in a shower obviously) and end on a cold if you can so that way your blood vessels end on a constricted state so none of the waste can be dumped back in your muscles.


  • MikeyBMikeyB Posts: 135
    Previously I have tried going from cold baths to hot showers and found it very beneficial. At the rate my freezer makes ice-cubes there is no way I can manage ice baths so you have to make do. I don't think the benefits from ice baths require the water to be at a specific temperature so as cold as you can get it should be good enough.


  • dsk699dsk699 Posts: 20
    Thanks for the replies fellas. However, the aim is not to flush lactic acid/ waste or improve circulation- quite the opposite. With numerous niggling injuries (I have a fused L5-S1), I want to reduce circulation from the area immediately after traning- especially running! Ice baths and ice packs as you know are great for injuries for the initial 72ish hours, so what i should have asked really, is would a cold bath be better than ice packs which would be more localised.

    Sorry its so long winded!

  • tomroomtomroom Posts: 33
    For injuries or injury prevention it's best to make the treatment as localised as possible, so go for the ice packs. Generally if you follow Rest Ice Compression Elevation you can't go to wrong when treating injuries, though with fused vertebrae I'm not sure how easy the elevating will be?!


  • vale46vale46 Posts: 6
    Hi Guys, dont know if you've read the latest issue of Running Fitness, but in there is quite an interesting article on Ice baths . . the research is done by Kingston University . . . it basically said that ice application failed to do anything to promote recovery after overuse muscular injury . . .

    I was shocked as in my club everyone uses them!!
  • tomroomtomroom Posts: 33
    That's pretty interesting!? Haven't read the article myself but could the distinction be from the word overuse? I suppose for a serious long term muscle tear then ice won't accelerate the healing process much just minimise swelling. I think most people use ice, like dsk699, to prevent unnecessary soreness from niggling injuries from hampering training when they are confident that they haven't sustained a serious injury. I guess strictly speaking this isn't promoting recovery as applying ice actively prevents the recovery process from becoming too much of a burden.

    I suspect a lot of this can be explained by the definitions used in the article and the injuries they are referring to. Does this sound possible? Really should go out and get it myself now, got me thinking!


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