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Ice Baths and Cold Therapy

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  • Ice Baths and Cold Therapy


    Ice baths and cold therapy have increased in popularity. Many use it to improve their recovery. There is increasing research to support that ice baths are effective for muscle recovery [1, 2]. But just because ice baths improve markers of recovery, doesn't mean it also benefits muscle and strength gain.
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    Next to decreasing inflammation, using ice baths after training also impairs anabolic signaling (this generally results in lower rates of muscle protein synthesis). So if done consistently, ice baths decrease the amount of muscle and strength you gain long-term. A 2015 and recent 2019 study support this [3, 4]. Consistently using ice baths after training reduced muscle growth in the participants of these studies.
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    Forms of active recovery after training (like. 10-min cycling) provide similar recovery benefits as ice baths [4]. So it's generally a good idea to skip the ice baths and opt for an active cool-down after your workout instead.
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    As always, there are exceptions. If you are an athlete that wants to recover as quickly as possible for an upcoming match/meet, there still could be value in using ice baths sporadically. But using cold therapy on a consistent basis will likely reduce your training results.
    REP for www.poweroids.co

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