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Cold bath

Chrisw1980Chrisw1980 Posts: 39
Does a cold bath aid recovery i sat in a cold bath earlier for 20 minutes with the other half looking at me like i was out of one flew over the cokoos nest does this really aid recovery???

Chris :shock:


  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Why not use a shower hose and spray this on your legs instead??

    That'll save you other parts from disappearing :wink:
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Some studies say it helps, others say it's inconclusive. If you think it works for you, do it.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    On a serious note. When i injured my leg the other week a mixture of spraying cold water and ice pack did really help me. Much more than the hot baths i used to have afterwards.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    There was a short programme on Eurosport this week showing that the Columbia-High Road team put thier legs in water at 15 degrees ( :shock: ). My shower's lowest temperature in winter with cold pipes only goes down to about 20 but 12-14 degrees is supposed to be ideal. I emailed the team asking for more details yesterday.

    The cold water will cause the muscles to contract, blood vessels to tighten and the blood will drain out of your legs, meaning that when you get out and your legs warm up, the blood gets flowing round your legs amazingly fast - which is good. A side-effect of this is that lactic acid is also removed quicker as the blood moves out of your legs. Micro-tears in muscles created during training have been shown to heal quicker with the aid of ice baths too, speeding up recovery.

    20 minutes is a long time - If you get in for 5 minutes and then get out for 10 minutes, repeating the process for a bit, you'll get more out of it, as opposed to 20 minutes in. Getting out and walking straight into a sauna, leaning on a radiator or getting on a turbo-trainer for a light spin for 5 minutes will speed up the process. Even better - just alternate the temperature of your shower.

    I've been doing this loads recently and my injuries after a crash healed insanely faster. :!:
  • zammmmozammmmo Posts: 315
    Thats the thing though isn't it. Ice or cold therapy for INJURIES - no argument with that, but for RECOVERY? I've yet to find a really decent explanation at the cellular level as to why this is supposed to instantly reduce soreness and speed recovery. Best I can assume - might be inaccurate:

    1.The side benefit of reducing/increasing blood flow to remove waste products, that would've otherwise presumably taken much longer to clear?

    2. If you cool the muscle, metabolic activity is reduced which inhibits further breakdown? Presumably the breakdown is quickest straight after exercise therefore 'catching it' for 10-20 mins at that point pays dividends?
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    theory is that it reduces the inflammation caused by musclar micro-tears.

    Hot gives increased blood flow that helps remove respiritory (sp) waste so alternating is good apparently.
  • LorneCLorneC Posts: 149
    There was an article a couple of months back in "the comic" about the Columbia High Road approach to recovery - if you know someone who has the back issues, you might want to check that out.
    Already signed up for the following 2010 rides:

    Etape Caledonia (May 16th)
    AMR's Trossachs Ton (June 20th)
    AMR's Cross-Border Sportive (Sept 19th)
  • zammmmozammmmo Posts: 315
    theory is that it reduces the inflammation caused by musclar micro-tears.

    Yes, but how - what is going on?
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