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Hot Bath v Cold Bath.........

pedrojakepedrojake Posts: 229
edited August 2009 in Road beginners
When I get in after a jaunt on the bike I usually just grab a shower. However, the weekly 5 aside footy see’s some muscles and joints get a bit more abuse so like last night, I like to recover with a soak in a hot bath, stick the Ipod on and a nice cold bottle of Brahma.

I am intending to ratchet up the cycling miles having just got the new bike, pedals shoes etc, and imagine that this will, certainly early on, see me want to have a good soak to sort out the muscles. I mentioned this to the bro in law at the weekend, and he says this is the wrong thing to do, and what I should be doing is taking an ice cold bath(!) . He’s a runner, (marathon’s) so guess he knows his stuff.

Which, if any, would be your preferred option, and why?

Posts

  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Ice cold is supposed to be the way to go. Literally put ice in the bath and top up with water and stay in as long as possible, perhaps 10 mins or so. A lot of athletes use ice cold baths. When you exercise your body creates free radicals and toxins which stretching can help get rid of, but a cold bath does the same. Not sure why or ths science behind it. I read an article about Andy Murray having ice baths after matches during Wimbledon. Definitely not hot.
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If you're performing at the level of an Andy Murray, Victoria Pendleton, Paula Radcliffe etc, an ice bath probably does help some way in the repair to damaged muscle fibres. Constricting capillaries, reduced blood flow, reduced oxygen use, something to do with lactate metabolism, who knows?

    My testicles however refuse to allow me to get into anything that cold, even if Victoria were to get in first and wink at me, so I'll be carrying on with the hot bath / shower after a beating on the bike.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I don't think you need to be a pro athlete to have an ice bath! We're all human and can benefit from them. I take your point about the knacks though....
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  • schlepcyclingschlepcycling Posts: 1,614
    Australian research, albeit from 2007 suggests that ice baths don't offer any benefit at all and may in fact make things worse.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6287210.stm
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  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    I don't think you need to be a pro athlete to have an ice bath! We're all human and can benefit from them. I take your point about the knacks though....

    I am not saying you have to be.....
    just tell us when you've done your 1st one..! :lol:

    Does your brother run marathons just for the hell of it.. like "just popping out fer some fags... wont be long.........
    Always wondered.. or do marathon runners always have to be followed by people in tweety pie suits?
    If he wears Tweety Pie suits, would you really take advice from a cartoon bird?
  • pedrojakepedrojake Posts: 229
    JGSI wrote:
    I don't think you need to be a pro athlete to have an ice bath! We're all human and can benefit from them. I take your point about the knacks though....

    I am not saying you have to be.....
    just tell us when you've done your 1st one..! :lol:

    Does your brother run marathons just for the hell of it.. like "just popping out fer some fags... wont be long.........
    Always wondered.. or do marathon runners always have to be followed by people in tweety pie suits?
    If he wears Tweety Pie suits, would you really take advice from a cartoon bird?

    :lol: no, he keeps the tweety suit for the weekend.

    but in fairness, he does do a load of running
  • Hot bath is much better. How can you enjoy a glass of red and a spliff in a cold bath?
  • pedrojakepedrojake Posts: 229
    Australian research, albeit from 2007 suggests that ice baths don't offer any benefit at all and may in fact make things worse.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6287210.stm

    wow, interesting schlep.
    so my hot bath with a bottle of ice cold beer could be the best solution after all.....
  • EdZedEdZed Posts: 119
    I know which I'd prefer.
  • flybikeflybike Posts: 84
    I got a shock by getting straight in a cold bath after training, I can't breathe! Now I get in an empty bath then fill it up with cold water whilst sitting in it and get my Boyfriend to chuck in ice. Much better. I defintely say it works, far less of that horrid DOMS meaning I can train harder the next day (if I really want to :? )

    And if your beer is getting a bit warm just stick it in the cold water :wink:
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    flybike wrote:
    I got a shock by getting straight in a cold bath after training, I can't breathe! Now I get in an empty bath then fill it up with cold water whilst sitting in it and get my Boyfriend to chuck in ice. Much better. I defintely say it works, far less of that horrid DOMS meaning I can train harder the next day (if I really want to :? )

    And if your beer is getting a bit warm just stick it in the cold water :wink:

    sorry - but this just sounds like madness - i;d rather live with the doms!
  • skellator3skellator3 Posts: 200
    mmmmm girls in baths with ice cubes, is this some porn thing ive stumbled across, no seriously hot and cold in that fill the bath with cold water and ice, take a hot shower then in the cold bath, repeat a few times great for getting the blood flowing get rid of the free rads
    dont only ride a bike
  • jamestuxjamestux Posts: 47
    I used to play a lot of rugby and paid attention to all the press that when with it. I remember the England team using ice baths the whole way through the 2003 World Cup and so decided to try for myself.

    I find that cold water rather than ice is enough for me but having a cold bath on just my legs let me train much harder and for longer the next day if I had overdone it (especially if I had got to the point of cramping).

    This may be purely psychological BUT it definitely did make a difference for me (and not just the immediate shrunken areas and discomfort). It's not that unpleasant after the first few seconds - I do it for between 5 to 10 minutes.

    I do sometimes have a warm bath or shower afterwards too and find that this makes little or no difference to the next day as long as I had the cold bath first.
  • flybikeflybike Posts: 84
    gkerr4 wrote:
    flybike wrote:
    I got a shock by getting straight in a cold bath after training, I can't breathe! Now I get in an empty bath then fill it up with cold water whilst sitting in it and get my Boyfriend to chuck in ice. Much better. I defintely say it works, far less of that horrid DOMS meaning I can train harder the next day (if I really want to :? )

    And if your beer is getting a bit warm just stick it in the cold water :wink:

    sorry - but this just sounds like madness - i;d rather live with the doms!

    Yeah but if you have to train the next day (rowing coaches - they're all sadistic) I'd rather put up with 10 mins of cold, which is only painful for the first 2, than feel like I am cracking up my crunchy DOMS infested muscles the next day.

    Oh and sorry skellator3, the cold water means I DEFINATELY get the bath to myself... :lol:
  • skellator3skellator3 Posts: 200
    awww flybike,
    dont only ride a bike
  • As far as I understand it (probably complete b0ll0cks), the cold water shrinks all the blood vessels limiting blood flow to the worn limbs, the warming up afterwards then gives lots of fresh blood which helps the healing process. That's the very basic way i think of it.
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If you've overdone things to the extent of bleeding into muscles then I can imagine that the ice bath would help reduce the effects because capillaries would be constricted. If it's about removing lactic acid I'd have thought that promoting, not stopping blood flow was desirable. Again, if it's to promote repair / building of muscle I would have thought that warm with blood flow would be preferable to cold without.

    Anyone got a bathroom which will allow them to have one leg in a cold bath and the other in a hot shower? We need to sort this out once and for all!
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    keef66 wrote:
    If you've overdone things to the extent of bleeding into muscles then I can imagine that the ice bath would help reduce the effects because capillaries would be constricted. If it's about removing lactic acid I'd have thought that promoting, not stopping blood flow was desirable. Again, if it's to promote repair / building of muscle I would have thought that warm with blood flow would be preferable to cold without.

    Anyone got a bathroom which will allow them to have one leg in a cold bath and the other in a hot shower? We need to sort this out once and for all!

    I could do that. My shower is over the bath (I live in the north. I have only just progressed from having an outside toilet!). I will try when I get home tonight and see if I feel any different tomorrow. :lol:
  • flybikeflybike Posts: 84
    We need a bigger sample size, how about using dustbins?
    One leg in a cold one, one in a warm one. Hmm, but then I'd have to try and explain why I only have DOMS in one leg...
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    skellator3 wrote:
    awww flybike,

    quite.

    I'm trying to hold back stating that this thread needs pictures.

    Oh damn - done it now! :oops:
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