The traditional view has always been that ice baths are good for soothing muscles. However a new joint study by the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology has found an active warm down is actually more effective in building muscle mass & strength.
This is what was said about the ice group in the study:
“Cold water immersion was actually decreasing the activity of these very important cells or proteins or sometimes delaying the activity-up profile of them,” Dr Roberts said.”They not only had a big reduction in the amount of muscle mass they gained, but they also had a significantly lower increase in functional performance after training.”
The scientists in this study concluded that the benefits from an ice bath are mainly psychological! Dr Jonathan Peake from QUT’s School of Biomedical Sciences said the results might change the strategies used by professional sports teams.”Perhaps they could think more carefully about when they use ice baths in their competitive season,” Dr Peake said.
Next time you want to increase your muscle & strength, you may want to give ice baths a miss. It seems that an active warm down is a far better solution.