Recovery Lab

How Long Should You Spend In An Ice Bath

Cold exposure, particularly through immersion in an ice bath, is a practice that has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. These benefits include reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and boosting the immune system. However, it’s essential to note that there are potential risks associated with cold exposure, such as hypothermia, so it’s crucial to approach this practice with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional if you have any medical conditions.

When it comes to the duration of an ice bath, there is no fixed rule. The time spent in an ice bath can vary from person to person, depending on their tolerance level. Some people may only be able to stay in for a few seconds or minutes, while others may be able to tolerate it for longer. It’s recommended to start with shorter exposure times, such as 1-2 minutes, and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts to the cold.

The best time to take an ice bath may depend on your objectives. Some people prefer to take an ice bath after a workout, as it may help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation. Others may prefer to take an ice bath in the morning as a way to invigorate themselves and start the day with a boost of energy. It’s important to experiment with different timing to see what works best for you.

It’s essential to approach cold exposure with caution, particularly if you have underlying medical conditions. Gradually building up your tolerance and starting with shorter exposure times is recommended. As with any new health practice, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting to ensure it is safe and suitable for you.

We asked former Rugby player and Recovery Lab co-founder Ben Seymour his thoughts on how long we should be spending in the cold!

“1-2 minutes is a great starting point. This can be up to your waist or if you love a challenge, fully submerged up to your neck to activate your vagus nerve (Where the magic happens!!)” 

“You can extend the time of exposure by 1-2 mins each time you ice bath. Once you accomplish around 8 mins you can bring the temperature down slightly and start the process again from 1-2mins at that temperature. We do not recommend going lower than 8 degrees celsius.”

“Don’t be a hero. Sometimes less is more when it comes to Cold Water Immersion. Getting out and feeling invigorated is the goal, not shivering!” 


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