You just finished a long, exhausting run, and now you’re soaking in a just-as (OK, way more) brutal ice bath. Your teeth are chattering and, let’s be real, your nipples could cut the ice cubes that are floating around the tub.
But if a couple minutes of discomfort might help you recover, get more out of every training run, and sidestep injuries, it’s worth it, right?
While elite athletes have followed that train of thought for years now, post-workout ice baths are gaining popularity among weekend warriors and everyday runners trying to ramp up their training—and recovery—for their next race. Many training studios are now even offering cold-water immersion therapy (code word for ice baths) to their clients.
We wanted to know: Does the supposed remedy work? We talked to sports medicine experts and sifted through the research to find out.