How Long After Ice Bath Can I Shower (And Why)?

Exact Answer: About 10 to 15 minutes

For people who have a very active lifestyle, especially those involving sports and heavy exercise ice bath is a very common thing. An ice bath is a very useful technique in relaxing and recovering from rigorous exercise and consequent injuries and muscle fatigue. An ice bath is a tried and tested method which is very popular among athletes.

Even for people who are not athletes or endurance trainers, sometimes an ice bath is recommended to help heal an injury or muscle pain. This method is simple to implement and is approved by doctors as well. It often works well and makes the patient feel much better.

How Long After Ice Bath Can I Shower?

An ice bath as the name suggests is a tried and tested method of taking a bath in the ice water. To be more specific, the lower half of the body is submerged in ice water in this process. This is done to relax the muscles and relieve any pain and fatigue they might be undergoing.

To take an ice bath, a bathtub must be filled with water, and then about a pound of ice must be added to it. The temperature should be maintained at 54 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the lower half of the body must be submerged in this ice water for about 15 minutes.

It is very important to take the necessary measures in order o ensure that the basal temperature of the body is maintained and the ice does not affect it too much. It is advisable to wear warm clothes on the top half of the body and drink hot drinks. When to shower after an ice bath is based on two factors.

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Body temperature recovers

It is always important to wait several minutes before showering after an ice bath so that the body is not shocked. After a few minutes when the body temperature returns to normal a shower can be avoided.

Body temperature not recovered

If after several minutes the body temperature does not raise back to normal then one should take a warm shower to restore it.

Temperature FactorTime
Body temperature recoversA shower can be avoided
Body temperature not recovered10 to 15 minutes

Why Should I Take a Shower That Long After Ice Bath?

Ice baths are recommended to treat muscle injuries and fatigue. If some areas of the body feel sore or strained then also an ice bath can be taken. They remove the lactic acid which is the main cause of muscle fatigue. Hence the muscles feel relaxed and take away the soreness.

A very useful tip for ice baths is to get into the tub first and then add the water and then the ice. This is much easier than the reverse, that is, jumping into a tub full of ice water. It is important to add the ice bit by bit, slowly testing out the tolerance, because each person has a different tolerance and the same technique might not work for everyone.

One can also wear clothes on the top half of the body that is not submerged in the bath to not catch a cold. Drinking hot drinks such as decaffeinated coffee is also recommended to help with adjusting to the cold temperature and staying in it for a while.

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About 15 minutes in the ice bath is enough time for it to take effect. This time is enough for the ice bath to take effect. After the ice bath one should not immediately jump in the shower to warm the body. This can cause the body to go into shock from the sudden temperature change. It is important to wait a few minutes to let the body warm itself. If the temperature still has not raise, it is advisable to take a warm shower.

Conclusion

Ice baths are a part of cold therapy and can be very useful in terms of healing muscle fatigue, injuries, tiredness, and soreness of the body. They are often used as a very quick method to get instant relief. Ice baths are often taken by athletes and endurance trainers. The lower half of the body is submerged in a tub full of ice water for about 15 minutes. This removes lactic acid from the muscles which causes them to feel sore and fatigued. It is important to wait a while and let the body recover itself after an ice bath so that it does not feel the shock.

References

  1. https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/jsr/15/2/article-p105.xml
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc5350472/
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