Ice-baths for athletes – is it a good idea?

Ice-baths are standard post-match practice for many athletes.

But is it always a good idea?

Cold water immersion can blunt your activation of key proteins in skeletal muscle up to 2 days after exercise (Roberts et al., 2015)

Mother nature isn’t stupid.

She causes inflammation for a reason – it’s key to the adaptation process’.

One of my favourite Nassim Taleb quotes is fitting:

“What Mother Nature does is rigorous until proven otherwise; what humans and science do is flawed until proven otherwise.”

Now, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Ice baths can be great under tournament circumstances where recovery supersedes adaptation.


Use them sparingly. They shouldn’t be day-to-day practice.


  • Sleep.
  • Appropriate training load.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.

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