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A Hot Take on Ice Baths for High-Performance Athletes

Long before Wim Hoff (aka. The Iceman) took center stage, athletes have been using ice baths and cold plunges to boost recovery after games. Nordic spas and their icy baths, also called cryotherapy, have been used by non-athletes for centuries! We get not being keen to power through a session in a tub with literal ice cubes in it, but if it can elevate your performance then wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to hit that next level?

“As I always say, ‘A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away.’” — Wim Hoff

Here is the DRYWORLD hot take on ice baths for high-performance athletes.

Recovery Magic

The ice bath is your ultimate recovery sidekick — even for those athletes who train on ice and in cold temperatures! When you take the plunge into icy waters, your blood vessels constrict, reducing inflammation and muscle soreness. If you pair that with these other recovery tips we’ve laid out, you can say goodbye to that post-training ache and get back out there in your full capacity ASAP.

Ice baths also help flush out waste products and toxins that build up during workouts (such as lactic acid), leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to push hard and challenge yourself. It’s like hitting a reset button for your body while also boosting your immune system and your metabolism. All of this adds up to more time available to you for training.

Cryotherapy for Next-level Endurance

If you’ve dreamt of having triathlete endurance without the three-part race aspect, or you’re a triathlete looking to elevate your capacity, ice baths could be the key for unlocking your full endurance potential. When you expose your body to cold temperatures, it has to put in work to maintain its core temperature. This forces your heart to pump more blood to your extremities, ultimately enhancing your cardiovascular system’s efficiency and delivering more of the good stuff to your muscles, helping with recovery. After all, the heart is a muscle, the cold helps you work it out. In translation, ice baths will allow you to go longer, push harder, and conquer challenges thanks to pumping up your blood circulation.

Sharpen Your Mentality

Ice baths are a masterclass in mental toughness and that old saying, “Mind over matter.” The moment you plunge into those frigid waters, your mind will start to race (and protest heavily!), and instincts kick in, asking you to please get out of the ice. Embracing the cold takes mental grit and a lot of deep breathing techniques to relax your heart rate and remain in the tub long enough to unleash the benefits. As you know, a strong mental game is just as important to unlocking your full athletic potential as the physical game is. If you really want to work on the mentality aspect of your performance, an ice bath will definitely get you there.

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Fight Inflammation

Inflammation can put a major damper on your progress. Whether it’s muscle soreness, joint pain, or the resurgence of an old injury session after session, fighting inflammation can be tough. Cold exposure triggers a decrease in inflammation markers, meaning you’ll recover faster and get back to training sooner than with other techniques. If you pair an ice bath with our CBD complete recovery (also with anti-inflammatory properties), you’ll bounce back from training like nobody’s business. The next time inflammation gets in the way of your gains, remember that an ice bath could do the trick.

Get Zen, Get Stoked

Taking a plunge into an ice bath can actually be an incredibly zen experience. It’s just you, your breath, and the fortitude to stay in icy waters. This can be a meditative moment and might even force you into reflection on your progress, giving you time to set new goals and visualize that path to victory. Plus, it’s a great way to practice mindfulness and strengthen your mental game. Did we mention ice baths can also boost your mood? Some research has discovered a 250% increase in dopamine release after a plunge, translating to happiness and maybe more enthusiasm or motivation to hit the gym hard. 

Ready for the plunge? 

That’s the DRYWORLD hot take on ice baths as a tool to help you unlock your full athletic potential and hit peak performance. Ice baths aren’t just a fad; they have withstood the test of time and been embraced by elite athletes around the globe. Forget cold water, ice baths are also about pushing boundaries and sharpening your mental fortitude. 

Like any suggested recovery tool, make sure you discuss with your physio, trainer, or doctor before jumping into sub-zero waters. Ease into adding it to your routine (like starting with a cold shower first?) and stay in tune with your body and its reaction.

“After an intense, ball-busting workout or training session, the body is inflamed — and what could be better to counter inflammation than dousing the entire body in ice-cold water? Bye, bye inflammation!” — Marty Gallagher

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