Friday, May 10, 2024

Cold Play?

ST 100524
I just wrote about how cold (ice) immersions were not effective last week! And Straits Times does a full page article on the front of their Life Section today (100524).

"I noticed a significant improvement in my alertness and reduced muscle soreness after including cold therapy ....." said a business owner selling ice baths.

No, evidence says cold immersions does not help with recovery. Actually cold immersions inhibits recovery. Researchers (Roberts et al, 2015) have found that cold water immersion after hard exercise suppressed signaling pathways associated with recovery. This suppression lasted for several days.

The newspaper article also credited Wim Hof (the Dutch iceman) for popularising cryo or ice therapy - just like my post. Purveyors of commercial health and wellness have definitely jumped on the same bandwagon. I cannot comment on the various beauty and skincare benefits (such as reduction in cellulite and what not) as touted by the wellness professionals quoted. Please do your due diligence.


Roberts LA, Raastad T, Markworth et al (2015). Post-exercise Cold Water Immersion Attenuates Acute Anabolic Signaling And Long-term Adaptations In Muscle To Strength Training. J Physiol 593(18) : 4285-4301. DOI: 10.1113/JP270570.

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