(STUDY FINDS) -- MAASTRICHT, Netherlands — It’s been a familiar sight in training centers and locker rooms for decades; an athlete, winding down from an intense workout, submerged in ice cold water. Ice baths have long been a staple of work out recovery regiments, and are intended to cut down on inflammation and promote muscle growth. However, a new study is, well, throwing cold water on the practice.
Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands say that ice baths likely aren’t helpful at all in repairing or building muscle over time, as they actually decrease the production of muscle proteins.
Often referred to as cold water immersion, ice baths are generally believed to aid in fast muscle recovery, and help athletes get their bodies more accustomed to intense training regiments over long periods of time. While previous research has in fact confirmed that an ice bath can help reduce swelling, inflammation, and muscle soreness by reducing body temperature, which in turn reduces blood flow, researchers say it is largely ineffective at promoting muscle adaption and growth.
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