5 Benefits of Ice Baths
It seems like there’s a health craze every few months. Some stick around while others fade into oblivion. It can be difficult to see which new techniques or diets will stay—and which will not. On the Ice Ice Baths! episode of Making Bank, guest Jason Stauffer discusses a recent trend that’s been around for centuries. That’s right—ice baths offer endless benefits.
Isn’t an ice bath just a cold bath? What benefits could that possibly provide? Jason himself was skeptical until trying ice baths in conjunction with breath work. He saw and felt immediate benefits, which set him on the path to building his own ice bath, and eventually, his own company. Jason’s wife, Adrienne, also saw benefits from ice baths for her autoimmune diseases.
Jason’s company Morozko Forge doesn’t just offer a cold bath to soak in for their clients. Morozko builds forges out of wood sealed with marine grade polyurethane.
Meant for either indoor or outdoor use, Morozko forges can set and maintain temperatures of anywhere between 32 degrees or higher. It is the only ice bath in the world that can generate its own chunks of ice—and big ones at that! Their forges can be used year-round.
But what can ice baths do for you?
Before we jump into the benefits, it’s important to note that ice baths are not meant to diagnose, cure, or prevent certain illnesses or conditions. Instead, ice baths can be utilized to promote a healthy lifestyle.
The benefits of an ice bath can best be achieved by sitting in the cold water for 2 minutes or less. Essentially, an ice bath works like a full body ice pack—reducing swelling by constricting blood vessels.
So, with that being said, what can an ice bath help you achieve?
Relieve Sore Muscles
The first and most obvious benefit to ice baths is that they can alleviate soreness in muscles. Most ice baths are offered to athletes for that reason alone. Like an all-body ice pack, an ice bath can provide relief for aching muscles.
Another benefit to ice baths is the way it soothes skin. If you have a sunburn or bug bites, an ice bath will ease that sunburn and reduce the swelling from the bites. For some, it has also combatted acne and oiliness.
Ice baths do more for the skin than just helping clear up acne. Ice baths or ice bath facials can also reduce puffiness, particularly around the eyes, as well as other signs of aging such as wrinkles. Overall, it will leave your skin feeling smoother and tighter for a more refreshing look.
Another plus to ice baths is that they can work in conjunction with your diet to cut down on body fat. When you plunge into an ice bath, the cold water can trigger something called brown adipose fat and muscles, which release hormones called irisin and FGF21. These hormones then burn white fat, leading to weight loss.
Regulate Autoimmune Disorders
Lastly, and the quality that convinced Jason of ice baths, is their ability to help ease autoimmune diseases. While ice baths can’t cure disorders, they can help manage and reduce symptoms.
When Jason started ice baths, he was searching for treatments for his wife, Adrienne. In her thirties, Adrienne was diagnosed with several chronic illnesses that led to sudden weight gain, migraines and allergic reactions to foods and fragrances she had consumed her whole life. She was put on multiple medications—taking up to 20 pills a day. She lost friends, her job, and her mental health spiraled. On the medication, her illnesses were not progressing, but they were not improving, either.
Jason read every scientific and medical book he could to find ways to help her. He even looked into old novels for a cure. Finally, he tried ice baths and felt an immediate benefit for himself in those first two minutes. He built an ice bath in the backyard and convinced Adrienne to try. She felt immediate relief of her symptoms within 9 seconds of cold exposure.
Within a year of ice baths, she was off all medications. She felt better—but was she actually better? When she checked in with her doctor, she received a clean bill of health.
Adrienne isn’t alone. On the Forge’s journal, you can read through dozens of accounts that found relief for their thyroid issues, type 2 diabetes and much more.
These five benefits to ice baths just scratch the surface. Each year, more studies come out with additional research on the topic. So, the real question is, why not try it?