Up For An Ice Bath? The Benefits of Cold Immersion Therapy

August 14, 2022 by
Photo credit: Cole Anderson (who’s featured in the article)

In contrast to the piece we ran at the beginning of the summer around sauna usage, cold water immersion is another recovery protocol that continues to gain traction among athletes looking for an edge within the CrossFit community and beyond. With usage dating back to Ancient Greece, the practice is becoming more accessible and regularly utilized — but aside from making your teeth chatter, what exactly does it do for you?

“While cold immersion therapy has been used for centuries as a recovery tool, the science now shows it is really a performance enhancement tool with recovery being a secondary benefit,” said Evan DeMarco, the founder and CEO of Complete Human. “Activating mitochondrial rich brown fat through cold water immersion prior to a workout has been shown to increase free testosterone levels, improve strength gains, improve recovery times and improve muscle protein synthesis.”

The benefits: With a substantial amount of peer-reviewed research available, the upside of cooling down is well-documented and can include aiding: 

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