Study looks at impact of ice baths on the muscles of athletes as they recover
Monday, December 9, 2019

A new study is raising questions about a common practice used to help athletes in recovery.

This new study in The Journal of Physiology sort of throws cold water on ice baths as a strategy for repairing or building muscle. To find this out researchers studied the impact of ice baths on the generation of new protein in muscles that usually increases after exercise and after we eat protein.

They measured this in a number of ways, including with muscle biopsies, in those that did resistance exercise of both legs for two weeks in a total of seven sessions. After each session, the participants immersed one leg in cold water and researchers found a decrease in the amount of protein in that leg.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Nick Gates of OrthoCincy is a sports medicine specialist who focuses mainly on ankle injuries. He gave Local 12 his thoughts on this study in the video above.