Cold water immersion, cold plunge, or an ice bath is a popular method to reduce exercise fatigue, muscle stiffness, and exercise-related muscle damage (EIMD). However, there have been conflicting results regarding whether ice bath immersion works.
After 20 studies from 2002 to 2022 were revealed, we see that athletes immersed in cold water after exercise can greatly benefit from reduced muscle soreness and faster fatigue recovery.
But even with all these cold plunge studies, what’s the ideal science-based temperature for an ice bath? In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the ideal temperature for an ice bath, how long you should stay in a cold plunge for the best results, and what’s the best time for an ice bath.
Best Temperature for an Ice Bath? (According to Science)
The best temperature for an ice bath, according to science, is somewhere between 10-15 degrees Celsius or 50-59 degrees Fahrenheit. While it might be a general number, most people have varying cold tolerance as some people might react sensitively, and trained individuals might not stimulate many results.
Therefore, it’s important to incorporate cold water immersion individually. For example, someone new to ice baths shouldn’t be immersing themselves as an athlete doing cold plunges for years.
Studies done by Soerberg et al in 2021 showed us some interesting results. The study says that the ideal exposure for a cold plunge is to submerge the body up to the neck in less than 15 degrees Celsius water or around 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
This temperature is enough to positively impact metabolic function and muscle soreness recovery. Moreover, the bath length can be adjusted according to the cold water temperature. So, if you’re doing it for less than 10 degrees Celsius, you might also want to decrease the time spent in the Ice bath.
Water turns into ice at 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, with a 3:1 water-to-ice ratio and 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-59 Fahrenheit) temperature, you can jump in the ice bath and let the water heal you.
Many MMA fighters, boxers, and celebrities like Floyd Mayweather, Joe Rogan, GSP, and more take ice baths to recover from inflammation and soreness.
How Long Should You Ice Bath for? (The Ideal Duration)
A study from Human Kinetics Journals shows us interesting results about ice baths. The study was done on ten men who hopped in an ice bath at 10 degrees Celsius after performing leg exercises. And the other day, they received whole-body cryotherapy in getting their body hit with air up to -200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The results show that 10 minutes of cold water immersion was more effective than whole-body cryotherapy, and it lowered muscle soreness and booster recovery 24 to 48 hours after exercise.
The best number for an ice bath should be around 10-15 minutes. Most athletes submerge themselves in the water for 10-15 minutes at 10-15 degrees Celsius temperature.
But a starting point for most beginners can be 3-5 minutes. As you get more accustomed to the cold water, decreasing the temperature to around 10 degrees Celcius with up to 10-15 minutes of cold plunge benefits the most.
Looking for an Ice Bath? We’ve Got You Covered
Now that you know the best temperature and duration for an ice bath, you also understand the added benefits of cold baths. So, to buy an affordable ice bath with the best quality, you should check out the NORDICWAY™ ICE BATH.
Our industry leading triple ice insultation shell ensures your ice baths stay colder, for longer. That not only saves you money on ice, but helps keep your ice bath tub sessions constantly cold, giving you all of the best possible benefits.
Our NordicWay™ Ice Bath Tub has all the tools you'll ever need, high-quality material, and affordable pricing to kickstart your cold plunging journey.