How Cold Water Affects Muscle Growth and Recovery

Looking for information on how cold water baths help muscle growth and boost recovery? Then you have come to the right place. Whenever you feel stressed, or if you have just done a hard workout, the natural thing is for you to jump into a warm shower. This is because warm water promotes the flow of blood to your skin and helps to sooth your tired and achy muscles, leading to great relaxation. Still, these reasons are not enough to turn to hot water. Rather, you should consider going for a cold water bath.

Exposing your body to cold temperatures through ice baths and cold water – referred to as cold water immersion or cryotherapy – is increasingly become popular among both professional and amateur athletes. This is because of the health boosting benefits it has in store for you.

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Top Reasons to Take a Cold Water Bath after Exercise

As mentioned above, cold water baths help muscle growth and boost recovery. The cold will work by lowering the temperature of the tissues you damaged during exercise. It will also constrict blood vessels locally. Other benefits arising from using cold water immediately after you exercise include:

  1. Quick Recovery

In the same way, when you use targeted cold therapy (such as an ice pack) immediately after you sustain an injury will prevent your body from bruising or swelling. The cold will also numb your nerve endings, thereby providing with the instant pain relief you need.

While reviewing the entire body, immersing yourself into a cold tub will bring down your heart rate. It will also increase your circulation and minimize inflammation. As such, you will be better placed to recover faster from your workouts.

Cold water baths are also highly effective in the relief of delayed-onset muscle soreness. This typically occurs 1 to 4 days after you exercise or engage in an equally involving physical activity.

  1. Tolerance to Disease and Stress

While learning how cold water baths help muscle growth and boost recovery, it is imperative that you consider the lessons from the Four Hour Body book by Tim Ferriss. Reading this book will inform you that it is highly beneficial that you jump into the shower without necessarily allowing the water to warm up.

When you are down at the coast, you should also toss yourself into the ocean without putting on your wet suit. Holding your breath under cold water will adjust the shock you initially feel when the cold hits your body. As such, you will be in a better position to acclimate to the lowered temperature. This is one of the most enjoyable things you can do, especially considering the rush it will give you – which some have likened to exercise.

By exposing your body to cold water for relatively short spurts of time, you will harden. Hardening refers to the exposure of the body to natural stimulus like cold water. As such, it results in increased tolerance to disease and/or stress.

This was recently demonstrated in a study involving 10 healthy people who have made it a habit to regularly swim in ice cold water in winter. After exposing the study muses to cold water, the researchers noted the following:

a) Uric Acid Decrease

First, there was a drastic decrease in uric acid levels. When the levels of this acid are high, you will be prone to gout, high blood pressure, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and kidney disease.

b) Glutathione Increase

Additionally, exposure to cold water baths will increase the most powerful antioxidant in your body. Glutathione will, in its turn, keep all of the other antioxidants in your body performing at peak levels.

  1. Burn Fat

Drinking cold water – as it is or during your cold water bath – will speed up the rate at which your body metabolizes food. This is because your body will be forced to work extra hard to raise the temperatures of the ice-cold water. Cold shows will also boost your body’s natural ability to burn fat.

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Exposing your body to cold water on the regular will increase your natural fat burning potential. By cooling your body, you will force it to burn more calories through the activation of the brown fat deposits that are putting you out of shape.

So, there you have it – the secret behind how cold water baths help muscle growth and boost recovery. The next time you are thinking about taking a hot shower, think again. Instead, consider immersing yourself in an ice-cold bath at least 3 times every week. The great thing about this therapy is that it is natural and it comes with no known side effects.  Try it out today and watch as your body transforms into the beautiful being it was always supposed to be.

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