The Reason Behind Ice Baths
One of my gym clients asked about ice baths. He said that many mixed martial athletes practice it. I briefly stated my views. However, I now believe this query needs further examination for improved cognizance.
Connective tissue—tendons, ligaments and muscle tissue changes as result of physical exercise—in gym parlance it occurs when you work out. A change, raise, in the temperature is evident; also, the tissue is shortened. A shortened tissue is less conducive to optimal muscle function. If the connective tissue is not returned to its optimal condition, the adaptation is inhibited. The longer it takes to return the slower the recovery process. So the goal is to return to the tissues optimal condition to speeding the recovery process.
How do you recover faster from your workouts? One of the main techniques used is temperature reduction. The aim of this activity is to lower the body temperature. Elevated temperature has catabolic — destructive metabolism properties. You would want bring down the temp as soon as possible. So possibly ice baths help in bringing the temperature down.
PS: Trainers generally suggest application of ice packs to an injured joint. Applying ice reduces pain and swelling. In other words, it brings down inflammation.