Ice baths may not sound like fun, but although submerging yourself in icy water isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s actually very good for you. These chilly baths have actually become a firm favourite of rugby players, as they have been proven to do so much good after a strenuous match or training session. Plus they are cost-effective, work quickly and boost recovery time dramatically.
A Rapid Recovery Tool
Rugby is an incredibly physical game, and players’ bodies take a real beating in scrums, when tackled or simply running the length of the field.
So recovery is a major factor for performance and something players want to achieve as quickly and painlessly as possible. Ice baths are instrumental in speeding up recovery and are a great way to keep players in top shape.
Speedy recovery means that players can get back to the rugby drills like those at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/rugby sooner, and that they can remove lactic acid from the body and reduce inflammation. The quicker the recovery time, the better a player’s performance will be in games that are close together, and they’ll be able to spend more time on the field rather than having to take to the bench.
How Do Ice Baths Work?
Rugby players are huge fans of ice baths, as they return them to their previous physical state, and they are also a mental test that builds resilience.
The theory behind why ice baths are so successful is that the extreme cold aids in bringing fresh oxygen and blood to muscle tissue, all whilst removing the waste products of exercise, which include lactic acid. Lactic acid can lead to inflammation, and the ice baths thus not only removes the root cause but also calms any potential inflammation down due to the low temperature.
Lactic acid build-up and inflammation are two of the major stumbling blocks in a rugby player’s rapid recovery, so simply sitting in ice seems like a very viable and easy solution.
When we talk about an ice bath, we literally mean an ice bath. Players submerge as much of their body as they can in a tub filled with ice and stay there for around 10 to 15 minutes. The temperature of a bath should be between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius in order to be effective.