Taking an ice bath seems to be one of the most popular fitness phenomenons for professional athletes in recent years. It offers the benefits of faster muscle recovery processes, easing the pain caused by intensive training and fostering the immunity system, which could increase the ability of physical bodies to fight illness and infections, read more below about the benefits of ice baths.
Stress Response and Adaptation:
Exposure to cold baths stimulates the body to experience the physiological response as a mild form of stress, requiring the body to make significant changes to adapt to such stresses. This process is known as hormesis which activates the adaptive mechanisms of the body and enhances the body’s ability to cope with external stressors, including the upregulation of stress response proteins, repair mechanisms, and antioxidant defences. Such a process of hormesis enhances the proliferation of immune cells as well as the interactions of innate and adaptive immune systems, therefore, significantly boosting the realm of immune function within our bodies.
Release of Cytokines:
An increase in production of cytokines occurs within the body while taking a cold bath. An exposure to cold can trigger the release of certain cytokines, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6). A multipurpose cytokine involved in the immune response is IL-6. Despite being primarily linked to inflammation, IL-6 may have anti-inflammatory effects which impact immune function for the optimal activation of host defences and survival in response to infection.
Another way a cold bath benefits your immune system is to generate the process of vasoconstriction by reducing blood flow to the extremities. When the body’s temperature rises during post-cold exposure, the subsequent process of vasodilation occurs, directly improving blood circulation. Improved blood flow may effectively support the transportation of immune cells such as an increase in oxygen and nutrients delivery throughout the body.
With such huge benefits of ice baths, you can definitely immerse this in your fitness journey in order to boost your immune system. Feel free to contact us today for more information on how ice path therapy fosters the success of professional athletes!