There are many benefits of consistent ice baths, but they can be downright dangerous when taken with less-than-reputable equipment. Here’s what you need to look out for when incorporating them into your routine.
This may come as a shock, but many conduct their ice baths in a way that leaves them vulnerable to electrocution – by using modified chest freezers.
In theory, chest freezers seem perfect. They’re relatively cheap, widely available, more-or-less the length of a standard bathtub, and come complete with an in-built cooling system.
The main danger of this apparatus is the risk posed by the power supply. Leaks and spills are inevitable with makeshift equipment, and any water that reaches electrical circuits or outlets can spell disaster for the bather.
You may think “I’ll just unplug the freezer before hopping in”, but all it takes for the worst to happen is one absentminded touch from yourself, someone else, or a pet during the cooling process. Even with the freezer door in place, curious children may find their way in or current may be carried through a spill on the ground.
It’s almost impossible to mitigate all the hazards posed by chest freezers, so only use suitable, fit-for-purpose equipment that’s designed with safety and quality in mind.
Metal Tub Ice Baths
While the sharp metal edges of an ice bath may look sleek and streamlined they can be both uncomfortable against the skin – specifically the back of the neck – and dangerous if the connected chillers are not of quality workmanship.
Metal bathtubs are excellent conductors of electricity, and cheap chillers generally won’t eliminate the danger of electricity entering the water via refrigeration pipes.
All iCoolSport chillers have multiple levels of inbuilt protection from accidental electric shock.
With water flow paths and refrigeration paths correctly bonded to earth according to safety regulations, all iCoolSport machines have high-quality safety devices that instantly remove all electricity when even the tiniest leak is detected.
Within the last 20 years, and with more than a million users, no one has ever been injured by an iCool product.
We use high quality fibreglass composites in all of our pools instead of metal because these materials are electricity insulators and greatly increase safety. They are also much more comfortable surfaces for users.
Damage To Nearby Items
A less-than-ideal ‘ice bath’ can prove a danger to more than just the bather and those around them.
Homemade solutions often leak, leading to damage to nearby items. Let’s face it, modified chest freezers just weren’t made to consistently store such volumes of frosty water. For the sake of your belongings and flooring take the time to find a bath that is durable, puncture resistant, and reliable.
Chilly temperatures are advantageous for your long term health, but pathogen-ridden water certainly isn’t.
Many who take cold plunges are confronted with only two options; either continually drain and refill the bath or allow it to sit and accumulate harmful bacteria and algae. It’s a lose-lose situation.
The best way around this is to equip your ice bath with a water filter capable of removing pathogen-feeding debris. While you’ll still need to refresh the water at some point, it’ll allow you to achieve the greatest possible efficiency with what you use.
One of the chief concerns amongst ice bath users is cold shock.
It’s certainly not an unfounded fear. There is evidence that cold immersion can cause tachycardia (a fast heart beat), arrhythmias (abnormal heart beats) and even heart attack in some cases.
The good news is that negative health outcomes such as these are rare, and there is an easy way to minimise your chances of encountering them. All you have to do is seek advice from your healthcare practitioner, and once cleared for action, start slow.
Taking a dip in a frozen lake, freezer, or bathtub laden with ice may look cool (pardon the pun), but it’s impossible to precisely control the water temperature in these scenarios. There’s therefore little scope for the bather to ease into the practice.
Start with less frosty temperatures and allow yourself to acclimatise safely. You can then use an adjustable and accurate portable chiller to gradually lower the temperature of future plunges.
This progressive method enables you to withstand longer durations and colder temperatures with minimal risk of adverse effects.
Take Ice Baths Safely With iCool
As the inventor and largest global supplier of modern ice baths, iCool allows you to safely enjoy all of the benefits of cold immersion.
iCoolsport offers purpose-built ice baths and chillers for varying needs. From the single-person IceOne bath to options big enough for the whole family, we cover all bases.
Our inflatable units are ideal when space is at a premium. Super lightweight and compact, these freestanding tubs are manufactured with the highest quality components and insulated thermal walls to keep colder for longer. Whether used indoors or outdoors, you can be assured of their durability.
For serious athletes, sporting cubs, colleges, hotels and gyms, we also stock a variety of all-in-one solutions. Groups can recover in iCool’s heated or chilled recovery pools, which accommodate up to 12 people at a time. They help set you apart from the competition, whether that comes in the form of fellow athletes, rival clubs, or other gyms.
For more information about ice baths, peruse our blog and explore our range online.