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Your Ice Bath Questions, Answered

Ice baths can be downright confusing for beginners. While plenty of advice exists online about the ideal temperature, duration, and frequency, those new to the practice are often left scratching their heads when it comes to the finer points. 


To help you gain a better understanding of cold immersion and the effects it has on the body, here are some answers to the most burning ice bath questions.

Do Ice Baths Burn Calories?

Yes! A lot in fact. 


Your body must burn calories to retain a stable core temperature, and frosty environments may increase this energy expenditure by as much as 48 percent.


If you’re looking to burn as much fat as possible with your ice bath, try adopting the Soeberg Principle. This popular methodology states that you should avoid immediately toweling off, getting dressed, or otherwise warming your body after cold immersion. Forcing your body to instead rewarm on its own will significantly increase brown fat stimulation. 

For more information about the weight loss properties of ice baths, read our blog post.

Why Do I Feel Sleepy After Cold Immersion?

It’s easy to find anecdotal examples of increased sleep quality and duration after taking an ice bath, but why?


One likely explanation stems from cold immersion’s stimulation of the vagus nerve – something that reduces the ‘flight or flight’ response, increases parasympathetic nervous system activity, and promotes feelings of calm.

You can read more about the restorative effects of ice baths in our “How Ice Baths Improve Sleep” article.

Is A Cold Shower As Good As An Ice Bath?

ice baths

The short answer is no.


Simply put, cold showers aren’t nearly as cold or as consistent as a good quality ice bath. This makes it impossible to increase your cold tolerance in a gradual and predictable way, while also preventing you from reliably reaching the temperatures needed to induce the full range of benefits of cold water.

Instead of simply reaching for the cold tap, it pays to opt for a solution that provides trackable temperature control and as much skin-to-water contact as possible.

Why Do Athletes Take Ice Baths?

Athletes of all codes have embraced ice baths for a number of reasons, but one of the most common is their proven ability to stem inflammation and muscle soreness. 


This can be a key adventure in a fixture-packed sport such as basketball or baseball, along with high intensity events such as multi-day competitions. 

Another interesting use for ice baths is pre-cooling – a process by which endurance athletes cool the body as much as possible before a race to delay the inevitable core temperature rise that comes with exertion. It’s a wise strategy, having been shown to increase performance by as much as 16%.

Can I Make My Own Ice Bath?

It’s highly advised that you do not attempt to make your own ice bath


Homemade plunges are subject to a variety of hazards, including injury and discomfort, leaks that can damage nearby items, water contamination, cold shock, and electrical conductivity. 


Always choose ice bath products from manufacturers with a long-standing and impeccable reputation for safety and quality.

What Happens If You Go From A Sauna To An Ice Bath?

While it may be difficult for the uninitiated, alternating between hot and cold temperatures (what’s known as ‘contrast therapy’) brings with it a number of powerful benefits.


It’s believed that contrasting temperatures improve blood circulation and oxygenation, and in doing so, relieve pain, loosen stiff muscles, and stem inflammation. Proponents have found it particularly helpful in the management of conditions such as foot sprains, ankle sprains, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and soft tissue trauma.

For an overview of both cold and hot immersion, as well as a handy protocol you can use for contrast therapy, read “Benefits of Hot and Cold Therapy”.

How Do I Take An Ice Bath?

If you’re new to the world of cold plunges, you can find everything you need to incorporate the practice into your routine here: “What You Need to Know About Ice Baths”.

Where Can I Get A Quality Ice Bath?

iCoolsport offers a range of ice baths for varying needs. In fact, iCool invented modern ice baths and are the largest global supplier. From the single-person IceOne bath to solutions big enough for the whole family, we cover all bases.


Of course you’ll need a way to cool the water. Our iCool Compact Chill is suitable for baths of up to 500L and can maintain a constant water temperature of as little as two degrees. With easy to use one touch start and wifi remote controls, it makes taking regular ice baths a cinch, and allows you to increase your cold tolerance gradually and consistently. 

For more information about ice baths, peruse our blog and explore our range online.