Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath: Which is Better?
New therapies are emerging every day that can help you recover faster, better, and stronger. Whole body cryotherapy is a temperature-based recovery method that challenges traditional ice baths.
During a cryotherapy session at Revitalab, 90% of your skin will be exposed to extremely cold air. This causes your blood vessels to constrict and the blood to flow toward your core, where toxins and inflammatory properties are removed. As you warm back up, the nutrient oxygenated blood returns to your muscles, bringing many benefits along with it.
Cryotherapy and ice baths may sound similar but the two therapies have a few key differences. The complete cryotherapy vs. ice bath showdown breaks down the pros and cons of each - and only one will come out on top.
Ice baths are used solely to help with recovery time after exercise. Cryotherapy does affect recovery periods, but it has many other benefits as well.
Did you know that cryotherapy also improves depression and anxiety, can reduce pain, and can even help with tinnitus, restless leg syndrome, and eczema? Click here to read the top three scientifically proven benefits of cryotherapy!
Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath Benefits Winner: Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy is ideal for busy athletes. You can work out any time before or after your Revitalab cryotherapy session, so it doesn’t disrupt your routine at all. Unfortunately, ice baths require some schedule changes because they’re most effective in the two-hour period after a workout.
Livestrong even reports that “immersing yourself in an ice bath before a workout could actually hinder your performance.” If you’re looking for flexibility in your workout and recovery schedule, cryotherapy is the solution.
Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath Rest Window Winner: CRYOTHERAPY!
We know how busy your schedule is, so our Revitalab cryotherapy sessions can be done in only three minutes. On the other hand, a 2015 study found that for ice baths, “immersion of between 10 and 15 min had the best results.” Over the course of weeks, months, or even years, that extra time really adds up!
Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath Time Winner: CRYOTHERAPY!
Here at Revitalab, our cryochambers can go as low as -240 degrees Fahrenheit. This intense cold is part of what makes cryotherapy so effective. Ice baths are usually around 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit - that’s more than a 200-degree difference.
Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath Temperature Winner: CRYOTHERAPY!
Cryotherapy is just as effective as ice baths, but so much more convenient. A 2017 study testing cold-water immersion vs. partial-body cryotherapy and found that “both treatments resulted in similar recovery profiles during a 72-hours follow-up period.” When it comes to recovery, cryotherapy and ice baths are a draw.
Cryotherapy vs. Ice Bath Effectiveness Winner: TIE
And the winner is…
Cryotherapy! It comes out ahead with a smashing four to one victory in the cryotherapy vs. ice bath showdown.
Simply put, cryotherapy is faster and colder. It’s flexible enough to fit into any schedule and provides many more benefits than ice baths as well.