How Long You Have to Suffer in an Ice Bath to Reap the Benefits

Plunging in pond during winter
Plunging in pond during winterHelena Wahlman / Getty Images

Slipping into ice baths post-workout is not just an athletic rite of passage. It can actually hasten recovery and get you ready for your next bout, according to research from the American Council on Exercise.



Ten freezing minutes is the magic number to recover from back-to-back workout days, whether you’re running, power biking, or weightlifting. In a six-week study, ice bathers were better able to match their exertion level one day to the next compared with those who just took a nice shower.

Some helpful notes: Those who iced for 20 minutes had no better results than those who soaked for 10. And try to take a dip within two hours of your workout. Finally, if you’re struggling to stay in the cold, ice in 10 one-minute increments.

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