How does Whole Body Cryotherapy compare to an Ice Bath?

Ice baths have been used for decades by athletes to speed up recovery and reduce inflammation. Although both ice baths and Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) rely on the body’s response to cold to induce any benefits, they actual affect the body in completely different ways.

Below is a list of ways in which they differ:

  • Ice baths are much more painful to endure.
  • During a 15-20 minute ice bath, tissue actually freezes and muscles lose capacity, so there is a much longer rest period required after an ice bath before an athlete can get back to training (typically athletes have to wait until the following day to resume training after an ice bath).
  • With WBC, tissues do not freeze and muscles do not lose capacity, so athletes can get back to training as quickly as 15 minutes after a treatment.
  • Whole Body Cryotherapy relies simply on the “illusion” of the body being frozen to create a reaction that leads to the benefits people experience.
  • Ice baths actually causes damage to the skin surface. WBC does not.

In general, WBC is safer, easier to endure, and more effective than ice baths.


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