Ice Baths

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Ice Bath FAQ: Your Comprehensive Guide to Ice Bath Therapy

Whether you're new to ice baths or an experienced user, this section provides answers to common questions about ice bath usage, benefits, and safety guidelines. Our goal is to ensure you feel confident and knowledgeable during your ice bath experience. If you have additional questions, our team is here to support you. Take a plunge into this invigorating world, explore further, and embrace the refreshing benefits of ice baths! For tailored guidance, feel free to reach out to us for assistance.

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In contrast to the heating and relaxing effects of a sauna, ice baths operate in the opposite way by initially constricting blood flow during your session. Immediately after getting into an ice bath, the sharp cooling effect serves to restrict blood flow on the surface of your skin initially, with your body then working to regulate your core temperature. 

During the time you sit in your ice bath, your nervous system will also be working to regulate itself. Finally, after you get out, your circulatory system will then increase blood flow to your extremities to warm them back up. The intense cold can help reduce swelling, pain and inflammation in your muscles, as well as improve mood and boost immune function. This makes it a wonderful ritual to add to your after-workout routine. 

Generally speaking, to achieve the desired effects and maximise the benefits of an ice bath, we recommend 10 to 15 minutes. The initial few minutes are typically the hardest to get through. Your body will notice the cold immediately, a little like when you first jump into the sea or an outdoor pool. After that, your breathing will begin to regulate, and you’ll start to feel more comfortable. You may notice a slight tingling sensation, which is your nervous system working to regulate itself. 

When you first start out with ice baths, you can start with a more mild temperature to get yourself used to it. You can also aim for just three to five minutes for your first few sessions until you’ve adjusted and can stay in for longer. Make sure you check in with your body, and if you feel lightheaded or start shivering, you can get out early and adjust the settings for your next session. Don’t push yourself - ice baths should be an overall enjoyable experience! 

There are a number of ice baths for sale these days, coming in a range of sizes and varieties, many of which require you to fill them with both water and ice yourself. At Kiva Wellness, we created an ice bath tub that can be used inside or outdoors, with the added benefit of built-in temperature control. The added benefit of the Energise Barrel Ice Bath is it can also heat water up to a balmy 40° temperature, giving you the option to soak in tension-melting heat as well. 

You don’t need to guess at the temperature or try and keep it regulated yourself during your ice bath session. Control it all with the press of a button instead, giving you a consistent and reliable home ice bath experience every time. 

The temperature of your ice bath is largely up to you. Some people go for a super chilly 3° Celsius, but you’ll still enjoy the benefits and refreshing effects with a range between 10 and 15 degrees. Depending on your age and overall health, we recommend starting with the milder temperature and dropping it accordingly to ensure you have a comfortable experience.

While you could dive straight in, there are a few techniques and preparations you can undertake before you get into an ice bath for the first time. Aside from noticing the cold on your skin, your breathing often becomes elevated when you first get in. To prepare, it’s a good idea to do a few calming breaths or even a deep breathing exercise before you get in. 

When you’re ready, rather than plunging in fully straight away, we recommend easing in slowly. It’ll help your body adjust more efficiently and allow you to stay in for longer. Make sure you keep your head out of the water, submerging your legs and torso only. 

Preparing your timer and towel to be on hand for the duration of your ice bath is also a good idea. That way, when your time is up, you can wrap up and either get dressed or do some gentle exercise to warm your body back up. 

You no longer need to prepare huge volumes of ice in the freezer to try the ice bath experience. Our home ice bath takes care of everything for you, giving you precise control over the temperature and conditions. It takes just 20 minutes to set up, and no plumbing is required. 

How frequently you use your ice bath will depend on why you’re using it and also your body’s unique constitution. You may find during time periods that you’re training heavily that you want to step into your ice bath more often. For these times, we recommend around three sessions per week. Generally speaking, even once or twice a week will still deliver the supportive benefits. 

The key to getting it right with the frequency of your ice bath sessions is to listen to what your body needs. Experiment with both the duration and temperature to find the most enjoyable and refreshing experience for you. 

Ice baths can be combined with other recovery methods, including things like physiotherapy and infrared saunas. While ice can help with inflammation and improve circulation one way, the heat from saunas is incredibly relaxing on tired muscles. You can enjoy both in the same week, revolving both around your workout or physio routine.