Virat Kohli© Virat Kohli

Decoding The Viral Ice Bath Wellness Trend

The ice bath wellness trend has gained momentum in the past few months. Celebrities like Lebron James, Kim Kardashian, Virat Kohli and Lady Gaga have even taken to the ‘Gram to highlight the rewarding benefits of submerging oneself in the frosty waters.

However, ice baths are not a recent discovery by any measure. They have been a part of wellness regimes since ancient civilisations. In fact, ice baths are even mentioned in the journals of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, from the Greek civilisation and also in ancient Ayurvedic texts.

Lady Gaga Ice Bath©ladygaga

While the benefits of immersing in an ice bath are many, let us explore the best ways it benefits your well-being.

Benefits of Ice Baths:

1. Helps In The Disintegration Of White Fat:

Immersing in an ice bath withdraws heat from the body and puts the white fat cells or stubborn fat cells into a state of shock, thereby blocking the production of the protein required to keep the white fat intact. This blockage slowly converts the white fat into brown or beige fat and facilitates better metabolism within the body.

2. Reduces Extrinsic And Intrinsic Inflammation:

The temperature differences generated during ice bath successfully encourages the production of cytokines that helps to reduce chronic inflammation, thus regulating the oxidation of macro and micro-nutrients in the body.

3. Helps With Insulin Sensitivity:

Ice bath encourages the production of brown fat that releases excess heat into the circulatory system. This helps in metabolising the excess glucose stored in the form of fat in various places of the body, thus gradually improving insulin sensitivity.

4. Boosts Mental Well-Being:

According to a study conducted by Bournemouth University, an ice bath helps to ward off sluggishness and also triggers the prefrontal cortex of the brain, responsible for self-control, nervousness and attention, thereby reducing fatigue and depression. Additionally, it also acts as a neuromodulator and curbs stress by regulating the production of catecholamine, the hormones secreted by your adrenal glands responsible for fear, anger and flight-and-fight responses during intense situations.

5. Enhances Peripheral Circulation:

Peripheral circulation refers to the even distribution of blood throughout the body. When certain parts of the body receive inadequate blood supply, ice baths can help correct it by regularising and smoothens the normal blood flow to the organs deprived of nutrients and haemoglobin.

6. Enhances Sexual Health:

The temperature range for reproductive organs tends to vary from that of the rest of the body. Due to a sudden change in extrinsic temperature, the blood increases in an individual’s reproductive organs and stimulates the production of testosterone in males and estrogen in females, thereby boosting libido and overall sexual wellness.

Precautions To Take While Immersing In An Ice Bath

  1. Limit your ice baths to a few minutes.
  2. Don’t let your ice baths dip below 10-15 degree celcius.
  3. Try and submerge your entire body in the ice bath and wear heat-retaining fabrics like spandex, lycra, polyester or nylon to prevent abnormal heat-loss from your extremeties.

So when are you going to take “The Plunge”?