The cold-comparison: Whole-Body Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath

The technique of using cryotherapy for athletic recovery has been around and used by pro-athletes, weekend warriors, and competitors of all levels. Whole-body cryotherapy in a cryogenic chamber has increased in popularity as a safer and more effective method of cryotherapy for faster recovery and increased athletic performance.

Compared to an ice bath, cryotherapy in a cryogenic chamber is a dry technique. Where ice is used to drop the water temperature of an ice bath to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, nitrogen gases pumped into the cryotherapy chamber drop the air temperature below -200 degrees within a minute. Typical recommendation for an ice bath is 10 to 20 minutes, compared to the 2-3 minutes in the cryotherapy chamber. Ice baths can only bring skin temperature down to 50 degrees, and there is still the risk of tissue damage because of prolonged oxygen deprivation and decreased blood flow as well as the risk of hypothermia.  

In the chamber, the skin temperature drops to 41 degrees, eliciting a much faster and responsive physiological reaction because of the rapid change in the surrounding environment. Blood circulation shifts to the core to protect the vital organs, drawing out toxins like lactic acid from the extremities that build up after strenuous exercise. Anti-inflammatories and endorphins are released into the blood, inducing an analgesic effect and reducing pain commonly associated with DOMS and inflammation. The vasoconstriction of vessels, enrichment of blood and direct shift of circulation do not occur in an ice bath.

Within minutes of finishing a cryotherapy session in the chamber, blood circulation resumes normal flow, flooding the body and muscles with oxygen-rich and nutrient-dense blood to enhance tissue repair for faster recovery. Unlike an ice bath where tissues freeze and muscles lose capacity, the body responds and rebounds much faster after a 3-minute dry freeze and is safe as a pre- or post-workout regiment that can be done daily.

The way to recover & rebound faster is to RESTORE.


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