UNH researcher finds no benefit to ice baths for athletes
But research from the University of New Hampshire recently published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology shows that the treatment may not be effective at all.
"Ice baths are very popular as a treatment, but the research is really mixed as to whether they're beneficial," she said.
Dana works with the UNH football team and said about 30 percent of the team does an ice bath right after each practice.
Some players enjoy the ice baths, others hate it, and everything in between, Dana said.
He said he was not surprised at all by Crystal's research, and is not sure if there is anything that proves if ice baths works one way or the other.
"Because it is kind of ingrained now. After a hard workout, you do an ice bath. A lot of track kids, especially long-distance kids, do an ice bath every day as recovery from beating on their legs. I don't think this will change. I don't know that we have a better alternative. Certainly it would open the conversation about whether this is worth doing. Ice baths require a certain amount of effort," Dana said.
The study was Crystal's master's degree thesis and was co-authored by UNH associate professor of kinesiology Dain LaRoche, assistant professor of kinesiology Summer Cook, and associate professor of molecular, cellular and biomedical sciences Dave Townson.
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