Cold water no benefit after sport, says Portsmouth study

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SCIENTISTS at the University of Portsmouth say athletes who use ice-cold water after exercise may not be getting any benefit.

Scientists found that cold water immersion was no more and no less effective in helping an athlete recover after sport than light cool-down exercise.

In the study, scientist suggest ice-cold water might end up doing more harm than good.

Lead author Dr Jo Corbett said: ‘Ice baths are frequently used by sportsmen and women to help them recover after exercise but our results show they don’t work.

‘The rigours of sport can require people to train and compete at an intense level so there is considerable interest in finding ways of increasing the amount of training they can do and in improving recovery time and thereby increasing performance.

‘But it is clear from this study that water immersion, whether in traditional ice baths or in warm water, sitting or standing, does nothing to improve recovery time compared to traditional cool-down light exercise.’