“There’s not conclusive research to show the benefits of ice baths,” says Eric Magnus, senior physical therapist at the University of Virginia’s Sports Medicine Center. And a 2007 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed participants who took an ice bath reported more pain in their legs 24 hours after the bath, as opposed to participants who only took a tepid bath.
Still, many professional athletic facilities recommend cold plunge therapy. Placebo effect? Maybe. Regardless, according to Magnus, pouring ice in a tub is unnecessary. You’ll garner the same benefits (placebo or real) by simply taking a cold bath.