The Potential Harmful Effects of Ice Baths

The Potential Harmful Effects of Ice Baths

Potential Harmful Effects of Ice Baths

Ice baths are gaining popularity, and there are a lot of reasons for that!  They’re great for those who want to recover from a rough workout and fantastic for others who deal with chronic exhaustion or countless muscle cramps or pains.

Harmful Effects of Ice Baths?

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and there are a few things that can go wrong if the bath isn’t taken correctly or if you have preexisting conditions.

Here are the potential problems that can happen with ice baths.

Non-Freezing Cold Injury

A non-freezing cold injury is similar to frostbite but mostly comes from moist and cold environments between 32 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit.  These can cause frostbite-like injuries and can cause damage to the extremities and the nervous system.

Fortunately, this is easy to avoid if you take the right precautions and make your ice bath correctly.  Follow whatever guide or manual comes with the tub if you purchase one, and research the correct temperature for your needs.

The Potential Harmful Effects of Ice BathsInsomnia If Too Late At Night

Unfortunately, the part of this cureall that works so well on every other part of the body is a failure when it comes to sleep.  The shock of cold water can fully wake people up, and although shivering and warming yourself afterward can make you sleepy, for some people, the spike in heart rate doesn’t go back down.

This can lead to sleeplessness, a lack of rest, and higher chances of exhaustion and irritability.  Although this wouldn’t be a problem in an ideal world, many already have sleeping problems that could be made worse by this.

Weight and Fat Loss

As much as many people would love this side effect, it can be hazardous for some.  When you drop your body temperature, your body reacts by shivering and doing other things to try and get your body back up to temperature.

This has led a lot of people to wonder: do ice baths burn fat?  The short answer is yes: just not directly.  Your body has to burn many calories to keep you warm, especially if you do this after a workout.

So if you don’t want to lose any weight, or you’re anemic, it could be dangerous to get into an ice bath since it risks burning more calories.

Tachycardia or Cardiac Arrest

Those with weak hearts, or a history of tachycardia, should be careful about getting into ice baths.  These baths can spike your blood pressure and shock your nervous system, which if you’re not used to it or have a weak heart, could be risking your life.

Before taking the plunge, if you or your family has any history of heart problems, talk to a doctor to ensure it’s safe for you.  Although there are plenty of benefits, your health comes first.


Of course, the most common effect of ice baths is an uncomfortable chill.  If you don’t like getting cold, or you’re temperature sensitive: it’s a good idea to avoid these baths.

Unfortunately, their point is getting cold and dropping your body temperature slightly, so it’s not safe for everyone.

The Potential Harmful Effects of Ice Baths