Athletes can use cold to prevent sore muscles, for example by taking a cold bath after exercising. This conclusion allows a meta-analysis of various studies carried out at the University of Ulster in Belfast.
The analysis compared the results of 17 smaller studies, in which 366 people participated. The test subjects sat in water that was five to 15 degrees Celsius and stayed in it for up to 25 minutes. In the group who took the cold baths, the sore muscles had less of an effect over the next few days than in the athletes who did not take part in the treatment. The scientists emphasized that the effect was not particularly strong. Although the method has long been known and loved, especially among British athletes, there are still no comparative studies with other methods such as hot water treatments or light jogging. In addition, it has not yet been clarified whether the cold bath might not also have negative effects on the athlete’s organism. The perfect temperature and the correct length of the bath have not yet been determined either.