Is Lizzo's Ice Bath Routine Worth The Hype?

Should you shiver your way to health? Yes, according to cryotherapy devotees. Cryotherapy is the general use of extreme cold in medical treatments (per theĀ Cleveland Clinic). In fact, doctors have traditionally used this form of therapy in cancer treatments, as well as to remove warts and dark spots on the skin. Additionally, cryotherapy has also been used in pain management, typically by applying ice packs to injuries, Johns Hopkins Medicine explains.

These days, cold therapies have gone mainstream. According to WebMD, gyms, and spas now offer whole-body cryotherapy chambers that claim to treat arthritis, migraines, chronic pain, and mental health disorders. Many aestheticians now offer cryotherapy facials, too, for those hoping to boost their complexion (per Healthline). But perhaps the most accessible way to try out cryotherapy is by taking an ice bath.

While some, like the cold bath brandĀ Plunge, argue that ice baths aren't technically cold enough to be considered cryotherapy, the two, however, are said to offer similar benefits. These purported benefits have attracted a slew of athletes and A-list celebrities, including singer Lizzo.

The benefits of ice baths are unclear

In a TikTok video, Lizzo shows herself taking a three-minute plunge in an outdoor ice bath. During the clip, the captions read, "But it helps my inflammation," and "My body feels better." But do cold baths really offer health benefits? Turns out, "the hard evidence is mixed," making it unclear if ice baths really work, Dr. Elizabeth Gardner, Yale sports medicine doctor and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery told Byrdie. Additionally, the long-held belief that cold baths help with sore muscles may have been debunked by a 2017 study published in The Journal of Physiology when experts made it clear that there's a lack of grounds to support cold water immersion during pre-season or even as a preparation phase.

However, Healthline says that there are still some potential benefits, including pain relief, lower inflammation, restful sleep, and an improved response to stress. Yet again, more research is needed to better understand how ice baths affect the body.

As Cleveland Clinic explains, ice baths can feel good, especially after a challenging workout. This might be enough reason to hop on the trend. Nevertheless, for beginners, it's best to check with your doctor first before taking the plunge. Ice baths may be dangerous for people with certain conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and poor circulation.