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Super Bowl Matchup: Ice Baths vs. Hot Tubs

If you walk into our retail store at any given time, chances are you’ll see an ESPN broadcast playing on the television in owner Weston Darling’s office. Weston loves sports almost as much as he loves building pools that’s no secret. This week in particular marks one of the biggest weeks in sports every year as we approach Super Bowl Sunday on February 4th. One hot topic of discussion this year has gone beyond the Super Bowl matchup between New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles teams and has narrowed in on the health maintenance regimen of 40 year old NFL quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady attributes some of the less conventional tactics and health practices he uses as why he’s able to be out on the field gearing up for yet another Super Bowl appearance at the age of 40. Although he’s come under some fire for the methods in question, there is something to be said about athletes and their health and recovery methods. Finding that perfect combination of what works to recharge your body and get it ready for the next event, pro-athlete or not, can take some trial and error.

This week we’ve created our own Super Bowl matchup pinning two of the most common athlete recovery techniques against each other in a head to head battle. Ice baths versus hot tubs? Cold versus hot? We explore the benefits to both in this article.

For years, athletes of all kinds have turned to ice baths as a recovery method following a strenuous workout or competition. However, a recent study cited by The New York Times states that hot tubs or heat may actually combat those post workout aches and pains more effectively.

Ice Bath Pros

  • Can work to combat to inflammation
  • Flushes lactic acid out of your body
  • Combats small tears in muscle fibers which typically contribute to soreness
  • Submersion in the water has greater affect than ice pack on one concentrated area
  • Many pro athletes swear by them

Ice Bath Cons

  • They can be dangerous. Never extend your soak beyond 10 minutes.
  • There is no conclusive evidence to back up the claimed benefits
  • It’s really, really cold

Hot Tub Pros

  • Promotes muscle recovery after intense workouts
  • It can not only provide relief to your muscles, it can also be relaxing to your mind
  • It’s faster; hot tubs hold their temperature versus having to add ice
  • Can cover a large amount of area easily

Hot Tub Cons

Whether you’re training for your next marathon, prepping for your next Super Bowl matchup, or simply looking for a way to relieve muscle aches and pains, it seems both ice baths and hot tubs could be viable options for recovery. We will call this battle between hot and cold a draw. You decide which is best for your body and don’t leave out the consideration of alternating between the two.


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