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You already know the purported benefits of ice baths. Studies have shown that they’re one of the most effective ways to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, perceived fatigue, muscle damage, and inflammation after physical exercise compared to active recovery, massage, and compression garments, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of 99 studies looked at the effectiveness of recovery methods.

But let’s be real: It’s a total chore to fill your tub up with bags of ice—even if there’s nowhere else you’d rather sit after an especially sweaty, humid summer workout. What’s the next best thing? An ice cold shower seems obvious, but are there any benefits of cold showers?

While it’s not quite the same as immersing yourself in icy water (and you won’t get the same intended effect), even a few minutes under that cold water can affect how you perform and recover. Here’s the deal.