If repairing and building muscle is a primary goal, people may want to think twice about taking an ice bath after training. New research conducted at Maastricht University in the Netherlands shows that cold-water immersion during recovery from resistance-type exercise reduces muscles’ ability to take up protein for repair and to synthesize protein for muscle building.

Studies do show that using an ice bath can reduce muscle soreness; therefore, engaging in the practice may still be a good strategy if your goal is to lessen soreness after a bout of heavy training. But this research shows that taking an ice bath also affects formation of new proteins for muscle repair and building. The temperature of the ice baths used in the study was 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius).

Read the full study in The Journal of Physiology (2019; doi:10.1113/JP278996).