Winter Camp at Tsunami Martial Arts Club 2010.
Of the studies that have looked at the effects of ice baths, cold water immersion and contrast water therapy on exercise recovery and muscle soreness, most offer inconclusive or contradictory findings.
One study from the International Journal of Sports Medicine (July 2008 issue) found cold water immersion and contrast water therapy may help recovery from short maximal efforts, or during events like stage races where athletes repeat high-intensity efforts on successive days. In this study, researchers had cyclists complete a week of intense daily training routines. After each workout, they used one of four different recovery methods and took nine days off between each week of workouts.