Rest & Recovery: Here are the Top 3 Reasons to Ice After a Workout

Rest & Recovery: Here are the Top 3 Reasons to Ice After a Workout

Ice is one of the oldest and best remedies for curing pain, injury and providing relief. It is cheap, easy to do, and it helps our bodies muscles repair naturally. Here are the top 3 (of the many) reasons to ice after your workout. 

1. Reduce swelling

Let's address the question, "why are my muscles sore after a workout?" and explain the science. Exercise physiologists refer to the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it is perfectly normal. After a hard day at the gym, our muscles develop micro-tears.

Repairing these tiny tears allows the muscle to grow and gain strength. Our natural blood flow repairs these muscles but slows when inflammation acts as a barrier in blood transportation. Icing after a workout takes down inflammation eliminating this barrier allowing the muscle to heal quicker. Start icing down after workouts for faster recovery, and achieve a higher performance workout next time.

cryosleeve ice compression knee sleeve by recoup

 (Recoup Cryosleeve Ice Compression Sleeve)

2. Flush Out Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is mentioned all the time. What exactly is Lactic Acid? Lactic Acid is a byproduct of a muscle's energy creation process. People often experience high levels of lactic acid during or following strenuous exercise. This is called exercise-induced or exercise-related hyperlactatemia. In high concentrations, these waste products contribute to muscle fatigue and later, can slow the recovery process. 

Icing causes the blood vessels to contract which pushes out the byproducts (think of a push pop) the body does not need. This helps decrease soreness after a workout, ultimately encouraging faster recovery.

recoup ice massage roller the cryosphere

 (Recoup Cryosphere Ice Massage Roller)

3. Ice to Rewarm Muscles 

The most relieving part of icing is when it is over. Our bodies rewarm and the stinging pain of ice goes away. Our blood vessel gates open wider than normal, increasing natural blood flow to the cold area. Our body instinctively knows it needs to warm up the localized iced area as fast as possible and get back to normalized body temperature. This process, naturally increases blood flow the area and allows the body to organically heal faster. Would you rather be sore for two days or bite the bullet and be cold for 15-20 minutes? The answer is easy, ICE!


Rewarming will occur naturally or you can opt to speed up the process by adding a heat element. Research has shown that heat therapy can reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by up to 47% just 24 hours post-exercise. This could be a heating pad or (pictured below) the Recoup Thermosleeve portable heated compression sleeve. These tools will speed up and encourage what the body is naturally doing. 

recoup thermosleeve heated compression sleeve

 (Recoup Thermosleeve Heated Compression Sleeve)



Try and get in the habit of recovering after your workouts. Like everything, recovery takes a concerted effort to work effectively and needs to be implemented consistently to see the best results. Let’s start giving back to our body with natural remedies that are proven to work to heal our bodies naturally.



Oh, alright. Now I finally understand that applying ice after doing physical activities is pretty essential to prevent our muscles from becoming swollen altogether. My son is determined to get into shape before he travels to Sydney this winter and he’s getting really busy lately trying to acquire sufficient supplies for his workout regime. I’ll remind him to include this info when finding someone to provide him with enough ice.

Amy Saunders January 10, 2023

Great knowledge to apply for clients, family members, friends and myself.

Tyrek Johnson March 23, 2022

This is great information to will help me with the training of the athletes I work with.

Randolph smith February 07, 2019

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