Cold Packs Freeze Out Gains

You've probably seen guys ice-packing their legs after a heavy session of squats. This could be because they over-did it, but some athletes use ice packs to try and speed their recovery. A study published in the NSCA's Performance Training Journal acknowledges that ice does suppress post-workout inflammation, but it also reduces levels of natural anabolic hormones.

Scientists had elite handball players ice down for 15 minutes after performing four 250-meter sprints at 80% maximal effort. They got another 15 minutes of cold therapy after a 15 minute break. Compared to players who didn't use ice packs, these subjects had reduced levels of insulin like growth factor and the binding proteins that play a role in muscle rebuilding.

True Strength Moment: A famous scientific principle states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You might not be able to speed your body's recovery from training with an ice pack, but you can support anabolic rebuilding processes with amino acids from a rapidly-digesting protein shake 30 to 45 minutes after working out.
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