I tried Lady Gaga's ice bath routine – you'll sleep like a baby but it's not worth the torment

A BATH is the perfect way to relax and unwind – but is that still true when the water is freezing cold?

Lady Gaga and a host of A-listers and athletes swear by the benefits of taking regular ice baths.

Pop star Gaga, 34, says it helps manage the chronic pain, fatigue and poor sleep she has because of her fibromyalgia condition.

But what are they really like? YASMIN HARISHA takes the plunge . . .

I GRITTED my teeth as my toes touched the ice-cold water, anticipating the burning to my skin.

All I had for protection was my swimming costume — and reassurance from Lady Gaga that taking the chilly plunge could ease muscle pain, boost metabolism and help me have a ­better night’s sleep.

As part of her pre- and post-show routine, Gaga has a ten-minute ice bath dip, followed by 20 minutes in a hot bath then a further 20 minutes in a NormaTec air pressure compression suit to encourage blood flow.

She first spoke about her ice bath routine — which is also said to help strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation — in an Instagram post in 2016.

She wrote: “When my body goes into a spasm, one thing I find really helps is infrared sauna. In order to not overheat my system and cause more inflammation I ­follow this with a VERY cold, ice-cold bath (if you can stand it, it’s worth it).

“It helps me to keep doing my passion, job, and the things I love even on days when I feel like I can’t get out of bed.”


She’s not wrong about the cold.

But if she and celebs including Madonna, boxer Anthony Joshua and Victoria’s Secret model Lais Ribeiro can hack it, so can I.

However, before leaping in, I read up on some of the health risks.

The decrease in your core temperature and simply being in the ice slows the flow of blood in the body, according to ­orthopedic surgeon Dr A Brion Gardner.

This can place you at risk of a heart attack or stroke if you already suffer from decreased blood flow. Thankfully, I am in good health.

But my new lockdown fitness routine has left me a bit sore. And my sleep is all over the place. Could the icy water heal me?

To prepare the bath, I added ten large buckets of cold tap water and 12,000 ice cubes — bringing the temperature down to a chilly 10C. Ouch!

When I saw that number on the thermometer and felt the cold air rise from the bath, I did have second thoughts.

However, I psyched myself up with Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger blasting from the speakers and jumped up and down before taking the plunge, submerging myself up to my neck.

Now, I had been advised to spend at least five minutes in the bath, but the temperature quite literally took my breath away. I could breathe in but was too cold to breathe out.

It was like a shot of ice ran through my blood — from my toes to my neck — causing my body to feel completely numb and ­sending a chill down my spine.

I discovered that this was essentially a mind-over-matter challenge as your brain realises what’s happening . . . then panics.

So I tried to constantly convince myself that this would do me good. Full disclosure though: I barely lasted a minute before caving in and hopping out.

When I started to feel a strange tingly sensation, similar to intense pins and ­needles throughout my body, I decided to call it a day.

My body felt like it had frozen at around the 20-second mark. Immediately afterwards, I felt the effects. My legs were like icebergs, and I had forgotten how to put one foot in front of the other.

Every step I took towards the warm towel felt like my nerves were having minor electrical shocks.

However, not only was I physically recharged, but I also found myself in a happier mood — in fairness though, that could have just been because I was no longer sitting in ice.

Physically, I didn’t feel any better for it.

But around 40 minutes after the plunge, I felt a drain of energy and was ready for bed.

I never really warmed up for the rest of the evening, and when I jumped under the covers I made sure I had a duvet and a blanket.

Putting on Netflix (but certainly no more chilling!), I was struggling to keep my eyes open. It was great.

The next morning, after a full nine-hours’ sleep, I woke up feeling refreshed.

Was it the ice bath or a placebo effect? I’m not sure. But to do all of that for a better night’s sleep? I don’t think so.

Lady Gaga might have been Born This Way, but I certainly wasn’t.

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