The science behind the Ice Bucket Challenge

In just a few weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has helped raise more than $2.3 million for the ALS Association. But is there a hidden benefit to the challenge that participants aren't aware of when they dump the ice water of their heads?

Ithaca College professor Tom Swensen is one of several experts asked about the benefits of ice water in a recent article by Swensen, who chairs the Department of Exercise and Sports Science, discusses with how ice water can improve blood circulation, depending on the application.

"What they're talking about is reactive hyperemia," Swensen told "Think about when you were little and came inside after being in the snow all day long. You took a hot shower and it felt like your toes swelled up. That was the circulation returning." In order to reduce inflammation, then, repeated applications of ice water would be necessary."

To read more from Swensen on the science behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, click here.

Originally published in Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences: The science behind the Ice Bucket Challenge.

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