Everyone has their own method for waking up; double shots of espresso, a quick workout, and so on. If you’re looking for a quick start to your morning or an afternoon pick-me-up, cold plunging might just be the answer. Many people turn to cold plunging when looking for a new way to boost their daily energy!
RECOVERY / PERFORMANCE
Cold plunge benefits extend beyond the mental and chemical aspects of your body too. Sports medicine has utilized cold water therapy for years, to help with the active recovery of your muscles.
Being immersed in cold water stimulates leukocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off illnesses. It also causes the lymphatic system to contract, forcing fluid through the lymph nodes. This process aids in detoxing the body and strengthening your immune system. A study has shown to substantially lower upper respiratory tract infections.
Cold plunging has shown the ability to increase your baseline dopamine. Dopamine is the molecule in our brain and body that is linked to motivation. According to Dr. Andrew Huberman, dopamine can enhance our depth of focus and lower our threshold for taking action towards our specific goals.
Researchers have known for a while that it connects to our daily energy. In particular, there is lots of evidence that hormone imbalance can contribute to depression, meaning that a cold plunge might help to reduce depression and improve overall mood! Don't take our word for it though, just ask anyone who has ever plunged!
The boost in norepinephrine you'll get from consistent ice baths has been shown to be up to 5x. This neurotransmitter can dramatically reduce inflammation and help with chronic pain.
Cold water therapy has been shown to be an effective supplemental treatment for stress relief by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. A study found that regular cold showers and ice baths helped reduce anxiety and improve the mood of participants.
When you dip into the Plunge, your body triggers the autonomic nervous system. This system is a network of vessels and nerves, split into two parts that control your response to stress. When you begin to control your response to stress, you’ll likely find that you begin to control your relaxation and sleep.