Cold plunging or cold water immersion therapy is the practice of exposing oneself to frigid temperatures to activate a response in the body that creates repair and stress tolerance. We did some research and found this health modality has far reaching effects!
Cold therapy is a high efficiency form of Biohacking. What is Biohacking you may ask? Well, Dave Asprey, Founder of Bulletproof describes Biohacking as this, “the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you, so you have more control over your own biology”. Asprey is known as the Father of Biohacking and he started Bulletproof as a functional nutrition company.
We were curious about the health benefits of cold plunging. There is no shortage of research on the topic with an abundance of science-based evidence and personal testimonies. Here are some of the key benefits we learned.
- Elevated Energy A daily cold plunge can increase levels of norepinephrine, both a hormone and a neurotransmitter responsible for increasing alertness, arousal and attention. Self-diagnosed ADHD be gone!
- Increase Baseline Dopamine There is actual scientific evidence that cold exposure increases dopamine levels in the brain, your “feel good” neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, enhance attention and focus. Helping you feel hopeful and excited!
- Performance / Recovery A side effect of an intense workout is DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Cold exposure lowers inflammation, draws lactic acid out of the muscles. And, the dilation of blood vessels after the cold therapy brings oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, effectively reducing DOMS – Speeding up recovery. Making you a machine!
- Support Immune System Studies show that brief periods of cold exposure daily result in an increase in the number and activity of immune cells. Including T-cells (adaptive) and natural killer cells (innate). Natural killer cells provide protection against viruses and tumor cells. This is Biohacking baby!
- Better Sleep Initially during an immersion you will get a rush of adrenaline and cortisol, your fight-or-flight response. If you can sit through that period, your parasympathetic system will take over and you will find a more centered, meditative state. Repeated, this will activate signals and pathways that promote improved states of rest and better digestion.
We talked with Chandra Cardelli over at The Fat Funeral to learn if there were any weight loss benefits to cold plunging. Here is what Chandra had to say, “cold plunges can aid in weight loss and fat burning by stimulating the activation of brown adipose tissue, which burns calories to generate heat. Cold exposure increases calorie expenditure as the body works harder to maintain its core temperature.”
To understand how cold plunging can aid in mental health we recommend following, Angie Fletcher she has been plunging for years and has a lot of valuable insight into using it as a tool for depression. Angie is a cold plunge goddess!
We are convinced this health modality is the real deal. It gives you energy and improves your sleep. It helps you reach peak performance and wards off disease, simultaneously. It’s tough, but so are you! Tell us if you think Ice Pods should be a wellness amenity in Lunabase homes? We would love to hear your experience with cold plunging, give it a try!
BRB, we’re cold plunging.