The Science

Dive into the science of cold therapy and see how it's changing lives across the globe.

Overview

When people immerse their body in cold water, it causes a series of physiological responses, including a decrease in core body temperature, increased blood flow, and the release of endorphins and other mood-enhancing hormones. This can lead to a variety of benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved recovery, increased energy and alertness, and better mental health.

This is because when your body is exposed to cold, it goes into survival mode and releases hormones that help you deal with stress. This can help you feel more alert, focused, and energized. Additionally, cold therapy can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and even boost your metabolism.

cold water immersion triggers a complex set of physiological responses that can have significant effects on the body and mind. The science behind these responses is still being studied, but the benefits of cold therapy are becoming increasingly recognized and utilized in various contexts, from sports recovery to general health and wellness.

  • Optimal Recovery

    Cold water immersion helps to reduce inflammation, muscle soreness, and pain, leading to faster recovery times for athletes.

  • Improved Circulation

    Ice baths can help to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure, improving overall cardiovascular health.

  • Boosted Immunity

    Regular cold water immersion has been scientifically proven to enhance immune function, ward off diseases and illnesses.

  • Reduced Stress

    Cold water immersion has been linked to reduced levels of stress and anxiety, improved mood, and better sleep quality.

  • Better Sleep

    Ice baths improve sleep by lowering body temp, reducing stress and boosting mood, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

  • Increased Energy

    Boosts dopamine and other endorphins, leading to improved focus and energy levels through improved mood, reduced stress and increased alertness.

Supporting Studies

Improved mood following a single immersion in cold water

"The cold-water immersion group showed a significant decrease, with a large effect size, of 15 points from 51 to 36, compared to 2 points in the control group, 42 to 40. Positive sub-scales increased significantly in the cold-water immersion group (Vigour by 1.1, and Esteem-Related Affect by 2.2 points) and negative sub-scales showed significant reductions (Tension by 2.5, Anger 1.25, Depression 2.1, Fatigue 2.2, and Confusion 2.8 points). The control showed no significant change except for depression, which was significantly higher after the period by 1.6 points."

https://doi.org/10.1002/lim2.53

Whole-body cryotherapy in rehabilitation of patients with rheumatoid diseases

"The pain level after application of the cold therapy decreases significantly. The pain reduction lasts about 90 minutes. The initial pain level decreases during the whole time of treatment, no significant improvement, though, can be shown from the middle to the end of the four-weeks treatment. According to the results of our study, there is evidence that the whole-body cold therapy generates important short-term effects and somewhat weaker effects over the treatment period as a whole. Short-term pain reduction facilitates intensive application of physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. The treatment procedure is practicable, and all in all well tolerated. From the patients' point of view, whole-body cold therapy is an essential part of the rehabilitation programme."

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10832164/

Efficacy of the Whole-Body Cryotherapy as Add-on Therapy to Pharmacological Treatment of Depression-A Randomized Controlled Trial

"Whole-body cryotherapy is a useful method to improve standard pharmacological treatment. The WBC intervention reduces mental health deterioration, especially in mood disorders, such as depression, and can be beneficial for well-being and quality of life."

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32581890/

Cold‐water immersion (cryotherapy) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise

Altered brown fat thermoregulation and enhanced cold-induced thermogenesis in young, healthy, winter-swimming men

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34755128/