Cold water immersion, also known as cold water therapy is a type of therapy athletes do after they work out. It is basically taking a bath with cold water or submerging your body in a tub full of ice and water for a short period of time. A bath in cold water activates the person’s ability to repair broken tissues and reduce the swelling of the muscles. It also removes the waste product of the body after exercising.
Cold Water Immersion Improves Body Function
Cold water therapy tightens your blood vessels. This process helps your body get rid of lactic acids build up that has been stored in your muscles. Lactic acid the most common waste product found in your body after exercising. Too much lactic acid in your body can make you sluggish. Plus, it will also lead to fatigue.
Cold water immersion also affects the psychological and biochemical changes in the body. It increases heart rate, blood pressure, and peripheral catecholamine concentration, and a decrease in cerebral blood flow. Most athletes follow this type of therapy because it is easy and is very relaxing. They say that soaking in a tub full of ice can make a big difference in the way the body regenerates.
Cold water immersion is also featured in the Wim Hof Method where it involves cold therapy, breathing exercises, and mental commitment. It has proved that it can benefit both your mind and body. Cold water immersion has become a popular trend in today’s culture. Since it is easy to do and helps your body in many ways, a lot of people adopt this therapy, both athletes, and non-athletes alike.
What are the benefits you get from it? Here are some benefits that are worth mentioning.
- First, cold water therapy increases your body’s tolerance to stress and disease. Cold therapy is proven in many studies that once you expose your body to cold water in short period of time it increases the body’s tolerance to stress and disease. It decreases the uric levels of your body which lowers your risk of heart, liver, and kidney diseases. It also increases glutathione which is the body’s most powerful antioxidant. And because of that, it triggers all antioxidants in the body to perform at high levels. It also assists in the recovery of swollen muscles and tissues and will prepare you for your next workout session.
- It is also proven that cold water therapy can help you reduce your weight. By submerging your body to extremely cold temperatures for a short time it forces your body to activate its brown fat. Brown fat is the type of fat that burns energy when your body hits cooler temperature. Basically, you are tricking your body to burn calories and activating your brown fat in order to keep your body warm. And because of this, it will assist you if ever you want to reduce your weight.
- Cold water immersion also boosts happiness levels. If you ever feel sad try taking a cold shower and it will instantly boost your mood. It might sound obvious and shallow but actually, it is backed by science. Research shows that cold showers can help treat depression symptoms. It stimulates the dopaminergic pathways and triggers mood-boosting neurotransmitters which make you happy. Most studies in cold water therapy have proven to be beneficial and have no negative side effects to your body. A 20-minute exposure to cold water will greatly benefit you. Furthermore, it is an easy and a cheap process so there is no reason why you shouldn’t try it.
Cold water immersion isn’t for everyone and it is something that you should discuss with your doctor prior to doing. It isn’t for everyone and it is something that you should discuss with your doctor prior to doing. Cold water therapy isn’t a quick fix or a gimmick that guarantees weight loss, you will need to still exercise and eat healthy on a regular basis in order to lose weight.
If you don’t like the idea of sitting in a cold bath for long periods of time, you can always try cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is based on the same principle but you don’t have to sit in ice cold water for an extended amount of time.