Is Cold Water Therapy Good For You?

Is Cold Water Therapy Good For You?

Some people love it, others shudder at the thought of cold water immersion. While cold water therapy has exploded in popularity in recent years, it’s more than some short-lived health fad.

If you haven’t heard anything about cold water therapy, here’s a shortlist of the benefits. Spend 1 to 5 minutes in cold water and emerge with better energy, a faster metabolism, uplifted mood, and a heightened mental state that primes you for focus and taking on challenges. Just don’t stay longer than 5 minutes. If your body starts to shiver you’re risking causing damage and illness to the body.


Getting into the biology of the topic, spending between 1 and 5 minutes immersed in cold water, causes the brain and body to release a flood of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. We know that dopamine and norepinephrine are two of the three neurochemicals essential for focus. Norepinephrine helps counteract feelings of anxiety and depression, while dopamine plays a key role in your feelings of motivation and reward. Serotonin on the other hand, plays a role in influencing your learning capability, memory and sleep, along with a host of other benefits.

There are studies that show that spending that amount of time in water that is 13°C or less, boosts your norepinephrine production by 530% and your dopamine production by 250%.

Outside of benefitting your neurochemical production, cold water immersion helps with converting white fat into brown fat, the difference being that brown fat is more primed for your body to convert into energy than white fat, and so the greater percentage of fat reserves on the body that are converted to brown fat, the easier it will be for you to burn any excess weight. This process also helps with your overall thermoregulation, meaning your body will be able to handle extreme temperatures more comfortably.

And last but not least, cold water has been shown to bolster the immune system. Surely those results are worth 60 seconds of discomfort?

Most people think that to get the full benefits of cold water therapy you have to be submerging yourself in frigid water 7 days a week for extended periods of time. When the truth is far more simple, accessible and really quite easy. The truth is that the research shows you can get all of the incredible benefits of cold water immersion by spending 60 seconds in cold water, 1 to 3 times a week.

If you do 1 minute, three times a week, that’s a total of three minutes a week you need to spend to transform your physical and mental state. That’s really no time at all to dedicate to a habit that brings so many benefits to your life. Even if you don’t keep up the practice, for such a small time commitment it’s at least worth a try.

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