Health & Wellness

Cold Plunge Benefits: Legit Reasons To Take A Plunge In Cold Water 

Taking a dip into ice-cold water may have many physical and mental health benefits. Is it safe for everyone and worth giving a try?  

Written by Ravina K

On Apr 2, 2023 – 11 minutes read

Cold Plunge Benefits

Picture this: You are standing at the edge of a crystalline lake on a spring morning, surrounded by greenery. The clear sky, crisp air, dewy grass, chirping birds, and in the distance, you can see a faint glow appearing on the horizon. You draw a deep breath and with a quick run, you take a plunge into the cold water. That’s beyond imagination and the benefits of cold plunge are way too functional.

For a moment the icy cold water will make you feel numb, your heart will start beating faster and you will not be able to think at all. But as your body starts adjusting to the temperature of the surroundings, you will feel more energized, altered, and awakened, like it was the only thing you needed to wash away all your stress and worries. This is one of the best cold plunge benefits you’ll have.

Cold plunge benefits, which is an ancient practice of immersing oneself in icy cold water, have several mental and physical health benefits. It is a powerful way to connect with yourself and the nature that surrounds you. While it may sound daunting to take a dip into the chill water, trust us, it is worth the process.  

In simple terms, a cold plunge is a type of hydrotherapy where you immerse yourself in ice-cold water for a brief period. The time of immersion varies from a few seconds to ideally 3 minutes and the temperature of the water ranges from 45-60°F (7-15°C). Lately, this therapy is being suggested by several medical experts to get rid of various ailments. So, there would be some benefits to it, wouldn’t it? So, let us take a deep dive into the concept of cold plunge before giving it a shot and the benefits of cold plunge.

The Origin Of The Concept 

The origin of this therapy can be traced back to ancient times in many cultures of the world. Owing to the amazing physical and mental health benefits of cold plunge, it has been a vital part of traditional medicine practices and with time it has only evolved for the better.  

Cold Plunge Benefits

It is difficult to locate the exact birthplace of this practice, but experts agree that it was an important part of ancient Greek and Roman culture. Even in the ancient medical scripts of North America, China, and Russia, one can find mention of this as a therapy to reduce inflammation, and fatigue, improve blood circulation and relax the mind. In Japan, the traditional practice of “shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing(1), and in India, taking a dip in the River Ganges as a part of the sacred ritual in Hinduism is similar to the concept of a cold plunge and has the same benefits of cold plunge.

The process slowly crept its way into modern medical practices in the 18th century when a  Scottish physician, William Cullen, started promoting cold showers for therapeutic purposes. From here the trend picked up pace and experts started exploring the possible benefits of cold plunge.

The Science Behind Cold Plunges & The Benefits Of Cold Plunge

Cold-water immersion therapy or cold-water therapy is not a new concept. Experts have known about its benefits for a long time and have carried out several experiments to verify them. It helps to promote physical and mental wellness because of the response created in the body once it comes in contact with the cold water. Studies suggest that when the body is exposed to ice-cold water, a range of responses are triggered as a part of “fight or flight” mode. which is defined as the best benefits of cold plunge.

One of the experiences that the body undergoes after coming in contact with chill water is vasoconstriction or the narrowing of blood vessels. The effects of this response can be witnessed in terms of a temporary spike in blood pressure, muscle relaxation, and reduced inflammation.  

Apart from the physical benefits, submerging in chill water can also be good for mental health. Experts believe that regularly immersing yourself in chill water can help to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.  

How To Do A Cold Plunge Safely To Gain The Benefits Of Cold Plunge?

The term cold plunge seems like a straightforward process to take a short dip into the water; however, it is not that easy. You need to prepare yourself beforehand both physically and mentally to bear the chilly water and avoid falling sick afterwards. 

Where To Take The Cold Plunge?

One of the crucial questions which everyone will have in mind is where to take the plunge and how to get the actual benefits of cold plunge. The solution lies in your location and the facilities available around you. In some places, there are special arrangements made from it like in spas, gyms, and wellness centers. So, check in your locality if you have any such facilities. Some hotels and resorts may also offer cold plunge pools or tubs. 

If you love nature and have access to natural cold-water bodies, such as rivers, lakes, or oceans, then you can also use them. Else, you can create your plunge at home by using a bathtub and filling it with water and ice to bring the temperature down to 45-60°F. This could give you the actual benefits of cold plunge. 

Things To Keep In Mind

  • Start Slow To Actually Feel the Benefits Of Cold Plunge: If you are trying the plunging therapy for the first time, take everything slow. Start with a shorter duration of a few seconds once a week and gradually increase the timing as per your convenience. Give time to your body to acclimate to the chilled water.  
  • Listen To Your Body: Pay attention to how you feel when you submerge in the chilly water. If you feel uneasy or are not able to handle the cold, step back. Do not push your limits.
  • Consult Your Doctor To Understand Benefits Of cold plunge: Cold plunge is safe, but still consult with your doctor once before including it in your daily routine. There are chances that it might not suit some people or may be risky for some suffering from certain medical conditions. So, have a clear conversation with your medical expert. 


Here Are A Few Things You Should Keep In Mind To Feel The Benefits Of Cold Plunge.
  • Warm Your Body: Before going in the water, take a few minutes to warm up your body. For that, you can stretch, exercise, or take a warm bath. This process will help to improve blood flow. Warming up your body is essential to get the key benefits of cold plunge. 
  • Submerge Till Neck: Now, when you are practicing this therapy try not to submerge yourself till your head. This will make you feel uneasy. So, submerge only till the neck.  
  • Immerse Slowly: Do not take plunging in a literal sense, immerse yourself slowly. Jumping into it may be dangerous.  
  • Warm-Up Afterwards: After taking a cold bath, warm yourself by drinking a cup of hot tea or exercising a bit. If you skip this step, you may fall sick. benefits of cold plunge without proper aftercare can ruin the actual benefits.
  • Drink Lots Of Water: It is essential to stay hydrated before and after taking this therapy. Drink lots of water before and after it. 
  • Breathe Continuously: When you are immersed in the water, try not to hold your breath. Let loose and take deep breaths all the time. breathing activity is one of the benefits of cold plunge.

Physical Benefits Of Cold Plunges 

If you look into the positive effect of cold plunging on an individual’s physical health, here are some of the ways it can help. 

Reduces Inflammation

Immersing in chilly water even for a fraction of a second can help to reduce muscle inflammation in the body by constricting blood vessels and reducing the flow of the body in particular areas. The therapy is exceptionally good for athletes dealing with soreness and pain after a power-pack performance.  

Improves Blood Circulation

The process of constricting the blood vessels also improves blood circulation, which helps to promote the health of the organs and keep them in optimal condition for you to enjoy a long life.  

Physical Benefits Of Cold Plunges 

Increases Metabolism

Chilly water activates brown fat and speeds up metabolism. This helps you digest food faster, burn more calories and maintain healthy body weight. However, it can only help to lose a small amount of weight if you eat right and exercise regularly. one of the best benefits of cold plunge is that it increases metabolism and improvise whole body.

One Of The Actual Benefits Of Cold Plunge It Improves Immunity

Exposure to cold water can encourage the production of white blood cells in the body. These cells help to build immunity and fight the disease-causing pathogens that enter the body, keeping you healthy and fit. So, you will be less likely to fall sick.  

Enhances Muscle Recovery

Taking this therapy after a tiring day at the gym, particularly after a weight training session, can help in fast muscle recovery(2). This happens due to the response created in the body after coming in contact with cold water.  

Boost Performance

Naturally when you recover from muscle soreness and pain faster, you will be able to perform better and give your best till the end.  

Improves Skin And Hair Health

The improvement in the blood circulation caused by cold water can also help to improve your skin and hair health. Regular dips can make your skin glow, reduce the episodes of pimples, strengthen the root of your hair and increase its shine and health.  

Mental Benefits Of Cold Plunge

Taking care of your mental health is as important as your physical health and this therapy is good for that purpose. Here are some mental health benefits of taking the plunge.  

1. Benefits Of Cold Plunge; Natural Mood Booster

Whether having a dreadful day or feeling sad for no reason, taking a plunge will instantly elevate your mood and make you feel calm and fresh. Immersing in freezing water helps to increase the level of endorphins, which are a natural mood booster.  

2. Reduces Anxiety

If you are one of those who suffer from anxiety occasionally, we would suggest you include this therapy in your routine. Important key benefits of cold plunge are that it reduces anxiety and calms anxiety nervous.  

3. Increases Concentration Level

Given that icy water can help to refresh and awaken your nerves, it naturally helps to improve your concentration level and think more clearly. So, before an exam or interview do try it. Increasing your concentration level is another benefits of cold plunge.  

4. Boosts Energy

Chill water increases levels of noradrenaline in the body, which is a hormone linked with increasing energy levels. This is one of the reasons why the therapy is recommended in the evening after a long tiring day. The key benefits of cold plunge is many and boosting your energy is one of them for all those tired people.

Mental Benefits Of Cold Plunge

5. Enhances Resilience

Soaking in ice-cold water requires a lot of courage. If you practice it regularly you can slowly enhance your level of resilience and power to cope in an adverse environment.  

6. Promotes Happiness

It promotes your happiness, one of the benefits of cold plung. When you are relaxed and in a better mood, you will feel happier. This will help to improve your quality of life.  

7. Improves Sleep

When you are tension free and calm, you will naturally fall asleep faster and enjoy a full night’s sleep without disturbance. At a time when the majority of adults suffer from the problem of insomnia, this therapy can help a lot to promote good sleep at night.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How often should you cold plunge? 

The frequency of cold plunging depends on individual preference and tolerance. If you are new to it, start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and duration. Once in two or three days will be good for beginners. In general, you should stick to taking the plunge once a day, not more than that.  

How long should you stay in a cold plunge? 

Experts recommend that submerging oneself in ice-cold water for 1-3 minutes is good enough to avail its amazing benefits. If you are new to the process just dip in for a minute. Even if you have had enough experience taking the plunge, listen to your body and try not to push your limits. 

Is a 2-minute cold plunge good? 

Yes, a 2-minute cold plunge is perfect to refresh your mind and body. But before trying it, check with your doctor. Exposure to icy freezing water is not recommended for people suffering from certain health conditions.

What time of day is best for a cold plunge? 

By taking a cold dip early in the morning you will feel refreshed, and, in the evening, it will help you unwind. Ideally, these are the best times of the day to go for it. However, if you have a busy morning or evening, you can plan it for any other time of the day.  

Is it OK to take a cold plunge every day? 

Taking a cold plunge once a day is safe. However, you need to consider your health condition, and tolerance level before adding it to your daily plan.  

Does cold plunge burn fat? 

Soaking in chilly water even for a few minutes can increase your metabolism and activate your brown fat. This can help you burn calories and even shed some kilos. But taking the cold plunge alone cannot help you reach your weight goals; you need to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly.  


Cold water therapy has been used in many cultures for millennia. Benefits are the same regardless of name. Thus, taking a dip in cold water occasionally has many health and mental benefits. Best benefits of Cold plunge therapy can reduce joint pain, inflammation, muscle tension, stress, and energy. A morning or evening cold plunge is best. In the morning, it will help you feel awakened and refreshed, and in the evening, it will reduce stress, relax muscles, and improve sleep. Schedule it anytime before attempting the therapy, visit your doctor. First-timers should dip in once or twice a week. Depending on your preference and tolerance, increase frequency and time gradually.

  1. BioMed Central Ltd.(2023).“Shinrin-yoku” (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing) in Japan. Available at:
  2. Informa UK Limited.(2023).Muscle damage, inflammation, and recovery. Available at:

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Hi there, I am Ravina! I am a storyteller, who loves to write about lifestyle, politics, and social issues. Writing for me is like meditating as it helps me connect with my inner self and everything around me. It is a medium to express my thoughts and feelings. When not writing, I can be found reading, painting or admiring the beauty of nature.

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