Take the Plunge: Cold Plunging effects on Metabolism, Inflammation, Mental Health

Take the Plunge: Cold Plunging effects on Metabolism, Inflammation, Mental Health

Cold plunges are making a splash across the internet, but this isn’t just a modern day trend. The process of immersing your body in cold water goes back to ancient Greece. While the tradition is thousands of years old, new studies from Dr. Susanna Søberg show the benefits you can get from using an infrared sauna and plunging into a cold tub. We’re taking a dive into the science behind cold plunges and what you need to know before you submerge yourself in this great recovery practice.

What is a cold plunge?

Cold water therapy, also known as cold hydrotherapy, uses water chilled to around 57 degrees Fahrenheit to give the body mental and physical benefits. Our revolutionary cold Plunge tubs use powerful cooling, filtration, and sanitation to give you cold, clean water. They have a temperature ranging from 45-55 degrees. But if you tell us before your appointment, they can go down to 39 degrees.

Soeberg's research finds the maximum benefits of contrast therapy at 57 minutes in the sauna and 11 minutes in the cold plunge weekly.

How to breathe

Plunging for the first time can be a challenge. Here is how you can get the most out of each second in the tub. Be present in the room. Take 8-10 breaths through your mouth focusing on the stomach, chest, and head. Step into the plunge while relaxing your upper body. The goal is to immerse yourself up to your neck. When the upper part of your neck is fully in the water it will activate the vagus nerve to enable a more full hormonal response, maximizing benefits like anti-inflammatory response and mood-boosting. If you can’t get there at first, work on starting at your knees. Once you’re in the tub, slowly relax your shoulders and focus on making the exhale four times longer than your inhale. 

When stepping out of the plunge, carefully and slowly stand up. Inhale for four seconds and then do another quick inhale through your nose. Then, exhale for eight seconds. Watch Patrick Coyne coach you through your breathing for your plunge below.


People have been plunging for hundreds of years, so let’s just say the benefits are bountiful. Now we have the research to back up what people have been experiencing after a cold plunge.

Your Metabolism Goes Up

Biohacking researcher Dr. Susanna Søberg discovered that cold water immersion activates brown fat thermogenesis that helps keep the body warm and controls insulin levels and blood sugar. Dr. Søberg even found that metabolism increased by 350% when participants were exposed to 57-degree water. That’s why we keep our tubs ranging from 45-57 degrees. Her research inspired the Søberg Principle. When exiting your cold plunge, allow your body to shiver and warm up, which then stimulates the metabolism.

Support your Immune System

Being immersed in cold water stimulates leukocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off sicknesses. It also causes the lymphatic system to contract, forcing fluid through the lymph nodes. This process aids in detoxing the body and strengthening your immune system. Research shows it can substantially lower upper respiratory tract infections.

Increase Momentum

Cold plunging has shown the ability to increase your baseline dopamine, which is the molecule in our brain and body that is linked to motivation. Neuroscientist and Stanford University professor Dr. Andrew Huberman says dopamine can enhance our depth of focus.

Experience Pain Relief

You’ll get a 5x boost in norepinephrine from consistent cold plunges. This neurotransmitter can dramatically reduce inflammation and help with chronic pain.

Relieve Stress

Cold water therapy has been shown to be an effective supplemental treatment for stress relief by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. A study found that regular cold showers and ice baths helped reduce anxiety and improve the mood of participants.

Elevate Energy

Everyone has their own method for waking up; double shots of espresso, a quick workout, and so on. If you’re looking for a quick start to your morning or an afternoon pick-me-up, cold plunging might just be the answer. Many people turn to cold plunging when looking for a new way to boost their daily energy!


Safety is the first priority for everyone who visits Contrast Studios. If this is your first time plunging, take it slow. A staff member can walk you through the breaths and steps of taking your plunge. Be aware that sudden cold water immersion can cause a state of shock or loss of muscular control. Please get a staff member’s attention if this happens. 

If you are pregnant or have a pacemaker we do not recommend that you plunge. If you have cardiovascular health concerns please consult your cardiologist before plunging. If you have questions about whether you should plunge, please contact your primary care physician.

Keeping it Clean

All of our tubs contain Freezedom™ technology. Other features include a filter that pulls out any debris from the water. Also, constant water circulation maintains quality and makes for a colder plunging experience. We also use ozone sanitation, which is a powerful and highly effective way to kill unwanted microorganisms.

After the Plunge

Use our complimentary towel service to dry off after your plunge and enjoy the benefits of contrast therapy for the rest of the day! Enjoy Contrast Studios at any time by becoming a member today.

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