Cold Hard Facts 101: When is the Best Time to Use a Cold Plunge Pool and How Often?
If you're wanting the maximum health benefits from cold plunging, there's nothing better than having your own cold plunge tank at home or in the office.
By having a dedicated tank for cold water immersion therapy, you can refine your routine for the ideal health, strength, or endurance outcomes you're seeking.
So, once you've set your tank up in your home or office and it's ready to use, is there the best time to take the plunge? And, what about how often should you practice cold water therapy? Is it possible to use a cold plunge tank too often?
To help you get the most from your home cold plunge tank, we'll answer these questions as well as provide some tips for staying safe.
Is There a Best Time to Use a Cold Plunge?
One of the most common questions people have when they first buy a cold plunge tank for home is when they should plunge. Are there benefits to cold plunging at certain times of the day? Or should you plunge based on activity?
Much of this depends on what you're trying to achieve from cold plunging. For most, plunging based on activity proves most effective. Let's look at some examples of this that can help guide your routine planning.
After Workouts in the Heat
Recovering after strenuous workouts is one of the best times to take a cold plunge. This especially holds true for workouts in the heat. When your body temperature stays too high for too long, you risk heat stroke, which is highly dangerous.
Avoiding overheating is essential to recovering from workouts, and it's also a major consideration for cardiovascular safety. By taking a cold plunge after these types of workouts, you can help minimize these types of risks, boosting your ability to recover quickly and minimize cardio strain levels.
First Thing in the Morning
For most people, cold water immersion is an ideal way to start the day. Plunging into ice water first thing in the morning helps trigger chemical reactions throughout the body that increase energy and mental alertness.
When you have a big day ahead of you, cold water exposure is a great way to boost your energy levels without caffeine. This practice can also help regulate blood pressure, supporting cardiovascular health from the moment the day begins.
Afternoon Break Time
Sometimes the afternoon can be a time when mental energy and clarity decline. Sudden immersion in ice water is one way you can rejuvenate your entire body, including your mind. The cold plunge tanks from RENU Therapy are perfectly suited for home or office use, so you can easily get a quick pick-me-up during the afternoon slump.
Exposure to cold temperatures in the middle of the day can also help increase your metabolic response, helping with weight loss and potentially assisting with insulin sensitivity.
Following a Hot Sauna Session
Researchers have found that long-time practitioners of contrast therapy exhibit enhanced health benefits that cold plunges alone don't afford. Inducing the cold shock response immediately after time in a hot sauna seems to produce proteins within the vital organs that lead to longer lifespans on average.
This science is still being analyzed on precisely how this works, but the evidence supporting the therapy spans decades of research covering thousands of subjects. Some of this research found that regular winter swimming after a hot sauna session has been a secret of good health for Nordic cultures for centuries now.
How Often Should You Use a Cold Plunge?
When it comes to how often you should take a cold plunge, there is no definitive answer. Some of this comes down to how your body reacts, which is different for everyone.
Some people have a much higher tolerance for cold than others, while some have practically no tolerance for cold. Depending on where you're at on the continuum of cold tolerance, you might want to have fewer sessions each week.
Four Times Per Week is the Goal
Keep in mind that most research shows an average of four days a week is the minimum requirement for the best health outcomes.
There hasn't really been much research yet on if it's possible to take ice baths too often, however. With that said, though, many professional athletes take ice baths daily, and sometimes more than once per day.
This could indicate that it's not really harmful to take ice baths more than once per day even, which is more than the average person probably wants to do.
It Depends on Your Personal Needs
It really boils down to what your needs are. If you're recovering from highly intense workouts five days per week, taking ice baths in the morning and evening might be justified.
Athletes engaging in high levels of exercise at this frequency often suffer from chronic muscle soreness, which ice baths can deliver major relief for.
Start Slow, and Pay Attention to How Your Body Responds
Remember, when you're first starting out with cold water therapy, it's important to start slowly. Much like with exercise or weight lifting, starting slow is a good way to establish a strong habit that stands the test of time.
Because consistency is the primary factor in gaining health benefits from cold plunging, taking care not to overdo it at first can pay off in the long run. For beginners, it's best to ease into cold-water immersion by practicing two to three times a week at more tolerable temperatures.
Cold Plunge When You Need it Most
Whether you need to take a cold plunge twice a day or twice a week, RENU Therapy cold plunge tanks have you covered. Our reliable cold water tanks keep your water chilled to your preferred temperature, so it's always ready whenever you need it.
Thanks to the superior filtration system, you'll also enjoy the water that's always sanitary and pure without having to deal with harsh chemicals. Simply remove the cover, take a deep breath, and slide into the best cold plunge experience available.
Check out our cold plunge tank lineup or contact us at 714-617-2007 at RENU Therapy today!