Cold plunging has become a viral trend for health enthusiasts, with over 500 million views on TikTok. If you're intrigued by the practice of submerging yourself in icy water but want to know the best way to do it, you've come to the right place. In this article, we’ll give you the best time to cold plunge, plus the recommended duration and temperature for each session. Let’s dive in.
What Is the Best Time to Cold Plunge?
Determining the best time to cold plunge largely depends on your specific goals and personal preferences. However, a consistent cold plunge schedule, when coupled with specific pre- or post-activities, taking a plunge can result in major health benefits:
If you've ever wondered if you should cold plunge before or after workout, we have an answer for you. The best time to cold plunge is after workouts, especially after intense exercise sessions. Cold water immersion after exercise helps reduce inflammation, ease muscle soreness, and promote faster recovery.
This cold plunge timing can be particularly effective in preventing heat-related issues after working out in hot conditions.
In the Morning
Another best time to cold plunge is in the morning. Taking a cold plunge in the morning can provide an invigorating start to your day! Cold water immersion triggers chemical reactions in the body.
These chemical reactions increase energy levels and enhance mental alertness. This practice can also regulate blood pressure, benefiting cardiovascular health throughout the day.
Afternoon Break Time
During the afternoon slump, when mental energy tends to decline, a cold plunge can act as a quick pick-me-up. Immersing in cold water rejuvenates the body and mind, restoring focus and vitality.
Additionally, exposure to cold temperatures in the middle of the day may boost metabolism and support weight loss efforts.
After a Hot Sauna Session
Contrast therapy, which involves alternating between hot and cold water immersion, has shown enhanced health benefits. Taking a cold plunge immediately after a hot sauna session may lead to the production of proteins that contribute to longer lifespans.
This combination of therapies has been practiced by Nordic cultures for centuries and is believed to have numerous health advantages.
How Long to Cold Plunge
Now that you know the best time to cold plunge, how long should you cold plunge for? The ideal duration of cold plunge sessions depends on your tolerance and experience level. For beginners, we suggest to start slowly and gradually increase the duration.
A typical cold plunge session can last anywhere from 1 to 11 minutes. Beginners should begin with shorter sessions of 2 to 4 minutes, then progress to longer durations as they become more accustomed to the cold water.
How Often Should You Cold Plunge?
Determining the frequency of your cold plunging exercise is a crucial aspect of optimizing the benefits of this invigorating practice. While the best time to cold plunge depends on your specific goals and preferences, how often you engage in cold immersion therapy can also play a significant role in achieving desired outcomes.
Find Your Ideal Frequency
The frequency of your cold plunges should align with your individual goals and physical condition. If you're primarily using cold plunging for post-workout recovery or muscle soreness relief, you may choose to incorporate it into your routine after each strenuous exercise session.
On the other hand, if you're seeking mental clarity and overall well-being, a less frequent schedule may suffice.
The Widely Accepted Standard
Many experts recommend a minimum of four times a week as a baseline for those seeking the best time to cold plunge. This frequency is often associated with the most noticeable health benefits. However, it's essential to listen to your body and adapt your schedule accordingly.
Your Personal Tolerance
Cold tolerance varies from person to person. Some individuals have a higher threshold for cold exposure and may find it comfortable to cold plunge more frequently. Others may need to acclimate gradually and start with fewer sessions per week.
For Chronic Conditions
If you're managing chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia, daily cold plunging may be recommended. Several studies have indicated that daily cold therapy sessions can reduce pain and improve the quality of life for individuals with such conditions.
Regardless of your goals, it's crucial to begin slowly, especially if you're new to cold immersion therapy. Just as with any physical activity, starting at a manageable pace and gradually increasing the frequency can help your body adapt and prevent overexertion.
Listen to Your Body
The key to determining the best frequency for your cold plunges is to pay close attention to how your body responds. If you experience discomfort, excessive shivering, or prolonged recovery times, it may be a sign that you're pushing too hard or too often.
In contrast, if you find your cold plunges invigorating and energizing without any adverse effects, you may be able to increase the frequency.
Remember that consistency is often the primary factor in reaping the benefits of cold immersion therapy. It's better to establish a sustainable routine that aligns with your body's capabilities rather than pushing yourself to extremes.
Ideal Cold Plunge Temperature
The ideal temperature for cold plunging also varies based on preference and tolerance. Water temperatures typically range between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit).
Beginners may find it more comfortable to start with higher temperatures, around 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) and gradually lower the temperature as they become more experienced.
Final Words on the Best Time to Cold Plunge
In conclusion, cold plunging can be an invigorating practice to add to your routine. Knowing the best time to cold plunge can help you make the most of this health practice. At ELU, we offer a wide range of hot and cold therapy solutions to elevate your wellness journey. Shop our premium cold tub selection, or book your first experience today.