If you’ve been in the health and wellness space for even a minute, you’ve heard of all the supposed benefits of cold water immersion therapy. Pain reduction, improved recovery and metabolism, reversing tissue inflammation, and mental health benefits only scratch the surface. Specifically, cryotherapy appears to reduce inflammation by influencing norepinephrine and endorphins, thereby telling your body to stop the inflammatory process.
Legends like Joe Rogan, Tony Robbins, and Wim Hof swear by it. And the best part, too, is that the research that backs these claims is strong.
The problem until now(ish), though, has been that the main barrier to entry for normal people has been finding a way to actually implement cold immersion therapy into their lifestyles. Like, yeah, you can fill up a trash can with a sh*t ton of ice, but that’s more of a one-and-done solution.
Professional athletes have had it good for years. Not only are they hot, but they’ve had access to cold plunge tanks at training facilities for years. But fear not, because…
Enter: at home cold plunge tubs. 💥 Companies like Plunge have turned vision into reality by designing cold immersion tubs that are not only as good as the ones you’d use in an athletic facility, but they’re also pretty damn affordable.
We’re gonna start off by looking at the Cold Plunge (because that’s why you’re here), and then we’ll talk about the benefits of cold immersion therapy and dig into the scientific research that backs up these claims. All to see if investing in a cold plunge tub is right for you.
Let’s get it.
Table of Contents
What is cryotherapy / cold immersion therapy?
As a California kid who hates the cold, it pains me to say this, but: the cold is good for us.
You know that feeling you get when you’re out in snowy weather with an irresponsible lack of layers on? It’s like a switch flips in your body; your brain is like WTF, your body starts to go numb, and suddenly you’re wide awake. Your body responds by starting to shiver.
Cold causes stress to our bodies. Maybe it’s just my San Diego talking, but why would anyone WANT to expose themself to extreme cold? Well as it turns out, a controlled and managed burst of exposure to extreme cold has a ton of benefits. In practice, this calculated exposure to the cold is known as cryotherapy.
When our bodies are exposed to the extreme cold of cryotherapy, our bodies experience what’s known as hormetic stress. Basically, it’s our bodies’ response to an environmental stressor. If you’ve ever fasted, done an intense workout, or felt the extreme heat of a steam room, you’ve felt this hormetic stress. And in studies, it’s been found that this is exactly what fights off inflammation and boosts the mood and immune system.
We’re gonna cover all the research and benefits in a sec, but let’s start off by looking at the best cold plunge tubs on the market, so you can compare and contrast.
Which is the best cold plunge tub for me?
First off, there’s really no avoiding the fact that cold plunge tubs are a pretty significant purchase. Even at the low end of the market, buying a Cold Plunge will run you about $5,000. I don’t know your income or whatever, but my guess is that you’ll want to put in significant research buying smashing that buy button; I know I did. So that’s why I’m sharing.
And secondly, remember that price ain’t everything. Just like with any product, one brand is gonna offer a premium (and expensive) product than others. And each cold immersion tank will be a reflection of the qualities of their brand and what they care about. Take a look at the major cold plunge tanks on the market: