Are ice baths good for you?


Ice baths and other forms of cold exposure can be beneficial when done properly. According to , some of the notable benefits include:

  • Increased Metabolism: Cold exposure can boost metabolism.
  • Enhancement of Brown Fat Stores: These fat stores act as a furnace to help you stay warm in cold environments.
  • Inflammation Reduction: It helps in reducing inflammation and increasing resilience.
  • Increase in Dopamine Levels: Exposure to cold can robustly increase dopamine levels by approximately 2.5 times, contributing to a sense of well-being and altering the perception of time during the exposure 1.

Moreover, deliberate cold exposure after intense training can be particularly beneficial. It has been shown to help with:

  • Reducing Muscle Soreness: It can alleviate muscle soreness post-exercise.
  • Improving Recovery: Facilitates quicker recovery, allowing more frequent and effective training sessions.
  • Overall Resilience: Builds a sense of resilience and mental discipline due to dealing with the discomfort of cold exposure 2.

However, it's important to handle cold exposure carefully, especially in relation to training for hypertrophy and strength. Here, timing is crucial; avoiding cold exposure immediately after training can prevent potential negative impacts on muscle and strength gains 3.

Benefits of Cold Exposure

Andrew discusses the numerous benefits of cold exposure, including increases in metabolism, brown fat stores, and dopamine levels. He also explains how dopamine affects our perception of time and offers tips for managing discomfort during cold exposure.

Huberman Lab

Time Perception & Entrainment by Dopamine, Serotonin & Hormones | Huberman Lab Podcast #46

Overall, while ice baths have several health benefits, they should be approached with knowledge and caution, especially in the context of their timing related to physical training activities.