By: Frederick Entenmann & Duke Armstrong
Cold therapy seems to be all the craze right now with cryochambers popping up all over the place. They are claiming to support your fitness efforts, reduce inflammation, and a whole host of other great benefits. But did you know you can get most of the benefits in the comfort of your own home, too?!
Let’s take a look at this new technique!
OVERVIEW OF COLD THERAPY
“Cryotherapy” or “cold therapy” refers to any type of cold exposure that has health benefits. You can accomplish this with a cold shower, ice bath, jumping into a frozen lake, or visiting a local cryochamber facility. While each has its unique benefits, the goal of cold therapy is to improve your overall health. There is extensive and growing research on cold therapy. This blog will provide a high-level overview of the benefits. If you want to research deeper, send us a comment or an email and we can point you in the right direction.
BENEFITS OF COLD THERAPY
Cold therapy has been shown to increase your brown fat percentage and your overall daily caloric burn. Brown fat is fat that your body can burn for energy. White fat is the fat we all want to get rid of. Exercise has also been shown to increase brown fat percentage and reduce white fat percentage. Combining exercise and cold therapy can be the 1-2 punch to achieving your weight loss goals!
Post-Exercise Muscle Repair & Recovery
Cold therapy has been shown to improve recovery, reduce soreness, and get you back to the action faster. Just don’t do the cold therapy within one hour of your training. For best results, do the cold therapy 2-24 hours after training. Inflammatory response post workout is actually a good thing and triggers your body’s response to heal and grow.
Cold therapy has been shown to be a great way to manage pain through the release of nor-epinephrine and endorphins.
Improve Insulin Sensitivity & Blood Sugar Levels
Cold exposure can enhance the body’s response to insulin, allowing glucose to be cleared from the blood quicker. Better insulin sensitivity ties to a leaner body and lower body fat percentage. All good things!
Healthy Aging & Well-being
Cold therapy has been shown to improve mitochondria function in the body. Mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which our body uses as energy; or fuel. Some cells have more mitochondria than others; namely our brain, heart and muscles. The creation of new mitochondria and destruction of worn-out mitochondria are both necessary for optimal and vibrant aging. Creatine monohydrate has been shown to increase the building blocks of ATP – meaning you can kick aging in the butt with cold showers and daily consumption of Propello Life’s Pre-Workout.
Improved Immune System
Cold therapy has been shown to lower cortisol levels when it is done on a continual basis. Chronically high cortisol levels have been linked to leaky gut syndrome. More and more evidence is mounting on overall health being tied to gut health – with leaky gut syndrome at the center of it all. So, bringing down your cortisol levels is a great start to improving your immune system and overall health.
Detoxify Your Body
Cold therapy has been shown to increase natural levels of the super antioxidant – glutathione. Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant. The reduced form of this powerful antioxidant is crucial for the detoxification process.
Cold therapy has been shown to increase both nor-epinephrine by 530% and dopamine by 250% in a study where subjects where exposed to cold for 1-hour. This isn’t practical, but research suggests we can get positive “feel good” results with daily cold showers.
Studies show that sleeping in temps between 60-68 degree Fahrenheit increase levels of nor-epinephrine and lead to better, restorative deep sleep.
CONCLUSION: TAKE A COLD SHOWER DAILY AND SLEEP IN A COLDER ROOM
Research suggests we all can get health benefits from cold therapy. You could visit a cryochamber, or in our opinion, the better way is to simply knock your shower down a few (or more) degrees. Two ways to do this are:
- 30 seconds at the end of shower with the dial set to the coldest setting
- 5 minutes at a moderate (65-68 degree) temperature
With the combination of turning down the temperature of your showers and dialing your thermostat down (which helps save money in the winter, too!), you can get an easy, although cold!, way to accelerate fat loss, improve muscle recovery, feel better, and improve your overall health.
Please let us know if you have tried cold therapy, and if you have questions. We would love to hear from you!