controlled cold immersion for sports recovery

How cold plunge helps to elevate mood and reduce anxiety

No matter how hard we deny it, stress is an unfortunate part of the human experience. Juggling responsibilities ranging from work deadlines to healthy eating contribute to stress and anxiety. Negative stress, also known as distress, can cause and result in sleep deprivation, anxiety, poor gut health, disease and other health issues. In such cases, cold plunge is proven to elevate mood and reduce anxiety. 

A significant factor in tackling these daily stressors lies in the abilities of our stress hormones. But what are stress hormones and how can we address their functionalities in our bodies? To understand this, we must address the significance of mitochondria, or a cell’s powerhouse. Addressing the health of your body at a cellular level can allow your body to elevate its mood and manage stressors. Let’s take a closer look at these specific elements and how cold plunge impacts them.

What are the mitochondria?

 Mitochondria are the cell’s powerhouse and have only recently emerged as a critical component of the stress response. They are signaling pathway structures that maintain life by converting energy and intra-cellular signaling. Intra means within, hence internal communication takes place when signaling occurs between cells. This function is essential for all bodily processes to take place within the body. 


Psychological stress and mitochondria: 

Evidence suggests that acute and chronic stressors influence different aspects of mitochondrial biology, and that chronic stress exposure can cause molecular and functional changes in mitochondria. Daily mood and chronic caregiving stress are linked to mitochondrial capacity. Mitochondrial health could be a link between psychological stress and health. 

How to reveal stress with cold plunge: 

 There are numerous stress relief techniques available, some better than others, but one source of stress relief is frequently overlooked — cold immersion therapy. Furthermore, stress management is an essential part of our daily lives because of the negative impacts chronic stress can have on our health. However, focus, also known as eustress, can be beneficial. The right amount and type of stress can actually strengthen your immune system. This includes physical activities such as exercising, heat stress such as sauna use, fasting, and cold stress. Hot tubs and saunas get the most attention, but cold plunge can also help promote relaxation. 

Aside from being useful as a post-workout recovery tool or a daily mental health boost, ice baths have also been shown to be beneficial in the world of stress, and this concept is similar to cold plunge therapy. A quick soak in ice-cold water can provide surprisingly effective stress relief. Developing a cold plunge habit may result in an overall reduction in stress and an improvement in mood. When immersed in cold water, whether it’s an ice bath or a cold shower, the brain releases chemicals, including norepinephrine.

Norepinephrine is produced in the brain in modest amounts on a regular basis as well as in big amounts for adrenal reactions. Norepinephrine serves to wake up the brain and maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle during non-stressful circumstances. It’s also linked to the creation of memories and the capacity to concentrate on activities. Norepinephrine causes an increase in oxygen transport to the brain under stressful situations. This aids the brain in prioritizing the fast thinking required to respond to an emergency. potentially dangerous situations.

Benefits of taking a cold plunge:

 According to some studies, the body can adapt to the stress of cold water by regulating stress hormones. With immersion in a cold plunge, the body is taught to control its stress response. Even though research into the benefits of ice baths is still ongoing, the list of its benefits is growing. A cold plunge can boost athletic performance while also alleviating pain and soreness. They can assist you in developing better stress responses and working to improve your overall mental health! 

Cellularly, the autonomic nervous system activates when the body is exposed to cold water. This system is a network of vessels and nerves that are divided into two sections which control your stress response. When stress is managed in a productive way the mind is happier, less irritable , and has more control over sleep patterns.

 This is how our clients benefit from Liv24 controlled cold immersion therapy: 



It’s time to leave your comfort zone and plunge into an ice bath. Several studies are being conducted on cold water therapy and cold showers to elevate mood and reduce anxiety (source: ScienceDirect). To know more about cold plunges, you can look at our frequently asked questions. You can also visit the service page to learn more about this topic. 


What are the functions of mitochondria?

Mitochondria’s primary function is to generate energy via oxidative phosphorylation. It is a process by which organisms utilize the nutrient and produce energy. Aside from that, it is in charge of regulating the cell’s metabolic activity. It also encourages cell multiplication and growth. Mitochondria in the liver cells also detoxifies ammonia.  

What are the benefits of cold water immersion?

Cold water immersion reduces the stress hormone cortisol while increasing the mitochondria and feel-good hormone — endorphins. Mitochondria in its optimal state improves mood and reduces anxiety. If you use cold immersion therapy two or three times per week, you may notice significant improvements in your overall health. 

How long do you stay in a cold plunge?

For maximum benefits, Liv24 recommends a 6-8 minute cold plunge.

 Medical Disclaimer: All information, content, and material on this website are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended to replace the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health provider.

References :

1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. Text Revision. [Google Scholar

2. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression – ScienceDirect

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