Cold plunges, are they dangerous? In this article, we will answer this question along with the potential risks of cold therapy. Cold plunges involve immersing oneself in cold water for a short amount of time. Typically, this is done in a cold plunge tub, lake, or DIY body of water. Over the last few years, cold plunges have increased in popularity as many influencers and athletes are now using cold therapy for its many benefits. However, there are concerns about the potential risks associated with ice baths and cold plunges.
So, what are the potential dangers of cold plunges? One of the most significant risks of cold plunging is hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition where the body’s internal temperature drops below the normal level. This can be a dangerous condition if not treated swiftly. A few other potential risks could include shock, and even cardiac arrest in those who have an existing heart condition.
The risk of these complications can be mitigated if cold therapy is approached with caution and performed properly. There are a couple of things to consider when beginning one's cold plunge journey and those two things are time & temperature. Many experts recommend starting with as low as 30 seconds in 55-degree F water. It’s very important that you monitor your body’s response to the cold and remove yourself from the cold water if you experience any signs of hypothermia.
Another potential danger of cold plunges is the risk of infection. When exposed to extreme cold your body's natural response is to lower its temperature. This can leave you vulnerable to bacteria and viral infections. This risk can be mitigated by sourcing clean natural bodies of water or using a well-maintained spa or cold plunge tub.
All in all, cold plunges are generally safe and there are many great health benefits when done properly. We will however always recommend that you seek medical guidance if you have a pre-existing health condition or underlying disease before exploring cold therapy.
In conclusion, while there are potential risks associated with cold plunges, they can be safe and effective when done properly. We always recommend having a partner with you the first time you cold plunge for obvious safety reasons. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of cold therapy, we wrote this article for you! CLICK HERE