5 cold therapy secrets for biohackers

5 cold therapy secrets for biohackers

The biohacking journey starts with a desire to make a change. You might be tired of feeling tired. Or, you want to have more focus and think more clearly. Maybe you just want to find a scientifically-backed way to feel more in control of the way your body and brain feel. 

No matter the motivation, biohackers have a desire to be proactive about their health, slow down the signs of aging, and improve their overall quality of life. 

But a biohacking routine can be incredibly individual. Afterall, it’s about optimizing your own health and finding the right protocol — or protocols — to reach your personal goals.  

Nutrition, intermittent fasting, supplements, exercise, and meditation can all be a way to level up your health. An increasingly popular way to complement these health hacks is cold therapy.  

From reducing inflammation to boosting metabolism, cold therapy offers myriad advantages for biohackers looking to optimize their physical and mental well-being. Cold therapy can also support immunity, increase focus, and boost energy.

Biohackers can take cold showers, head to a cryo chamber, or go the DIY ice bath route. However, a cool addition to the biohacker tool kit is a dedicated cold tub like the Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT Cold Tub by Master Spas. Chilly GOAT Cold Tubs redefine the concept of temperature-based wellness optimization. Here are five transformative ways to incorporate cold therapy into your biohacking routine and achieve peak performance.

cold water therapy biohacking

What is cold water therapy?

Cold water therapy is a practice that involves immersing oneself in cold water, typically between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 59 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some like to chill to the max and take the temperature down to 40 degrees or even in the high 30s. 

The original ice bath is natural pools or bodies of water, whether it’s a river, lake, or even ocean. Finland and other Nordic conditions have a rich tradition of winter swimming, as it’s called, especially when combined with sauna. But if you don’t have access to a lake or river, you can also bring the practice home. Cold showers, DIY ice baths, or using a cold tub like the Chilly GOAT can help you incorporate cold water therapy. 

So what’s so hot about cold water therapy? 

The water temperature triggers certain physiological responses in the body that can lead to numerous health benefits — mentally and physically.

The cold causes your vessels to constrict, redirecting blood to your core and brain. When you warm up, the vessels open up and blood flow begins to flow freely. It’s almost like a pump effect.

In addition, the cold water activates the parasympathetic nervous system by stimulating the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is responsible for everything from respiration to digestion. But when it comes to hacking your health, the vagus nerve plays a starring role in your stress response. 

From enhanced circulation and boosted immune system to improved mental resilience and stimulated stress response, the benefits can be profound.

cold water therapy biohacker

Hacking your way to better health

At its core, biohacking is a personal science experiment. It's about taking control of your biology by adjusting various aspects of your lifestyle to improve your overall health and well-being. 

Biohackers believe that you can fine-tune the inputs (such as diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management) to upgrade the outputs (such as energy level, mental clarity, physical performance, and longevity).

Why do people biohack? 

People turn to biohacking for a myriad of reasons, but common goals include:

Maximizing energy and focus: In our high-speed, multitasking society, maintaining consistent energy and sharp focus is a top priority for many.

Disease prevention

Want to avoid getting sick? So do people who are trying to hack their health. From optimizing sleep to managing stress, you can boost your immune system and give your body the upper hand when in the battle against viruses and other illnesses.

Enhanced memory

The right hacks can rev up your cognitive engine, improving memory and processing speed. For example, you might begin adding more foods like wild-caught salmon and blueberries to your diet because they are known for their brain-boosting properties. 

Peak performance

You want to feel like you are at the top of your game. And that can be especially true for people who prioritize performance, whether they are athletes or business professionals. For example, nutrition, supplementation, and cold water therapy can help your body and mind become more efficient and resilient.

biohacking cold therapy

5 ways cold therapy can elevate your biohacking routine

There’s no one approach to biohacking. In fact, experts like Dave Asprey often recommend incorporating several other practices as part of an overall biohacking routine. Supplements can help with cognitive function. High intensity interval training can help you boost metabolism without hours in the gym. You can take advantage of wearable technology to make sure you are getting enough sleep. 

But tapping into practices like cold exposure therapy can help you maximize the output, aka the health benefits, with minimum input on your part. In fact, some believe that just 11 minutes a week in a cold tub can improve mitochondrial function and spur biogenesis. Improving mitochondrial function can boost overall energy levels and metabolic efficiency. As for biogenesis? It can lead to the creation of new mitochondria, which can further enhances energy production and overall health.

From improving recovery to supporting immunity, the singular practice of cold plunging can change your biohacking routine.

Supercharge your recovery

In the relentless pursuit of fitness, recovery is as critical as the workout itself. For biohackers, enhanced recovery means the ability to train more frequently and with greater intensity, leading to accelerated progress.

Cold immersion, post-exercise, has been shown to significantly reduce muscle soreness due to its anti-inflammatory effects. An analysis published in 2023 found that cold water immersion helped reduce the muscle damage markers, such as creatine kinase and lactic acid, after exercise. 

Enhance mental clarity

Peak mental performance is the holy grail for biohackers. Whether coding, strategizing, or creating, a clear and focused mind can be one of your greatest assets.

Cold exposure triggers a neurological response that increases norepinephrine in the brain, enhancing focus and attention. Increases in norepinephrine can also enhance formation and retrieval of memories, as well as boost your mood.

A 2009 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation looked at biomarkers in the plasma of women who were deliberately exposed to the cold, including a group exposed to cold water. Researchers found that norepinephrine levels increased up to 300 percent after even brief rounds of cold water exposure. 

Boost immune response

Among the pillars of health is a strong immune system. It enables the body to respond effectively to pathogens and stressors, ensuring sustained health and performance.

Exposure to cold water is believed to activate the body's immune system by increasing the production and activity of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and illnesses. A research study found that people who incorporated brief cold showers lasting 30, 60, or 90 seconds into their daily routine for a period of 90 days experienced a 29 percent reduction in work absenteeism due to illness compared to those who did not adopt this practice. 

Manage stress and cultivate resilience

In today's high-pressure world, the ability to handle stress can separate the high achievers from the rest. Biohackers strive to master physiological stress to better cope with life's psychological stressors.

Cold therapy can condition the body and mind to manage stress more efficiently. It stimulates the vagus nerve, promoting a calming effect on the nervous system. A 2023 study found that “participants felt more active, alert, attentive, proud, and inspired and less distressed and nervous” after a cold plunge.

But the results weren’t just subjective. Researchers also used functional magnetic resonance imaging and reported that cold water immersion can have a positive effect on brain functioning.

Cold plunge protocols don't just leave people feeling less stressed. The process teaches them that they can not only manage a challenging situation but overcome it — and emerge a more resilient, stronger person.

Enhance metabolic efficiency

Access to sustained energy levels and an efficient metabolism are keys to a high-achieving lifestyle. This can translate to better weight management and endurance.

By activating brown adipose tissue, cold exposure increases energy expenditure and improves insulin sensitivity. This phenomenon, known as cold thermogenesis, may have an impact on fat loss, a 2009 study in Diabetes suggests.

biohacker cold therapy

Choosing the Best Cold Tub

Do you want to enjoy the benefits of cold water therapy without buying bag after bag of ice? Having a Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT Cold Tub by Master Spas allows you to realize the impact of cold water. Enjoy clean, clear, cold water on demand.  You can click here to find out more about the benefits of incorporating a Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT cold tub into your routine. Start your journey today!