Supercharge your cold tub sessions: A comprehensive guide

Supercharge your cold tub sessions: A comprehensive guide

There's nothing like the feeling of plunging into cold water. Your skin might prickle, as your nerve endings send rapid signals to your brain. You gasp, and your breathing becomes more rapid. And your heart? You can feel it beating — faster and faster.

But the initial shock of the cold water quickly transforms into a sensation of invigoration, strength, and focus. 

But how can you take these feelings to the next level? These strategies will help you maximize the benefits of deliberate cold exposure and elevate your recovery game.

cold water shock

Cold water shock and how it affects your body

The idea of submerging yourself in icy cold water may send shivers down your spine, both literally and metaphorically. The phenomenon known as cold water shock triggers a cascade of physiological reactions. 


When you plunge into cold water, your blood vessels respond by constricting. This act of vasoconstriction serves to redirect blood to your organs and core. When you get out of cold water and begin to warm-up, your blood begins to flow again — with almost a pump effect that you associate with lifting weights in the gym. Consequently, this will lead to improved delivery of blood and oxygen to the active muscles, potentially boosting exercise performance.

Anti-inflammatory response

Most every person has experienced inflammation. Maybe you pushed yourself during a workout and felt sore the next day. Or, you missed a step and twisted your ankle. 

A complex biological response, inflammation occurs when the body is stressed or is reacting to a stimulus. It can be caused by microdamage caused by physical activity, injury, autoimmune conditions, and what you eat among other factors. 

While inflammation can be normal and sometimes necessary, it’s important to be able to manage its effects. Plunging into cold water has an effect on how the body produces and releases cytokines, a protein that regulates the body’s inflammatory response. As a result, cold water can help control inflammation cascade and reduce the effects on your body. 

Release of hormones

Cold exposure triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. These hormones have various effects, including increased alertness and a temporary boost in energy, adding an invigorating element to your cold exposure experience.

maximize benefits of cold water immersion

Maximize the benefits of cold water immersion

From improving your mood to reducing inflammation, increased energy to immune system support, there’s countless benefits to deliberate cold exposure. 

But is there a secret to unlocking the benefits of deliberate cold exposure?

These strategies can help you maximize your cold therapy routine, elevate your recovery game, cultivate a resilient mindset, and more. 

Choose your chill

Setting the right temperature is a critical factor in a successful cold tub session. The general guideline is that you can start to experience the benefits of cold exposure when the water temperature is 59 degrees or below.

However, myriad factors can influence your response to cold water immersion. Your age, the time of day, and your overall health can play a part in how you respond to the water temperature. So it’s important to choose a temperature that will not only initiate a response but one that you can tolerate.

Chilly GOAT Cold Tubs have a temperature range of 40 degrees to 104 degrees, allowing you to get an extra dose of chill. You can experiment with different temperatures and durations to create a personalized protocol. 

Keep in mind that gradual adaptation is crucial, especially for those new to cold therapy.

Timing is everything

Strategically scheduling your cold tub sessions can have a significant impact on how your body responds to the stimulus. But it all comes down to your goals and your schedule. 

Morning is a popular time to go cold. The water temperature is (obviously) a shock to the system and can help you feel more alert and focused for the day’s tasks, whether you are heading to the office or the gym. And the act of cold plunging in the morning can help set the tone of your day, helping you to make positive choices. 

But many people incorporate cold water immersion as a way to recover from workouts and get ready for the next session. It’s important to balance those goals with the timing of your cold plunge, especially if you are trying to build muscle. One study reported that cold water immersion immediately after a resistance training session reduced protein synthesis. Instead of going straight from the gym to the cold tub, consider waiting a few hours. 

Professional triathlete Ben Kanute likes to experiment with different timing options. Sometimes, he starts his day with a session in the Chilly GOAT to kick start a day of training. Other days, he might hop in the cold tub in the afternoon to help mitigate any soreness from a hard effort. 

It’s important to find a timing option that aligns seamlessly with your fitness routine and enhances overall effectiveness.

Consistency is the GOAT

Like any wellness practice, consistency is key to seeing the most benefit from deliberate cold exposure. The cumulative effects of regular sessions contribute significantly to long-term benefits such as improved recovery, enhanced endurance, and increased resilience. 

In one study, researchers explored the benefits of cold water immersion for national-level volleyball players. The researchers found that cold water immersion had some benefits during a typical training week. After several weeks, though, cold water immersion had a greater impact on the players’ fatigue, soreness, and overall wellness. 

Making cold tub sessions a consistent part of your wellness routine to reap the maximum rewards. With an at-home cold plunge such as the Chilly GOAT, you can maintain a regular schedule. The cold tub is a visible reminder to make time for yourself and your recovery. 

Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT Cold Tubs by Master Spas have a premium 2.1-horsepower chiller that keeps your water consistently cold so that it’s ready when you are. You just walk to your cold tub, remove the cover, and get in a three-minute session.

Practice mindfulness 

Cold water immersion is not just a physical practice. Getting into a cold tub is also an experience that tests your mental strength and can help you cultivate focus, resilience, and more.

When you want to level up your cold tub sessions, mindfulness can be a valuable tool to enhance your experience. Mindfulness can not only help you find comfort in the uncomfortable but amplify the mind-body connection.

Breathing techniques can help calm the nervous system and manage any initial discomfort. In addition, breath control can help regulate the initial shock to cold water and overcome the gasp reflex. 

Beyond managing your experience in the cold tub, regular mindfulness can help build mental resilience. You might find that being present in your body while in the Chilly GOAT can increase your tolerance to discomfort, improve how you manage stress, and give you a greater sense of control over your reactions when faced with a challenging situation.

Disrupting the thermal barrier

Cold water is going to feel cold. But after a minute, it might not feel so cold. Why? It’s not just because your body has adjusted to the water temperature. Rather, the thin layer of water around your body has warmed up to you. 


When you immerse yourself in cold water, your body creates a thin layer of water around itself. Over time, the cold water will feel less intense. This is the thermal barrier in action, a natural adaptation that allows us to endure cold water for longer durations.

But when you want to maximize your cold water sessions, you want to disrupt the thermal barrier, exposing yourself to colder water. The key is moving water. You can wave your arms or pedal your legs to increase the challenge of your cold sessions. 

Chilly GOAT Cold Tubs feature dual flow jets, which are strategically positioned to create a continuous flow of water around your body. By keeping the water moving, these jets ensure that you are constantly exposed to the full cold potential of the water. 

This not only enhances the effectiveness of your cold water sessions but also provides an energizing, therapeutic experience.

cold water benefits

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 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!