Cold immersion and longevity benefits

Slightly off the rapamycin topic, both Peter Attia and Andrew Huberman devote episodes this week to hacking your health with cold therapy, mostly by submersion in cold water. While Attia did an AMA that talked about his own experience with cold water swimming and occassional cryotherapy, Huberman interviewed Suzanna Søberg, a Dane who has studied winter swimmers and published a clinical study that sounds as consequential as the Finnish study on saunas… What I found particularly interesting was she talked about people in their 70s and 80s who had low blood glucose, low blood pressure and great sleep after practicing cold water swimming for just 3 minutes a day a couple of times a week. Has anyone tried this or cryotherapy and have results they can report?


I haven’t tried cryotherapy or cold water swimming but I’ve done cold showers and setup an ice bath of sorts. The ice bath I used was 48-53 degrees Fahrenheit. I used it for 2.5-7 minutes. For a while I did it almost daily, at least a few months then dialed it back to twice a week. Have since stopped since it was kind of a PITA.

Didn’t really notice blood pressure changes during that time but wasn’t closely monitoring it. Wasn’t monitoring blood glucose either. I think it can help with sleep after the high wears off as your body is colder and that is better for sleep from what I understand. Can’t say I have trouble with sleep so I didn’t notice much. It is good for muscle soreness from exercise and I tried to space it at least a couple hours after workouts as I read it can impact some of the benefits of a strength workout if done too close to it.

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It’s nothing new as this was applied by Sebastian Kneipp ( in 19th century) to cure himself and many others and got more recently made more trendy by a Dutch person called Wim Hof.

(The latter is probably more known for his breathing techniques: on the internet there is some impressive info on scientific experiments with him while applying his breathing techniques activating his immune system- am not a scientist but it seems legit to me)

I saw aesthetical effects on myself doing cold plunges daily at an outside thermal spa in Italy for a couple of weeks in summer ( I did it several times a day and it had the tonification effect of having done a lot of exercise, without doing exercise and eating out the whole time so certainly somewhat more fried and more quantity than usual - my partner couldn’t believe his eyes when I came back home).

At home I try to do it sometimes whenever I can ( not often ) as it would boost our immune system but obviously the aesthetical effect is not as doing it several times a day for a longer period.

I have read and heard Marc Hyman and David Sinclair admitting, despite initial reluctance to it as it doesn’t seem scientifical, being positive about it too in relation to longevity and immune system response

It’s not pleasant but feels great immediately afterwards.

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For what it’s worth, here’s a video I shot to share with my “circle.” Bio-hacking the Cold Plunge with a DIY Face Dunk! - YouTube

Inspired by one of the well-known “hackers” to give this a try…

Nothing earth-shattering to report, but I am doing this daily, or nearly every day…


I do cold (tapwater) immersion nearly daily, and it does seem to help with external cold/heat tolerance. It feels good (when you’re done), too. :smiley:

@Matt 's right, though: it’s a PITA. And @aalyman , if I could get the same results with ice-and-face only, I’d be stoked (and have a faceful of icewater.) Can you tell me why you think these are comparable? Thanks.

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@sol based on what I’ve been able to learn, many of the temperature sensors are located around our face and head. So, from the stand point of purely cold exposure benefits, it would seem to be at least moderately comparable to full body immersion.

As I say in the video, I can’t afford to purchase a ice water cold immersion tank at the moment, and living in Florida, there’s really no such thing as cold water coming from the shower head that’s comparable to what it was like living in New England earlier in my life. So, from a practical point of view, this seems like a great alternative.

Obviously, there aren’t the benefits (theoretical) to relieve muscle soreness or accelerate healing after really hard run workouts…something I have focused on in the past, after long/hard runs training for a marathon or Ironman tri.


That bit about the face sensitivity reminded me where I heard the location of the blood vessels which are best at picking temperature changes and impacting the body. Andrew Huberman has said in his past videos there are blood vessels in the hands, feet, and I think face for that. He also talks about a device they made for cooling body temperature for performance improvement which are essentially gloves that cool your hands and therefore cool your whole body down quickly.

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I heard that about hands and feet, too. But i think he (actually Andy Galpin, if memory serves) was talking about improving short term exercise performance. in this context I think they are talking about exposing the most cold shock proteins, which then activate brown fat stores and increase metabolism. Huberman says the best place for this is on the chest. Obviously winter swimmers expose everything but the neck and head.

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This piece:

Discussed and archived here:

seems to discuss this device:

Their research ( showed that by precisely controlling core temperature, such mittens could significantly increase strength and endurance.

Arteria Technology now sells the gloves known as CoolMitt at $1,500, marketing them to athletes looking to boost performance as well as people who work in extreme heat.

Has anyone tried using a normal bathtub for cool baths, how did you get it cold enough?

Perhaps with something like this?


How cold do you actually need it to be? Often tap water is plenty cold. I use cold water a tub, or immerse in shower cold, nearly daily. You can also add ice, or coldpacks, if you want it colder.

Many people are building their own cold-plunge pools / ice baths with repurposed freezers like this, but search around on YouTube and you’ll see a million different approaches. You can also search on “chillers” to see people’s reviews of different water cooler systems for their cold plunge pools. Wim Hoff here we come!


I was assuming it’s colder, but I’ll look into it.

Wow, thx. Hope no one get electrocuted with those rebuilds…

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I personally love cryosauna : 3 to 5 minutes in dry cold: clean and easy; no hassle … with clothes on … a pity they don’t have it here yet where I live so I can only do it for the moment while travelling ( in Italy they are opening right left and centre now)

Even looked into the machine ( sauna) but 90 000 euros plus taxes :woman_facepalming:t2:)

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I got an Ice Pod for my birthday this year. I use it every other day on non-weight training days. I typically do cardio, then 30 mins in my infared sauna, some stretching, then 5 minutes in the pod. It is a bit of a PITA as folks have said but I feel great. I bought a cheap ($119) top loading freezer at target and freeze (qty 4) 11-16 plastic bins full of water to make it a little easier and cheaper than buying bags of ice. I put 1 cup of Epson salt in the water when I fill it and the water lasts about a month before getting grody. This setup is all in my garage to keep things protected and convenient. If you have the time and discipline this is a regiment worth adding IMHO.

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This has inspired me. I’ve found a local cryo-therapy provider (“ For three minutes, you will be immersed in our Cryo Chamber, which will be set to a temperature of approximately -130°C”). That’s -202 degrees Fahrenheit.

Have booked a session for next week and then if all goes well going to take up their membership and do it weekly. Will update on effects.
(For interest this is my local one -Essex, U.K.)

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Nice :blush: I only did the full body so far ( face included; temperature around minus 80 degrees C ; so less cold : ) but I know here in Spain professional athletes and football clubs have one of those you are doing. Keep us posted :pray:

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