Science > Effects of Cold Plunging on Menopause

Effects of Cold Plunging on Menopause

Last Updated Jan 30, 2024

Menopause marks a significant transition in a woman’s life, often accompanied by a myriad of symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. With the latest surge and popularity of cold plunging, many women use this practice to alleviate their symptoms. In this article, we dive into the science and whether or not this actually works.

What is Cold Plunging?

Cold plunging involves immersing oneself in cold water, typically around 15°C (59°F), for short periods. Historically used by athletes for recovery, this practice is now gaining popularity among the general public for its purported health benefits.

The primary effect of cold plunging is the shock to the system, which triggers various physiological responses. These include the constriction of blood vessels, a decrease in inflammation, and an increase in endorphin production. These responses can potentially influence menopausal symptoms.

Impact on Menopausal Symptoms

  • Hot Flashes: A common menopausal symptom, hot flashes can be intense and uncomfortable. Cold plunging may offer relief by lowering the body’s core temperature and reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.
  • Mood Swings and Mental Health: The rush of endorphins released during a cold plunge can improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, which are often heightened during menopause.
  • Sleep Quality: Menopause can disrupt sleep patterns. The calming effect of cold water immersion may help in regulating sleep and alleviating insomnia.
  • Metabolic Changes: Menopause often brings metabolic changes leading to weight gain. Cold plunging can increase metabolic rate, which might help in managing weight.

Research

While anecdotal evidence abounds, scientific research on cold plunging and menopause is still in its infancy. Some studies have shown benefits in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, but more research is specifically needed in the context of menopause. For example, a recent study out of UCL (University College London) claiming that cold plunging has many positive effects on Menopausal symptoms.

Our breakdown of the latest UCL Menopause Study

As we can see from our analysis, all of the data is anecdotal. The jury is still out on whether or not cold plunging is useful for menopausal symptoms. Cold plunging certainly comes with risks, so we recommend consulting with a healthcare provider before getting started.

Conclusion

Cold plunging offers a promising, natural approach to managing some menopausal symptoms. Although it’s not a cure-all, its benefits in mood regulation, sleep enhancement, and potential relief from hot flashes make it a practice worth considering for menopausal women. As with any new health regimen, it’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals to ensure safety and efficacy.

The Ice Brick

Long-lasting cubes for your ice bath