Science > Norepinephrine and Cold Plunging

Norepinephrine and Cold Plunging

Last Updated Jan 13, 2024

Many new studies have emerged on the connection between cold plunging and the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter, and hormone that plays a key role in the body’s response to stress. Here we’ll jump into the relationship between norepinephrine and cold plunging.

The Role of Norepinephrine:

Norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline, is a vital component of the body’s “fight or flight” response.

In the brain, it functions as a neurotransmitter and regulates:

  • Attention
  • Alertness
  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Stress Responses

In the peripheral nervous system, it acts as a hormone, preparing the body for action during stress by:

  • Increasing blood flow to muscles
  • Enhancing focus
  • Raising glucose levels for energy
Cold Plunging and Norepinephrine Release:

Cold plunging exposes the body to an acute stressor – a sudden drop in temperature – which triggers the release of norepinephrine. This release is believed to be one of the primary reasons behind the reported benefits of cold plunging, such as improved mood, increased energy, and enhanced mental clarity.

Some research has shown that regular cold water immersion can lead to an increased capacity for norepinephrine release, which may improve stress resilience and overall well-being. Additionally, the controlled stress of cold plunging may help train the body to handle other stressors in daily life better.

Final Thoughts: If you’re looking to improve your mood and stress resilience while enhancing your overall well-being, get in that ice bath and start triggering that norepinephrine release!

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