Support Your Mood, Workout Recovery, and Immune Health!

Are you looking for a natural mood energizer that can help support everything from your workout, recovery, and stress relief to immune and heart health? In this week’s episode, I’m going to show you how to chill out and level up your health with cold therapy.

Cold therapy refers to exposing your body to cold water or air, cooler than 59°F. The concept has been around for millennia, but it’s gained popularity recently as studies are showing the potential benefits for everything from mental health and mood to a healthy inflammatory response and better metabolism.

Exposure to cold water causes the blood vessels to constrict and push all of the blood
toward the organs. As a result, the blood acquires more oxygen and becomes super nutrient-rich. As the body starts heating up again, the blood vessels expand, allowing oxygen and that nutrient-rich blood to flow back to the tissues. This increased circulation can help support focus and concentration because the brain is getting oxygenated—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of cold immersion!

I’ve been using my cold plunge for a while now, and I can’t say enough about the benefits I have personally experienced. Tune in to learn about the 10 incredible benefits of cold therapy that just might convince you to give it a try!


00:01:05 – The history behind cold plunges
00:02:36 – Top 10 benefits of cold therapy
00:08:50 – How often and the optimal temperature for cold immersion
00:09:26 – Alternating between hot and cold therapy
00:11:28 – Correlation between “happiest” countries and cold therapy

Resources Mentioned in this episode:

Watch the FULL VIDEO on JJ’s Youtube Channel 

Use code JJVIP500 for $500 off the Kooru Cold Plunge

Try the Sunlighten Sauna that I use

Use Omega Plus for added inflammation support

Study: Cold water immersion after resistance exercise

Study: Cold water therapy and improved mood

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 542_10 Shocking Cold Plunge Benefits You Never Knew About
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Thanks so much for joining me. This is Ask the Health Expert. In each episode, I put the Power of Health in your hands and share ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox, and lots more. So you can look and feel better fast if you’d rather watch the video. Hey, I did put on my makeup and do my hair, so check it out on my YouTube channel.
Are you looking for an instant mood boost that can help you with everything from your workout, recovery, and stress relief to better immune and heart health? I’m gonna show you how to chill out and level up your health with cold therapy now regularly. Using cold therapy can help improve your mood, clear up your skin, support heart health, give your metabolism and upgrade, and that’s [00:01:00] just a.
Of the iceberg. I know I couldn’t help myself. So first of all, what are cold plunges? And I will tell you a little behind the scenes, I’ve been obsessed with these for a while now. In fact, so obsessed. I even got my own cold plunge. So cold therapy just means exposing your body to cold, right, to cold water, to cold air, and there’s lots of therapeutic benefits.
You’re submerging your body now, except for your head and neck in water temperatures cooler than 59 degrees Fahrenheit. And while this is definitely trendy, Not really a new trend. In fact, it goes way back to Hippocrates who believe that water therapy could alleviate fatigue. In fact, 18th century docs recommended cold baths to treat conditions like fever and rickets.
And today people are using cold therapy for physical, mental challenges, including dealing with anxiety and stress, and depression goes. Honestly, it gives you like this instant mood boost. So here’s how it works. As you’re exposed to the. Your blood vessels [00:02:00] constrict, and then all your blood gets pushed towards your organs.
Now, as a result, your blood acquires more oxygen and becomes super nutrient rich. As your body starts heating up again, your blood vessels expand, and as your blood vessels expand, oxygen and nutrient rich blood flows back to your tissues, helping flush out the inflammation. Now, if you’ve been cold plunging, I’d love to hear in the comments what benefits you’re finding and.
What you’re actually doing, like which temperature I really wanna know. So I’m gonna talk to you about 10 of the fabulous benefits that cold plunges can provide. And the first one, kind of just already alluded to this was better circulation. So again, blood rushes to surround your vital organs and your heart is forced to pump more efficiently, which means blood is pushed all through your vessels and supplies your body with oxygen and nutrients.
Which then improves your focus and concentration because your brain is [00:03:00] getting oxygenated. Oxygen is used by the brain, right to produce energy. And if you don’t have enough oxygen, You get that brain fog, brain fee fatigue, you can’t concentrate. So increase oxygenation to the brain increases the amount of energy available to the brain, which can help improve focus and concentration.
All right, next step. And you wouldn’t think this would be one. Turns out cold plunging can stimulate leukocytes. These are the white blood cells that help fight off sicknesses. And when you do this, All that contracting, you’re causing the lymphatic system to contract, which is forcing fluid through the lymph nodes, which then helps you detoxify and help strengthen the immune system, and we’re lowering chronic inflammation, which is always a big risk for any kind of disease.
Next step, and this is where I first heard about this, is that it can help reduce muscle soreness. In fact, what we know is that it may alleviate what’s called doms as delayed onset muscle soreness. [00:04:00] 12 to 72 hours after exercise. It constricts your blood vessels, which then can help flush waste products such as lactic acid that’s making you sore, and it also can help reduce swelling.
And help reduce tissue breakdown. But here’s what’s interesting, and this has been like this big controversy. So when we work out, we’re doing these micro tearing, micro damaging, and our body then starts to repair this. So you don’t wanna just work out hard and then go cold plunge because you stop that process.
You want to be going through that process. So when you’re doing cold plunging, it should be like 24 hours after that hard workout to really start to help promote the lowering of the inflammation. If you do it before that, Interrupt all that training adaptation that you want. So wait, a bit other thing, and I kind of alluded to this earlier with the mood, is that it releases feel good chemicals, including endorphins.
I can tell you that I get into the cold plunge and after the initial like, ah, It’s, you laugh. I mean, it’s just [00:05:00] like, cuz you just, you start to feel so good. It helps your mental clarity, your focus, your concentration, but it also sends these electrical impulses to your brain and you’re more alert and plus it, it helps you release these endorphins and endorphins.
You felt ’em, they’re those natural mood boosting chemicals in your brain that makes you feel pleasure and euphoria and pain relief, not what you’d really think, oh, I’m gonna get in the cold plunge and I’m gonna feel like pleasure, . It’s, it’s after you get out. So another thing that it can do is help with your heart health because it increases parasympathetic nervous.
Activity, which promotes rest and relaxation in the body, so it helps lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate, and it helps promote calm. You have these stress hormones called catecholamines and catecholamines raise blood pressure and contribute to artery clogging plaque that can lead to coronary artery disease, and this can help counteract that and lower inflammation.
Now there’s more good [00:06:00] news for your skin. Now, I already said I’m not putting my face in there, but it can help tighten and firm all of your skin, and this is fantastic. It’s increasing that blood circulation so your skin looks healthier, and it helps protect against skin. Damaging free radicals and helps just de puff you, helps reduce that inflammation because it’s improving circulation and getting more oxygen and nutrients to the.
Along with that increased blood flow, you’re getting increased blood flow to your digestive organs, so it’s helping your digestion as well. It’s promoting the release of digestive enzymes, lipase, amylase, protease, and it’s also triggering hormone sensitive lipase, H S L, which breaks down fat cells and releases fatty acids, which then can be used for.
It’s also stimulating the release of the hormone norepinephrine, which helps to regulate the digestive system. I’ve been trying to do this at night, but I haven’t yet. But this can help with sleep. So you know that like one of the things that can help a lot at night is like take a hot [00:07:00] bath and then turn the temperature down.
Because one of the things that happens when you sleep is your internal temperature naturally drops as part of. Process. So a cold plunge can help facilitate this. And I keep reading this, I’m like, I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it. I haven’t done it yet. I’ve been doing it in the morning. Cause that’s when we’re coldest naturally.
So I’m like taking advantage of that. But it can supposedly lead to better sleep onset and improve sleep quality. So check back with me. I’ll, I’m sure I will be trying this cuz I just told you I would. And I’m just gonna hit it one more time because it’s such a big thing, is that this can really help with your mood.
Cold therapy can lower cortisol like that is such a big one. Check out the study where 61 people took a 10 week course to learn how to swim in cold seawater. But what they found with them is that, that they had improved mood, but the people who were sitting on the beach did not have the improvement in mood.
The big reason that I do it, number 10, [00:08:00] is what it does for your metabolism. So we know it boosts your metabolism, but here is what it’s doing. We have white fat and brown fat on our body. Brown fat’s the one that you want. It’s rich in mitochondria, which you know, those are your body’s little energy plants and has the ability to generate heat by burning calories when you expose your body to.
The body actually moves its turns, its, it basically browns its fat moves that that white fat into brown fat, and it activates this brown fat burns it to help maintain your body temperature. So when you’re doing that, you’re increasing your energy expenditure. What does that mean? You’re burning more calories.
And as we know, you’re also elevating norepinephrine that boosts your metabolism, right? So these things are all super important. So how much should we. Really they say 59 degrees or less. I’ve been really working in the range of about 48 to 50 degrees and I stay in five to eight minutes. Now I’ve heard, heard some [00:09:00] studies about 40 degrees at four minutes.
One thing I will tell you about a cold plunge versus a cold shower or versus cryotherapy where it’s air, is that you are going to get a bigger impact when you are in water surrounded by water. It’s going to work faster and deeper. So if you can get your hands on a cold plunge, try it. Amazing. And then one more thing you could do is alternate between hot and cold.
So I have a sunlight and sauna at home, and as you know, saunas have all sorts of benefits, infared saunas, including sweating out all of the chemical compounds that can be hormone disruptors. In fact, if you do both of these right, They boast create a thermal stress. And that’s what happens when your body has to deal with a change in temperature.
And if you look at what’s really happened out here in the world, we’ve gotten very comfortable at keeping our temperature right around the same all the time. But when your temperature is lower, higher, your body has to work to bring you back to homeostasis work to bring you back to where you need to be.
And [00:10:00] so when you have to deal with that, it can optimize your metabolism. And it can also support metabolic repair and anti-aging genes. So hot and cold therapy can work together to kind of just get your metabolism to work even better. The first thing that I did was I took a cold shower. For like, I like literally like 10 seconds and then I just increased that until I went into the cold plunge, right?
So this is the easiest thing. Start with just that cold shower and then, you know, if you have a pool or access to a pool, like get in there when the pool’s down at like, 60, right when it’s colder if you have a big bathtub. We once had a big group at a Airbnb and we found out they had huge bathtub. We just kept dumping ice in it and we started doing it that way.
You can even outside if it’s cold where you are, you can go roll in the snow, you can go out in the cold, get your lungs exposed to the cold air, right? You can take some ice water. So take a little [00:11:00] towel with some ice cubes and water and put it on the back of your neck. So there’s a whole lot of different ways that you can do this.
Of course, the very, very best ways is to get that cold plunge and you know, I’ve looked at a lot of what’s going on in say, Iceland and Finland and Norway. All these places are supposedly the happiest countries and healthiest countries and spying, cold plunging and seem to be some of the common threads they’re doing.
And I know like this hasn’t been something common in our country, so you might be going. I don’t know, but like try the cold. And then keep going and just start to watch because you will see amazing things that it can do to benefit your health. You’ll see improvements in your mood, your sleep, your metabolism, and I think it’s gonna be totally worth the couple minutes of uncomfortable.
And I’m not saying that the couple minutes of comfortable get more. That get more comfortable, you just get more use to them. And you know the other side, how great it feels [00:12:00] jump in that cold shower to start. And if you’re looking for more ways to boost your metabolism when you get out of the cold shower, watch this next video where I cover my favorite metabolism boosting foods and spices and more.
For more info on this and other health topics I cover or to rate and review, find me on Instagram, Facebook, and my website And don’t forget to subscribe to my show so you won’t miss a single episode. Go to Thanks again for being with me this week.


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