The Science Behind iCool Ice Baths

Cold is your friend and breathing is the key. Used together, they can radically improve your life.

After 10 years of consulting with elite athletes, iCool Sport and Wim Hof have combined forces to bring the very best water temperature control technology into the homes of wellbeing warriors worldwide.

The iCool Iceman compact system technology enables health and fitness enthusiasts to accurately combine the scientific benefits of cold water immersion (CWI) with the Wim Hof Method (WHM), to go deep into the body’s untapped recovery potential.

Before you dive into the world of ice baths:

Your body needs to learn to adapt to the cold. It’s a science that begins and ends with the breath. At first, your cardiovascular system may react to the ice-cold water by causing you to breathe erratically. As you slowly increase your tolerance to cold showers, you will be able to exert control over your breath’s rhythm, and thus, increase the benefits of cold water immersion (CWI).

Mood & Mental state

Lift your mood with the brain-balancing benefits of iCool Iceman.

Beyond our bodies we possess some of the most remarkable abilities. While it’s important that we nurture each and every aspect of our physiology—it is our minds that offer an unbeatable sense of power.

Going into the cold helps to stimulate the chemicals in our brain that dictate the way we feel, our focus and attention. That’s why cold water immersion is such an important component of the Wim Hof Method (WHM), to naturally and effectively create balance and increase in the levels of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and feel-good serotonin.

How? Cold water immersion (CWI) can trigger a floodgate of mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain by awaking a natural ‘fight-or-flight’ response. This response to ‘environmental stress’ works by conditioning the brain to cope better with the stressors of everyday life. It also decreases the production of inflammatory cytokines which are linked to anxiety and depression.

Weight Loss & Metabolism

Alter the behaviour of your fat cells by exposing your body to colder temperatures.

It’s a no-brainer that a healthy diet combined with regular exercise helps yield results for our physique. But did you know there are certain techniques you can apply to drive your body further into fat burning mode? That’s because the body contains two types of fat—unhealthy white fat and beneficial brown fat.

Unlike the tissue in white fat cells, the tissue in brown fat cells converts energy into heat. It’s a process called thermogenesis, and it’s been shown to help with metabolic function, blood glucose levels, and the prevention of weight gain.3

The body’s ability to raise its core temperature with submersion in an iCool ice bath is phenomenal. Cold water immersions have been shown to trigger ‘recruiting’—which means your body can take white fat cells and turn them into brown fat cells. Doing this over time may help your body transform from the inside-out—with more of fat cells that burn energy to generate heat and less fat cells that store energy to be released as a backup in case our body needs it. Just imagine your body helping you maintain weight for a change instead of working against you.

Cold water immersion → norepinephrine → activation of brown fat cells → energy turned into heat (nonshivering thermogenesis) (9) = gradual cold exposure optimal for activation of brown fat cells.

Immune System Regulation

Shift your immune system into gear with cold water therapy.

There are ways to jolt your flu-fighting system to life without the need for vitamins and supplements. Ice bath submersion and alternative breathing techniques offer a demonstrated ability to trigger an adaptation response to the immune system.4 It’s what’s called ‘controlled hypoxia’—and it works by activating the stress hormone adrenaline. Despite the preceding research, new evidence suggests the nervous system and the innate immune system are interlinked.5

With an exposure to physiological stressors, the Wim Hof Method challenges the body to function beyond its comfort zone, hence its direct effect on immune function. Not only that, but the body sets off a response to the nervous system affecting oxygen intake, which helps to deliver an increase in energy.

Sleep

Enjoy a good night’s sleep with the body’s natural tranquilliser – the nervous system.

It’s especially important for athletes to ensure they’re getting the appropriate quality and quantity of sleep for optimal performance. The reason the iCool Iceman + WHM holds promise as a technique for better sleep is because rest habits are triggered and regulated by the brain and the nervous system.6

Not only that, but the immune system is a hugely influential factor in the link between psychosocial stress and sleep7. Based on studies that advocated CWI therapy, regulation of cortisol levels was shown to improve symptoms of depression and reduce the instance of sleep-related disorders.

By exposing our bodies to the sensation of the cold, we’re able to build up a higher tolerance to stress. That’s because after the initial temperature shock, our bodies are able to calm down and become more resilient to changes in our environment.

More than 80% of athletes taking post physical stress icebaths report improved mental state and far better sleep patterns.

Athletic Recovery

Reach beyond your limits by cold conditioning your body to recover faster.

The depth of our physiology is far more nuanced than previously thought. Mastering the extreme conditions and combination of the iCool Iceman with the Wim Hof Method unlocks hidden abilities that enhance your performance and recovery.

After an intense training session it’s important to give our bodies an opportunity to recuperate. But for those athletes between events during a competition—it’s likely they’ll need to facilitate a more-rapid-than-usual recovery. The iCool Iceman + WHM speeds up the process by mitigating inflammation and delayed-onset muscle pain.

Not only does ice bath submersion improve recovery from exercise-induced muscle injury—it also helps to repair damage associated with intense physical training7. When we learn to embrace the power of ice cold water which the iCool Iceman provides, we can extend the realms of recovery beyond what we thought possible.