Do Ice Baths Help With Weight Loss?


Ice baths are the hot trends of social media right now. Celebrities and influencers are all plunging into fridge water or taking ice baths. There have been so many claims around ice baths including supporting weight loss if done regularly. 

But the question is “Is there any truth behind any of those claims? Although current facts are contradictory and limited, some studies suggest the idea that cold exposure or cold thermogenesis mobilizes fat in the short term. Let’s uncover the truth behind these claims about ice bath weight loss. Let’s start!

Ice Baths For Weight Loss

Are you struggling with weight loss? What if I take you through a simple but effective idea that can boost your metabolism and burn extra calories in your body as well? Sounds intriguing, right? It’s no magic, just a simple ice bath for weight loss.

Ice Baths For Weight Loss

Ice baths or cold water therapy, a kind of cold water therapy have been shown effective in weight management. The icy cold therapy helps with reducing inflammation, allowing better workout performance. 

How Does Ice Bath Support Weight Loss

Are you one of those, who have no idea what an ice bath is? Don’t worry, I got you! Ice baths or cryotherapy are often used to combat muscle soreness and help with recovery as well. Apart from that does an ice bath have any extra benefits? Yes, it does.

What would you say if I said that it could help you shed some pounds? Surprisingly, it’s true. The theory behind ice baths for weight loss is called cold thermogenesis.

Brown adipose tissues are a special type of fat that generates heat. Exposure to extremely cold temperatures can result in brown adipose tissue to burn calories, resulting in warm body temperatures. This mechanism is effectively utilized by ice-cold baths.

Though only limited findings are available on ice baths and weight loss, it could still be effective considering the mechanism. 

Let me now take you through some of the main ways in which icy baths work to promote weight loss and fat burn:

1. Greater energy utilization

Our body has a preset internal temperature, and when exposed to extreme cold, it works harder to restore the optimum temperature levels. The process results in an extreme utilization of energy along with burning a large sum of calories.

Additionally, long-term exposure to cold temperatures can help our body to support burning more calories. 

2. Activation of brown adipose tissue

Brown fat is a type of adipose tissue that generates heat required by our body and burns calories as well. Exposure to cold temperatures appears to produce an increased amount of brown fat, which in turn refers to an increase in calorie burn.

The tissue is also known to help control blood sugar and insulin levels, which can be considered an added benefit of ice bath weight loss.

3. Contributes to glycemic control and faster calorie burning

As mentioned earlier, as our body tries to restore its temperature, calories are burned in between. Also, the increase in brown fat adipose tissue directly refers to increased energy expenditure. Thus the more brown fat from cold thermogenesis, the more calories burned for ice bath weight loss. 

Is Ice Bath Good Enough?

Though a simple therapy, an ice-cold bath comes with an array of benefits, including

  • Burning calories
  • Relieving depression and anxiety
  • Relieve pain and inflammation
  • Stress management
  • Improved circulation
  • Enhancing quality of sleep

How Often Should I Take Ice Therapy?

Firstly, don’t hurry with ice baths, make sure you take it slow. Start with a minimum temperature and then gradually go to the coldest temperature. Also don’t stay for too long in the bath, 2 to 3 minutes is enough in the beginning. As you get used to it, 7 to 8 minutes seems well enough for the ice bath weight loss benefits. 

Additionally, as mentioned earlier, not only it helps with weight management, but also with reducing inflammation. Therefore, cold water therapy can be a great tool to be considered for quick recovery after a dense workout session. Finally, always hear what your body says, listen to it. If you feel dizzy or any discomfort, immediately get out of the bath.

Do I Need To Be Concerned?

While ice baths seem exciting, it is essential to be aware of certain constraints and might need to take certain precautions before heading on with this practice. First and foremost, ice baths shouldn’t be solely dependent on weight loss. Instead, cold therapy seems to be better supplemented as a healthy lifestyle. 

Also, those with certain medical conditions like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, etc., should be careful, as they could endure harmful effects from frequent ice baths. Additionally, factors like age, body, fitness level, etc., have much influence on the experience one might receive during ice bath weight loss therapy.


While only limited information is available regarding ice baths and their efficiency, evidence suggests potential in thermogenesis and the activation of brown adipose tissue. Thermogenesis works by burning more calories by exposing our body to extreme cold temperatures and the resulting bodily temperature rises.

Apart from weight management, ice therapy seems to provide results in reducing inflammation, relieving anxiety, stress, and depression, enhancing sleep, and better sleep as well. 

Even with all these benefits of ice bath weight loss, ice baths cannot be solely depended on for weight loss, instead, they can be incorporated as a part of an overall healthier lifestyle. Additionally, it is advised to consider some precautionary steps for those with certain medical conditions. Also, start slowly with the ice hack just like any other therapy, and then gradually increase accordingly. 

Robert McNally is a dedicated and knowledgeable health professional committed to helping others achieve their weight loss goals and lead healthier, happier lives. With a strong educational background in nutrition and health sciences, Robert possesses the skills and expertise required to guide clients on their wellness journeys.

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