Cold Plunge and Ice Bath Statistics [Mar 2024]

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In this post, our team has compiled a collection of cold plunge statistics that demonstrate the market size, growth, popularity, and sentiment of this exploding health trend.

Cold plunging, also known as cold water immersion or ice bathing, is the practice of submerging yourself in cold water for a short period of time.

It may sound uncomfortable, but we absolutely love it, and the practice has many potential benefits that can make it worth the chill.

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Cold Plunge and Ice Bath Two-Year Search Trend

Google Trends

Cold Plunge Engagement Poll

Poll OptionPercentage
I only take cold showers or don’t engage at all in cold water therapy82.6%
I average 5-7 cold plunges a week6.3%
I average one cold plunge a week6.3%
I average 3-5 cold plunges a week4.9%
Source: r/HubermanLab

A recent poll assessing weekly engagement in cold plunging reveals a significant leaning towards minimal or no engagement in cold water therapy.

An overwhelming 82.6% of respondents indicate they either only take cold showers or do not participate in cold water therapy at all.

This suggests that access to a cold plunge is a barrier to entry for many users.

In contrast, regular cold plunge practices (5-7 times a week) and minimal engagement (once a week) both share an equal, yet notably smaller, segment of 6.3%. Those averaging 3-5 plunges weekly account for just 4.9%.

These results highlight a general hesitation or lack of interest in frequent cold plunge activities among the surveyed group.

Related: Inflatable Cold Plunge: Complete Buying Guide

Chiller Size Preferences for Cold Plunges

Looking into the preferences of cold plunge aficionados reveals intriguing choices in chiller sizes, a crucial component for an optimal cold therapy experience.

A recent poll sheds light on these preferences, highlighting trends that might help newcomers make more informed decisions.

Chiller SizePercentage of Users
1/2 HP47.4%
1 HP21.1%
1.5 HP15.8%
1/3 HP13.2%
1/4 HP2.6%
Source: r/BecomingTheIceman

A striking 47.4% of respondents lean towards a 1/2 HP chiller, suggesting it is a versatile choice, likely balancing cost, efficiency, and performance effectively.

This size seems to hit the sweet spot for the majority, indicating its adequacy in a typical cold plunge setup.

The 1 HP chiller, chosen by 21.1%, reflects a segment leaning towards more robust cooling needs. Perhaps these users have larger plunge pools or live in warmer climates where a more powerful chiller is necessary to achieve desired temperatures.

Notably, 15.8% opt for the 1.5 HP chiller, revealing a preference among a significant minority for even more powerful chilling capacities. This choice might resonate with those who prioritize rapid cooling or have extensive cold plunging routines.

DIY Pick
EcoPlus Commercial Grade Water Chiller (1.5 HP)
4.6
$1,530.65


Pros:
  • Cools water down to 36F
  • Remote controller with 30 ft. cord
  • Functions up to 300 gallons
03/02/2024 12:48 am GMT

Interestingly, smaller chillers like 1/3 HP and 1/4 HP cater to a smaller audience, with 13.2% and 2.6%, respectively. These sizes might be ideal for those with limited space, smaller plunge pools, or less frequent usage.

Performance Pick
Redwood Outdoors - Cold Plunge Chiller
4.8
$2,699
Pros:
  • Cools water down to 37F
  • Simple plug and play
  • Uses standard US outlet
  • Includes water filter

Related: 7 Essential Cold Plunge Cleaners

Podcasts Influence on Cold Showers and Cold Water Therapy

Exploring the impact of podcasts on spreading awareness about the benefits of cold showers and cold water therapy, the results, reflecting the opinions of 78 participants, reveal which podcasts have been instrumental in educating listeners on this topic.

PodcastPercentage of Votes
Huberman Lab42.3%
The Joe Rogan Experience23.1%
I have loved cold showers before hearing about it on podcast!23.1%
Other (comment)10.3%
The Tim Ferriss Show1.3%
Source: r/coldshowers

The Huberman Lab stands out as the most influential, with 42.3% of voters attributing their increased knowledge to this podcast.

This suggests that the Huberman Lab’s approach to discussing health and wellness resonates profoundly with those interested in cold therapy, possibly due to its scientific and in-depth analysis.

The Joe Rogan Experience, known for its diverse range of topics and guests, has also played a significant role, accounting for 23.1% of the responses.

Interestingly, an equal 23.1% of respondents stated they had loved cold showers before learning about them through podcasts.

The Tim Ferriss Show, despite its popularity in various domains, appears to have a minimal influence in this specific area, with only 1.3% attributing their knowledge to it.

Related: Sauna Cold Plunge Routine: A Powerful Recovery Protocol

Plunge.com Growth and Financials

Plunge.com, a company specializing in cold plunge products, has shown remarkable growth and financial success over a short period. The following table details their annual financials, highlighting the significant increase in revenue over the years.

YearRevenueNotable Financials
2020$270,000Initial revenue, starting point of the business
2021$8 MillionRapid increase in revenue
2022$33 MillionContinued growth in revenue
2023Over $100 Million (estimated)Averaging around $10 million per month
Source: My First Million Podcast

Efficient Advertising Spend

Plunge.com’s advertising efficiency is a standout aspect of its financial success. In a specific month, the company invested $860,000 in advertising, yielding a return on ad spend (ROAS) of 7.1.

This figure is exceptionally high, especially in the e-commerce sector, where a ROAS of 7 to 10 times the investment indicates a highly effective marketing strategy.

Customer Acquisition Cost and Profit Margins

The company’s customer acquisition cost (CAC) on Facebook is particularly noteworthy. It costs them approximately $387 to acquire a customer, and their product sells for around $5,000.

This significant gap between the CAC and the selling price underscores the profitability of their business model.

Bootstrapped Growth and Valuation

Plunge.com’s journey is marked by rapid growth without external funding, as the company is entirely bootstrapped.

This approach has led to a robust financial position, with a trajectory suggesting a potential company valuation in the range of $250 to $300 million.

This estimate considers their consistent revenue growth, profitable advertising strategies, and expansion into new product lines like saunas.

Cold Exposure Routines

This poll, which garnered 141 votes, aimed to understand when and how people integrate cold exposure into their daily routines, offering a glimpse into the practices that have proven effective for different individuals.

RoutinePercentage of Votes
Workout > heat exposure, then after 4 hrs, cold exposure34.0%
Other (commented below)31.9%
Cold exposure on off day17.0%
Heat exposure > cold exposure on off-day8.5%
Heat exposure > cold exposure on off day8.5%
Source: r/HubermanLab

The most popular routine, chosen by 34.0% of respondents, involves a sequence of cold exposure followed by a workout, concluding with heat exposure at night.

A significant 31.9% of participants opted for ‘other’ routines, indicating a wide range of personalized approaches and creative combinations.

The community’s responses to the cold exposure routine poll reveal a wide range of individual health protocols.

Routines range from straightforward approaches like lifting and eating, or running followed by cold showers, to more structured regimens involving combinations of sun lamps, workouts, cold baths, and sauna sessions.

These diverse routines underscore the individuality of wellness practices, with each person tailoring their approach to fit their unique lifestyle, goals, and preferences in cold and heat therapies.

For 17.0% of the voters, cold exposure on an off day is the routine of choice.

A smaller group, each accounting for 8.5%, either starts with a workout followed by heat and then cold exposure after a gap or opts for heat exposure followed by cold on an off day.

Related: Sauna And Ice Bath: Complete Guide

Cold Exposure Timing: Morning vs Afternoon/Evening

A focused discussion on the optimal timing for cold exposure – morning versus afternoon/evening – reveals a clear preference among participants.

Based on a poll of 62 votes, the majority heavily favors morning sessions. This preference is rooted in the belief, supported by various sources, that morning cold exposure maximizes its benefits.

Timing of Cold ExposurePercentage of Votes
Morning90.3%
Afternoon/Evening9.7%
Source: r/HubermanLab

A staggering 90.3% of respondents practice cold exposure in the morning, aligning with the idea that starting the day with such a routine enhances its effects.

This approach might be linked to the natural circadian rhythms, where a morning shock to the system could have energizing and metabolism-boosting effects.

In contrast, 9.7% prefer cold exposure in the afternoon or evening, a choice that may suit their personal schedules or specific health goals better.

For instance, one Canadian participant found value in evening plunges post-workout, noting improved sleep quality.

Ice Baths: Hands In or Out?

The debate over whether to keep hands in or out during ice baths has garnered distinct preferences, as shown in a recent poll with 352 participants.

This simple yet significant choice in ice bath practices highlights varied approaches and underlying reasons for these preferences.

Hand Position in Ice BathPercentage of Votes
Hands In59.1%
Hands Out17.6%
Source: r/BecomingTheIceman

The majority, 59.1%, prefer to keep their hands in during ice baths.

Submerging the hands, which are sensitive and densely packed with nerve endings, could potentially enhance the body’s overall response to the cold, leading to more pronounced benefits such as improved circulation and reduced inflammation.

Conversely, 17.6% opt to keep their hands out.

This preference could stem from discomfort or sensitivity in the hands, which might make the experience less tolerable or enjoyable.

Breathing Pace Preferences in WHM App

A poll exploring breathing pace preferences among users of the Wim Hof Method (WHM) app reveals varied choices, reflecting personal experiences and the impact of pace on retention times.

Participants shared their preferred breathing paces—slow, normal, or fast—totaling 158 votes.

Breathing PacePercentage of Votes
Normal57.6%
Fast21.5%
Slow20.9%
Source: r/BecomingTheIceman

The majority, 57.6%, opt for a normal breathing pace.

This choice might strike a balance between relaxation and effectiveness, possibly making it a comfortable starting point for many.

In contrast, 21.5% prefer a fast pace, which could be indicative of those seeking a more intense or energizing experience.

The slow pace, favored by 20.9%, aligns with experiences of longer retention times, as noted by one participant.

This suggests that a slower pace may facilitate deeper relaxation and potentially enhanced benefits, although it might not be the preferred choice for all users.

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About the Author

Drew Wilkins is a fitness and nutrition expert with a Master's in Biokinesiology (emphasis in Sports Science) from the University of Southern California and over a decade of experience as a personal trainer, nutrition consultant, and wellness coach. An avid surfer and soccer player, he brings a unique perspective to his research, advocating for a balanced approach to health that includes physical fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being.

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