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Cold Shock Proteins Activate in Cold Water Environments.

Ice Bath Cold Shock Proteins

If you are new to cold plunges, you have probably heard about cold shock proteins. Taking an ice bath or submerging in a freezing lake would be uncomfortable and shocking to say the least but once you start cold water therapy, it’s surprisingly hard to stop.

Cold plunge effects are unsuitable for some people because of physical presentations such as shivering, red skin, blueish lips and limited speech and movement. Largely, these are avoided by building up your tolerance and limiting the time you plunge.

However, periodic cold exposure is a well-established factor that positively affects human health. The experience of plunging in an ice bath or exercising in cold water (like the sea) helps boost your mood, reduce inflammation and improve your sleep.

The cold shock response contains significant touted benefits of cold water. The environmental stress of the cold water causes a deluge of intense and instant physiological responses to which our body is forced to adapt to a situation known as hermetic stress – yes most of these are uncomfortable.

A plethora of processes also happens below the surface when we are immersed in water that we can’t see – one of these factors is the release of cold shock proteins.

Many proponents of cold water immersion have discussed cold shock proteins and their benefits. The benefits of cold shock proteins have gained increased exposure, and due to this reason, it has become the subject of an increasing amount of research.

This article has covered insight into what cold shock proteins are, their benefits and how you can get them.

What Are Cold Shock Proteins?

cold shock protein freeze tub

Cold shock proteins, also known as stress or cold-inducible proteins, are multifunctional RNA/DNA binding proteins. These proteins are characterized by more than one cold shock domain. In humans, these proteins are denoted by Y-box binding proteins or YB-1.

This group of proteins plays a vital role in the response to cold exposure. These proteins are a part of the cellular defense mechanism found in numerous organisms from microscopic bacteria to humans. They help organisms survive and adapt to cold environmental conditions.

Cold Shock Protein Scientists understand that humans contain a wide range of cold shock proteins in their bodies. Some of the cold shock proteins are given below including their functions and potential advantages.

●    RBM3

RBM3 is an RNA-binding protein activated when exposed to cold water environments.

This protein is crucial in maintaining cell viability and protein synthesis at low temperatures. It promotes the translation of certain mRNAs, helping cells produce proteins required for surviving in cold conditions while also prevening damage to the brain.

Research suggests a strong correlation between cold shock proteins and improving mental resilience also.

●    Lin28A/B

Lin28A/B are binding proteins of RNA involved in the regulations of several cellular processes such as cold adaptation. Both proteins are known for influencing the expression of specific mRNAs, affecting metabolism and cell growth in the human body.

In addition, they modulate the translation and processes of RNA, enhancing survival and adaptation in cold water environments.

However, adding an Ice Bath into your daily routine won’t shed kgs of fat, there are many other variables involved in weight loss and you need to consider your diet and include moderate to high-intensity exercise for 45 mins 4-5 times a week in order to lose fat on a consistent basis.

But both proteins aid in the healing and recovery of wounds or injuries. Activation of Lin28A has been shown in tissue injury models to encourage the regrowth of bone and cartilage.

●    CIRP – Cold Inducing RNA Binding Protein

CIRP helps cells adapt to cold stress by regulating the stability and translation of mRNAs essential for cellular responses to cold temperatures. The activity of this protein contributes to maintaining the functional and cervical of cells when exposed to cold water or environments.

This type of protein also supports your circadian rhythm, which is your internal 24-hour clock that influences your actions over the day from letting you know when you eat your breakfast, to when to sleep.

It appears that, and the evidence suggests Cold Shock Proteins are hugely beneficial in supporting your circadian rhythm, therefore give a shout-out to your mates in the airline industry or shift workers who are always suffering from sleep deprivation and get them plunging in a Freeze Tub!

●    YB-1 – The Y-Box Binding Protein

YB-1 protein is known as a multifunctional protein present in several cellular processes such as response to cold conditions.

This protein binds to specific RNA and DNA sequences, adjusting gene expression and mRNA translation. Its activation can help cells adapt to cold stress by regulating cells critical for cold adaption and survival.

So if you’re suffering from injuries for sport we recommend 4-5 times per week an ice bath for improving recovery.

How to Activate Cold Shock Proteins

We’re becoming aware of the amazing benefits of cold shock proteins on your health as well and these proteins are known for their capability to improve resilience and boost stress response. But how do you activate these shock proteins within your body?

Following are some effective methods that will help you activate the potential of cold shock proteins.

Opt For An Outdoor Workout

This time, choose to work outdoors in cold weather, of course, this is really only to happen in winter but a morning walk or as it can activate your cold shock proteins but only if you’re cold, so wearing a t-shirt and shorts will benefit here.

So if you’re choosing not to invest in a Freeze Tub just yet, working out or exercising outdoors is the best way of activating your cold proteins, so let’s try some outdoor sessions and enjoy the cold weather with many healthy advantages of cold shock proteins.

We must admit, you’ll try to move faster to try and get your body to warm up so it’s not as effective as regular cold water plunging.

Take a Cold Shower

This is tough. Getting out of a warm cosy bed and jumping into a cold shower seems somewhat torturous. However, early morning cold showers are a way of waking yourself up and also help you activate your cold shock proteins.

In order to reap the benefits of cold showers, ensure to keep the water temperature below 16°C (68F).

However, if you’re new to cold water therapy and want to ease your self into the practice, then cold showers are a good place to start. Simply, you can adjust the water to suit your tolerance.

Start with lukewarm in the morning, the following day, turn it down a notch and continue to do so until your body starts to get used to the cold environment. Next move on the Freeze Tub Solo and go all in for the plunge – you can do it!

Activate Your Cold Shock Proteins with Ice Baths

With cold shock proteins come many potential benefits, and ice baths make it easy and possible to make cold exposure part of your daily routine.

We’ve heard and found personally that using an Ice Bath in the morning and completely submerging yourself is easier than taking a cold shower, but as we’ve suggested above, it might be a good starting point to ease into cold water immersion therapy.

When you’re ready to switch it up, the Freeze Tub cold therapy ice bath is big enough for larger individuals and enables you to sit or crouch easily.

Lets Wrap This Up

Nowadays, cold shock proteins are the topic of discussion for cold exposure. These proteins have many benefits that have been discovered, yet some remarkable benefits are yet to be known.

To indulge in the benefits of cold shock proteins and what they offer, people who are not fine with cold water need to get uncomfortable for just a few minutes by taking a cold shower, plunging in freezing waters or going out into the numbers with layers of clothing.

Try the tips for activating cold shock proteins and indulge in several health benefits the researchers have proved.


  • Dale Folland

    Dale is a seasoned Nutritionist with over two decades of experience in the health and wellness industry. His expertise has been sought after by elite groups such as NZ SAS Soldiers and NZ Fire Service, where he has contributed to optimising their performance and well-being. Dale is also a renowned speaker and educator and his work has been recognised in publications like the Daily Mail and various US media outlets.

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