The way to Make Your self a DIY Chilly Plunge

In the event you’ve ever taken an uninhibited dive right into a pool stuffed with chilly water, you’re conscious that your mind registers the speedy dip of your pores and skin’s temperature as an unwelcome shock to its system. Whereas your physique will ultimately acclimate itself to its aquatic environment, generally the discomfort lingers for a number of minutes, making water an unappealing place to loiter. 

Since gentle aggravation typically accompanies leisure waters which are solely mildly chilly, how on earth might anybody be cajoled into immersing themselves into frigid water for the sake of well being? The reality is, there are a variety of reported advantages to voluntarily subjecting your self to a bone-chilling chilly plunge tub — a follow that’s solely rising in reputation. 

Credit score: Dudarev Mikhail / Shutterstock

Though these chilly water immersion units are sometimes prohibitively costly, you may assemble a practical approximation of a chilly plunge at a fraction of the fee. Because of this, you may benefit from the restorative bodily benefits of regulated low temperatures with out the sky-high price ticket connected to them. Right here’s the best way to rig your self a DIY chilly plunge.

Editor’s Be aware: The content material on BarBend is supposed to be informative in nature, nevertheless it shouldn’t be taken as medical recommendation. When beginning a brand new coaching routine and/or eating regimen, it’s at all times a good suggestion to seek the advice of with a trusted medical skilled. We aren’t a medical useful resource. The opinions and articles on this web site should not supposed to be used as analysis, prevention, and/or therapy of well being issues. They don’t seem to be substitutes for consulting a professional medical skilled.

What Is a Chilly Plunge? 

A chilly plunge is a specialised chilly water remedy tub that requires you to submerge your self in water that’s often maintained at a temperature between 45 and 55 levels Fahrenheit. Those that repeatedly bathe themselves in chilly plunges report advantages that stretch throughout a number of domains, from bodily enhancements to psychological and emotional enhancements. 

In the case of the optimum size of your chilly plunge tub, opinions range extensively. Some sources report three minutes as the utmost protected time. Others counsel that you simply received’t even start to expertise any of chilly plunging’s advantages till you may maintain immersion for at the least 10 minutes. As with every bodily demanding exercise, please progress fastidiously and at all times err on the aspect of warning.

Chilly Plunge Choices 

The worth tags of some specialty chilly plunging tubs are able to administering a shock to your system far past what you will get from brisk water. Fashionable chilly plunges arrive replete with applied sciences that maintain icy water temperatures, flow into liquid, and even illuminate the bathtub. 

But, all of those facilities typically arrive at a steep value that you could be not think about to be well worth the cash if all you’re searching for is a five-minute dip in some icy-ish waters.

Credit score: Michele Ursi / Shutterstock

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In the event you’re not eager on forking over a number of thousand dollars for state-of-the-art chilly plunge tech, there are far inexpensive methods to construct a tool by yourself that may acceptably chill your physique into compliance. 

The truth is, your splendid chilly water answer could also be achievable by means of the straightforward repurposing of some gadgets you already personal. By following just some easy steps, you may construct a tool that can enable you preserve your cool whereas additionally allowing you to keep up nearly all of your cash as properly.

What You Want To Construct a Chilly Plunge 

In the event you don’t really feel like forking over hundreds of dollars to buy a accomplished chilly plunge equipment, you may construct certainly one of your individual for a fraction of the fee. All you want is a couple of hundred dollars and a spare afternoon, buttressed by a little bit motivation, elbow grease, and some key gadgets:

Freezer Chest 
Caulking Gun with Marine Sealant
Flex Seal (or related)
Temperature Controller 
A Handy Water Supply

The way to Do a DIY Chilly Plunge Step-by-Step

Now that you simply’ve cobbled collectively the entire essential parts, the precise process of assembling your chilly plunge is a snap. The truth is, you’re just one well-managed afternoon away from soaking your self in wintry waters.

Step 1 — Buy a Freezer Chest

Any freezer chest will do so long as it’s of ample quantity, and with proportions that facilitate your capacity to lie down along with your head above the water. On this case, you’ll desire a freezer chest with a quantity of at the least seven cubic toes, which equates to a little bit over 50 gallons of water. 

At an in-store low cost, an sufficient freezer chest can in all probability be acquired within the ballpark of 200 dollars, though you may in all probability find a used freezer chest for a lot much less.

Step 2 — Caulk the Seams

Your first step towards changing your freezer chest into a chilly plunge will likely be to get your fingers on a caulking gun to seal any seams. This may require using marine sealant to make sure that your caulk is ample to resist repeated publicity to water. Additionally, you will wish to apply caulk to any seams within the space across the drain plug with out truly caulking the drain plug utterly shut.

Step three — Unfold the Sealant

As soon as the caulk has totally dried, the next step will likely be to unfold a layer or two of sealant over the inside of the freezer chest in the event you want to be further diligent about controlling leaks. Whether or not you employ Flex Seal or an identical sealant, you’ll wish to watch out to not unfold the sealant instantly over the drain plug. 

This fashion, you’ll retain your simplest way of emptying out the soiled water from prior immersions earlier than changing it with recent water.

Step four — Set up Your Temperature Controller

Now that your freezer chest has been sufficiently sealed off, the ultimate remaining step is to affix a temperature-controlling mechanism. First, plug the temperature controller into an electrical outlet, then plug your freezer chest into the temperature controller. 

Subsequent, place the probing attachment of the temperature controller into the freezer. From there, the temperature controller will keep the temperature of your water at your predetermined degree.

Step 5 — Fill Your Chilly Plunge With Water

Now that all the pieces is in place, what was as soon as an strange freezer chest has undergone a full metamorphosis right into a satisfactory chilly plunge. The one factor left to do is to fill it with water, which is most simply completed by means of a backyard hose — particularly in case your chilly plunge is situated outside.

Be aware: Don’t, underneath any circumstances, immerse your self within the water whereas the freezer chest is plugged in.

Advantages of a Chilly Plunge

It wouldn’t make an entire lot of sense to undergo the entire bother of constructing your individual chilly plunge if there weren’t some worthwhile advantages related to ice baths. Many individuals swear that the method of chilly water immersion can improve a number of sides of your bodily and psychological well being.

Be aware that it’s a frequent criticism of cold-water immersion research that their testing swimming pools have both been too small, or the topic choice course of has been compromised. 

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In different cases, it has been advised that the findings within the testing environments are incorrectly extrapolated to the actual world. (1) As such, you need to draw your individual conclusions primarily based in your physique’s particular person response to chilly plunging, and see which of those advantages you personally expertise.

Alleviated Muscle Soreness 

In the event you carry out loads of resistance coaching or have interaction in impact-heavy cardio, chilly plunging could also be a dependable means of dissipating muscle soreness and quickly assuaging ache. In testing, chilly water immersion lowered muscle metabolic exercise whereas rising muscle oxygenation, thereby contributing to the speedy alleviation of muscle soreness. (2) 

Accelerated Bodily Restoration 

In comparison with their friends, athletes collaborating in chilly water immersion protocols recovered a few of their performance extra rapidly, in line with some knowledge. This included improved muscle operate, lowered irritation and oxidative stress, and sooner restoration of top-end velocity. (three) 

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This means that along with making your bodily discomfort disappear, chilly plunging may also restore your physique to its correct working order far faster than conventional relaxation and rest. 

Enhanced Immunity 

Repeated chilly water immersion was linked with a rise in monocytes, T-helper cells, T suppressor cells, and different cells chargeable for defending the physique in sure research. (four) 

The presumption is that the chilly water acts as a non-infectious stress-inducer, which causes your physique’s immune system to spring into motion, together with a boosted metabolic charge. Due to this fact, chilly plunging is doubtlessly in a position that will help you be extra proof against assorted diseases. 

Improved Psychological Focus and Lowered Melancholy

Other than bodily advantages, chilly plunging has been linked to optimistic psychological and psychological modifications as properly. Contributors in at the least one examine had their mind connectivity and emotional states measured after sitting in a chilly tub for 5 minutes. 

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Afterwards, the individuals reported feeling “extra energetic, alert, attentive, proud, and impressed and fewer distressed and nervous after having a cold-water tub.” (5)

Chilly Plunge Alternate options

If all of those aforementioned choices nonetheless appear properly past your price range, there’s no want to stress. There are a number of obtainable cold-bathing choices that can allow you to bask in some ice water remedy at a fair decrease funding determine than that required for a DIY chilly plunge.

The Bathtub Methodology

In case you have a bath at residence, you may repurpose it for a makeshift chilly plunge. Most bathtubs can maintain between 40 to 60 gallons of water, and most faucets will emit water at a temperature of 60 levels at their coldest settings. This implies the water doesn’t must get that a lot colder with a view to drop into the appropriate chilly tub vary. 

Credit score: DZiegler / Shutterstock

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As a way to convey your tub to a suitable temperature vary that it could actually maintain all through your frosty dip, seize some ice baggage from the gasoline station or grocery retailer. It’s suggested that you simply use one pound of ice per gallon of water, so be sure you have 5 10-pound baggage of ice on the prepared in the event you plan to fill a 50-gallon tub.

The Galvanized Metal Trough

In the event you occur to stay in a rural space with entry to a galvanized metal trough for housing flowers or feeding animals, it’s possible you’ll wish to empty out the vegetation and grains and exchange them with ice and water. 

Metal troughs include a protecting layer of zinc, which defends it from the components that contribute to rust. It should even be sufficiently sturdy in order that in the event you shift round inside it, you don’t have to fret concerning the construction bending when you transfer.

The draw back to utilizing a metal tub is that metal is a superb conductor of warmth, which implies that your water is more likely to warmth up extra quickly on this form of tub than in others. That is very true in the event you intend to have interaction in chilly baths exterior. It may be sensible to maintain a bag of supplemental ice on standby. 

The Rubbermaid Tank

If you wish to relaxation in one thing that may be a bit extra comfy than a metal tub, the floor of a Rubbermaid tank is a little more forgiving. The tradeoff may be that the floor of the tank is just too forgiving, and bends far an excessive amount of as you shift your weight.

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On the plus aspect, plastic doesn’t conduct warmth, which makes it a superb thermal insulator. Because of this, you may anticipate your Rubbermaid tank to maintain the ice and water at their coldest attainable temperature for longer than different supplies that you may be taking a shower in.

The Kiddie Pool 

When your youngsters aren’t utilizing the kiddie pool, and particularly in the event that they’ve outgrown it, you may repurpose that kiddie pool into an ice tub. Since most kiddie swimming pools are of sufficient dimension and price properly underneath a triple-digit price ticket, they’re simply among the many most cheap gadgets you may fill with icy water and slide into. 

Chilly Consolation Made Straightforward

The tactical utility of chilly water to your physique for the aim of well being optimization needn’t be a pursuit that pries away an excessive amount of of your chilly, laborious money. With minimal effort, you may assemble a superbly serviceable chilly plunge all by your self, or you may go for any variety of much less subtle, but equally efficient strategies. 

Regardless as to what route you select, relaxation assured that the method of precipitously reducing your physique temperature needn’t be preceded by a commensurate dip in your checking account.


In the event you’re trying into constructing your individual chilly plunge, we suspect that you simply may need a couple of questions. Listed below are some solutions for velocity you in your means:

Are you able to make your individual chilly plunge? 

Sure you may. A totally operable chilly plunge might be crafted utilizing two available store-bought home equipment, and a few gadgets from the house enchancment aisle.

What do you want for a chilly plunge?

To make your individual chilly plunge, all you require is a freezer chest, caulk, sealant, a temperature controller, and a supply of water.

What are the advantages of chilly plunge?

Research have linked chilly plunging with an elaborate set of advantages. These vary from a discount of muscle groups soreness and accelerated muscle restoration to elevated immunity to sickness and an improved psychological state.

How lengthy must you chilly plunge for?

The best size of your chilly plunge is topic to debate. Some proponents of chilly plunging declare that any size of immersion is useful supplied that you would be able to stay within the water for at the least one minute. Others declare that 5 minutes is the minimal required soaking time earlier than any advantages might be achieved. For many advocates of chilly plunging, the candy spot lies someplace between 5 to 20 minutes, with most consultants figuring out 30 minutes of immersion as doubtlessly harmful.


Esperland D, de Weerd L, Mercer JB. Well being results of voluntary publicity to chilly water – a unbroken topic of debate. Int J Circumpolar Well being. 2022 Dec;81(1):2111789. doi: 10.1080/22423982.2022.2111789. PMID: 36137565; PMCID: PMC9518606.
Ihsan M, Watson G, Lipski M, Abbiss CR. Affect of postexercise cooling on muscle oxygenation and blood quantity modifications. Med Sci Sports activities Exerc. 2013 Could;45(5):876-82. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31827e13a2. PMID: 23247707.
Leeder JDC, Godfrey M, Gibbon D, Gaze D, Davison GW, Van Someren KA, Howatson G. Chilly water immersion improves restoration of dash velocity following a simulated event. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Oct;19(9):1166-1174. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1585478. Epub 2019 Apr 6. PMID: 30957673.
Esperland D, de Weerd L, Mercer JB. Well being results of voluntary publicity to chilly water – a unbroken topic of debate. Int J Circumpolar Well being. 2022 Dec;81(1):2111789. doi: 10.1080/22423982.2022.2111789. PMID: 36137565; PMCID: PMC9518606.
Yankouskaya A, Williamson R, Stacey C, Totman JJ, Massey H. Quick-Time period Head-Out Entire-Physique Chilly-Water Immersion Facilitates Constructive Have an effect on and Will increase Interplay between Giant-Scale Mind Networks. Biology (Basel). 2023 Jan 29;12(2):211. doi: 10.3390/biology12020211. PMID: 36829490; PMCID: PMC9953392.

Featured Picture: Dudarev Mikhail / Shutterstock

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