The cold plunge pool (cryotherapy pool) is often found in athletic training areas as a complementary pool to the warm pools and spas. The purpose of the cold water pools is to reduce muscle inflammation after prolonged periods of exercise to reduce the recovery time for the muscle.
Contrast therapy utilizes both a cold water pool and a warm water pool creating different reactions within the body. Blood vessels constrict and decrease flow when immersed in cold water. In warm water the blood vessels open up causing an increase in blood flow through the blood vessels. Alternating between cold water and warm water immersion causes surges of blood flow to the muscles which brings in nutrients and growth factors and clears out waste products following exercise. Cryotherapy provides relief for muscle soreness after exercising.
Cryotherapy pools typically operate with a water temperature between 50-60 degrees which is not a comfortable water temperature for the body. Therefore those who use cold water pools do so knowing there are benefits after the initial cold water shock to the body.