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Be FRESH aware



By focusing on FRESH awareness, you are addressing the holistic needs of the body and mind during cold water swimming. This approach promotes safety, enhances performance, and contributes to an overall positive experience in this unique and challenging environment.


  1. Food:

    • Energy Source: Cold water swimming requires additional energy to maintain body temperature. Consuming a balanced meal or snack before swimming provides the necessary fuel for your body.

    • Blood Sugar Levels: Eating before swimming helps stabilize blood sugar levels, ensuring you have sustained energy throughout the activity, but this needs to be 2 - 3 hrs before.

    • Post swim: If we focus on someone who has been in for 2min or more then likely even at 4 to 8mins you will benefit from getting some sugars in to support glycogen supercompensation


  1. Rest:

    • Recovery: Adequate rest is essential for muscle recovery. Cold water can be physically demanding, and well-rested muscles are less prone to fatigue and injury but also requiring less work for the body when undertaking the cold response in the body

    • Alertness: Proper rest contributes to mental alertness, which is crucial for making sound decisions and responding to changing conditions during cold water swimming.


  1. Exposure:

    • Protection: Being aware of exposure involves wearing appropriate gear to protect your body from the cold. This includes wetsuits, gloves, and other thermal clothing.

    • Preventing Hypothermia: Understanding and managing exposure help prevent conditions like hypothermia, which can occur when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, but this tends to be linked into how long the person is in for and if they have cooled to around 8 to 10mins+ under 15*c.

    • Just 2 mins : Just 2 min in the water gives you the same metabolic response in the body then if you stayed in for longer

    • Depletion: So if you're depleted then you should stay in for less due to your body being tired or low on energy like SLEEP, STRESS, FUEL, HYDRATION.


  1. Stress:

    • Mental Preparedness: Cold water swimming can be mentally challenging. Being aware of stress and employing stress-management techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, can enhance your overall experience.

    • Adaptation: Gradual exposure to cold water can help your body adapt and reduce the stress response over time.


  1. Hydration:

    • Body Function: Staying hydrated is important for overall bodily functions, and it becomes especially crucial when engaging in physical activities like swimming.

    • Thermoregulation: Proper hydration helps regulate body temperature, which is essential when dealing with cold water conditions.



  1. dehydration, as the body may not signal this as strongly in cold environments. Despite the perception of being surrounded by water, it's important to ensure adequate fluid intake before and after ice swimming.

  2. Reduced Thirst Sensation: In cold water, the body's thirst sensation may be blunted, making it easier to overlook the need for hydration. Swimmers should be proactive in drinking fluids regularly, even if they don't feel thirsty.

  3. Metabolic Rate: Cold water exposure can increase metabolic rate as the body works to maintain core temperature. This increased metabolic activity can lead to an increased need for energy and, consequently, water. Adequate hydration supports metabolic processes and helps maintain energy levels.

  4. Electrolyte Balance: Cold water exposure and the physical activity of swimming can still lead to electrolyte loss through sweat. Adequate hydration should be accompanied by considerations for electrolyte balance, particularly sodium, which is lost through sweat.

  5. Vasoconstriction: Cold water can cause blood vessels near the skin to constrict, directing blood flow to the core to conserve heat. While this is a protective mechanism, it may impact overall circulation. Staying adequately hydrated helps maintain blood viscosity and circulation, supporting the body's ability to transport oxygen and nutrients.

  6. Risk of Hypothermia: In extremely cold water, the risk of hypothermia is significant. Dehydration can exacerbate the effects of hypothermia, so maintaining hydration is crucial for supporting the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms.

  7. Respiratory Effects: Cold water can have respiratory effects, including increased respiratory rate and constriction of airways. Proper hydration can help support respiratory function and minimize the risk of respiratory distress.

  8. Post-Swim Hydration: After ice swimming, it's important to replace fluids lost during the activity. Rehydrating with warm beverages can be beneficial for raising the core body temperature and facilitating recovery.

  9. RE-WARMING: When your body is returning to its original state (if cooled enough), inadequate hydration can make this period be so long and some say they have experienced a few days feeling cold



Remember that individual hydration needs can vary based on factors such as the duration of swimming, water temperature, and individual physiology. It's advisable to pay attention to your body's signals, stay vigilant about hydration, and adapt your fluid intake based on the specific conditions of ice swimming. If you have any health concerns or pre-existing conditions, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in extreme cold water activities.


Importance of Physical Conditioning: "Physical preparation is vital for winter swimming. It's not just about being able to swim; it's about preparing your body to handle the cold."


FACT - Nutrition and Hydration: 2 of the most missed out and ignored factors that's massive in the need of energy towards swimming or dipping in the cold.


We use so much energy in swimming but going into the colder waters your body uses so much more energy and then there is the factor of the body returning to its original state and again using energy to do so.

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