It may be 90 degrees in Los Angeles this week, but there’s one spot in town where Angelenos are wrapping up in fleece-lined boots, gloves, and…fluffy robes.
That place is Cold & Thirsty, the country’s first hybrid cryotherapy spa and cold-pressed juice bar, which opened at the end of summer. And yes, it is the coolest.
What’s cryotherapy? It involves hanging out in a -250° F, liquid nitrogen-filled chamber that looks like a giant beer can with no top. At Cold & Thirsty your session is three teeth-chattering minutes—and the experience is said to reduce everything from inflammation to anxiety, headaches, and even cellulite, while boosting energy and enhancing sleep and muscle recovery. (First adopters have been professional athletes.)
The combo cryo-juice concept was developed by Renew Juicery founder Brooke Rewa and Katie Kaufmann, whose background is in film production—in true LA style, the health-obsessed pair became friends after meeting at their local farmers market.
“I’d wanted to do something with the cryosauna for a long time, since I’m a huge fan of it,” recalls Kaufmann. Rewa was skeptical initially, but after her first big chill, her chronic migraines disappeared, and Cold & Thirsty was born.
While LA actually has no shortage of juice bars—or cryosaunas (there are at least a handful of others we can think of), Rewa and Kaufmann consider the mix of both in one space to be particularly potent.
According to Kaufmann, those looking to speed up injury recovery can chug Renew’s Super Roots juice post-cryo, which is enhanced with anti-inflammatory turmeric and immune-boosting astragalus. Those wanting to tighten and brighten their skin—yup, vanity’s another reason for the deep freeze treatment—can opt for an antioxidant- and pearl powder-packed Radiant Skin juice after their spell in the cold.
Underscoring the practice is the belief that since cryotherapy enhances circulation, says Kaufmann, “it may better deliver the nutrients from juices.”
Before going into the deep freeze alone (the chamber is sized for one person), I had to go against my instinct to bundle up. Instead, you have to strip down (men wear underwear, but women don’t) and put on just a robe, gloves, and fleece-lined boots. Then you experience exactly how bone-chilling -250° F is. (Answer: very!)
Although the extreme cold made me breathless and my legs started to ache toward the end of the three minutes, I thawed out quickly and noticed my morning brain fog had lifted, I felt significantly more chipper, and I was far less sore from a tough boxing bootcamp the night before. My endorphins were pumping.
I can’t speak to the benefits of regular chilling (though Dr. Oz does here), but considering that professional athletes from Kobe Bryant to Floyd Mayweather do it on the regular, it must hold some merit for athletic performance. And, if nothing else, it’s the perfect way to beat the LA heat. —Erin Magner
Cold & Thirsty, 12460 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, 310-280-8483, coldandthirsty.com
(Photos: Cold & Thirsty)