November 6, 2023

Why the Ice Hack Diet Doesn't Work

By Rahul Malpe
Why the Ice Hack Diet Doesn't Work

If you are here, you have probably come across the ice hack diet for weight loss.  

You may have seen the short videos on TikTok of people drinking ice water and claiming they lost weight because of it.

The truth is that this diet doesn't work and won't help you lose weight, despite all the buzz surrounding it. 

I'll explain why in this article. Plus, we’ll go over how genuine cold therapy can be helpful when used correctly.

 Let's get started.

What is the Ice Hack Diet For Weight Loss?

This diet is based on the idea that your body has to burn more calories to keep itself warm, which results in weight loss.

According to users of this diet, you can help this process by eating ice or drinking really cold water. 

This makes your body use more energy to warm up, which means you're burning more calories just by doing that. 

The users also suggest taking a supplement called Alpilean to boost this process.

Basically, the whole idea is to manage your body temperature in a way that helps you burn fat more efficiently.


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How the Ice Hack Diet Started

The Ice Hack weight loss trend began as a curiosity on TikTok, where users started sharing short videos that showed them using ice packs or drinking super cold water as a supposed quick fix for weight loss. 

These early videos captured people's attention and got them talking and sharing. Before long, the trend exploded in popularity and became viral.

Many people started making and sharing their own Ice Hack videos, showing off before-and-after results, and some of these videos garnered millions of views.

This trend was further fueled by influencers who endorsed it.

Once these influential figures began talking about the Ice Hack, their large number of followers took notice, and even more people jumped on the bandwagon. 

These testimonials, along with the before-and-after pictures, have become a major part of the trend's appeal, so much so that they've amassed over 100 million views on TikTok. 

As a result, Ice Hack has become a full-blown internet sensation.

The Role Of Alpilean Supplement In The Diet

Alpilean is promoted as a dietary supplement that can regulate body temperature, thereby supposedly boosting weight loss while you are on the ice hack diet. 

Since Ice Hack became so popular on social media. This provided an opportunity for Alpilean to introduce their product as a complementary weight loss solution.

With their marketing campaigns aligned with the trend, they advertised that their supplement could amplify the effects of Ice Hack.

According to the official website of Alpilean, the supplement contains a blend of six key ingredients:

  • Golden Algae (fucoxanthin)
  • Dika Nut (African mango seed)
  • Drumstick Tree Leaf (moringa leaf)
  • Bigarade Orange (citrus bioflavonoids)
  • Ginger Rhizome (ginger root)
  • Turmeric Rhizome (turmeric root)

Each ingredient is said to target the body's inner temperature, which they claim makes the Ice Hack diet more effective.

The Problem with the Ice Hack Diet

All the claims sound good so what's the problem? Here are some major ones:

Based on Unproven Science

The whole idea of the Ice Hack diet is built on a shaky foundation: that low inner body temperature leads to belly fat, and you can burn more fat by controlling your temperature with things like ice and the Alpilean supplement. 

This sounds interesting, but the problem is there's no scientific evidence to back up these claims. 

Promotion of Alpilean

Even though drinking ice water won't help you lose weight.

The main goal of Ice Hack isn't really about helping you lose weight with ice water. It's more about selling the Alpilean supplement.

Many users claim that you should use the supplement along with the ice water to lose weight faster. 

The company that makes Alpilean wants you to think you need this supplement to make the Ice Hack diet work.

So, when you see people talking about the Ice Hack diet, remember they're also trying to get you interested in buying Alpilean through which they get an affiliate revenue.

Risks of Drinking Too Much Ice Water

The diet suggests drinking lots of ice water, even right before bed. This might sound harmless, but it can actually be risky. 

Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to hyponatremia, a serious condition where your blood's sodium levels drop too low. 

Symptoms of hyponatremia can include nausea, headache, confusion, seizures, fatigue, muscle cramps, or spasms.

Too much water can also interfere with your digestion by diluting stomach acid.

Doesn't Address Real Weight Issues

This diet doesn't look at the real reasons people gain weight, like poor eating habits, not exercising, or medical conditions. 

It focuses on quick fixes and solutions that aren't proven nor promoted by established experts in the field.

The Reality of Cold Therapy

Apart from Ice hack diet which is not a proven method. There are genuine forms of cold therapy that involve immersing yourself in cold water to achieve various health benefits. 

This practice has ancient roots but has become popular through various adaptations like ice baths, cold showers, and outdoor swims in cold water.

The idea behind cold therapy is to expose the body to cold temperatures to stimulate physiological responses that can contribute to improved health and well-being. The potential benefits of cold therapy may include:

Reduced Muscle Soreness

Cold water immersion causes your blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow to the targeted area, such as an injury or sore muscles. 

This vasoconstriction helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, which in turn alleviates muscle soreness.

Studies have shown that athletes who soak in cold water for short periods after exercise experience less muscle soreness. 

For instance, a study published in Springer Link found that cyclists who completed intense training sessions had decreased soreness after being immersed in cold water for 10 minutes. 

Another study published in Medicine involving 20 participants showed similar results.

Immune System Boost

Cold water immersion has been shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and anti-inflammatory cytokines. 

These components help the body fight off infections and illnesses more effectively. 

A 2014 study published in PNAS looked at how meditation, deep breathing, and cold water immersion techniques could influence immune response.

The results were promising, showing fewer symptoms and more anti-inflammatory chemicals in response to bacterial infection.

Cooling Your Body Faster

Immersing your whole body in cold water increases heat exchange between the skin and the environment. 

This rapid heat exchange cools down the body's core temperature more effectively than passive cooling methods, like simply resting in a cool environment.

A study published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found recovery from overheating was twice as fast when cold water immersion was used.

Mental Health Benefits

While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, it's believed that cold water immersion may trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" hormones, and boost your mental health

One study published in BMJ Journals involved a woman who had experienced anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. 

After a trial program of weekly open-water swimming, her symptoms decreased significantly.

Differences Between Genuine Cold Therapy and the "Ice Hack Diet"

Why the 'Ice Hack' Works for Some, Despite Lack of Scientific Proof?

I bet you are thinking, if it doesn't work, then why are you seeing results of people losing weight?

The answer lies in a combination of psychological mechanisms, social validation, and the power of the placebo effect.

You find yourself scrolling through your social media feed and encountering a video where someone claims to have lost 5 kgs in a week by following the Ice Hack diet. 

You decide to try it and lose some weight maybe not 5 kgs in a week but a fraction of that.

Here, even if the Ice Hack diet is not scientifically proven, your belief in its effectiveness might lead you to start eating healthier foods and smaller portions because you want the diet to work.

You might also get a bit more physically active, like walking extra steps or committing to exercising regularly.

So, even if the Ice Hack itself isn't doing much, your belief in it makes you change other habits that actually help you lose weight.

This is what's called the placebo effect. You believe something will work, so you subconsciously act in ways that make it come true. 

Then you think it worked because of your belief in that particular thing. In this case, it's the ice hack diet.

How Belief Systems And GroupThink Can Amplify Placebo Effects

The placebo effect doesn't operate in a vacuum; it's often reinforced by social and psychological factors. 

Let's say you join an online forum dedicated to the Ice Hack diet. Everyone is posting before-and-after photos, sharing tips, and celebrating each other's weight loss. 

This sense of community could make you more likely to report positive effects, even if they are minimal because you don't want to be the odd one out. 

This is groupthink affecting the placebo effect; the collective belief in the diet's effectiveness makes you more likely to experience perceived benefits.

Influencer Endorsements and Social Validation To Seal The Deal

Suppose a fitness influencer you admire posts about how the Ice Hack diet and Alpilean supplement helped them get into the best shape of their life. 

Seeing someone you respect vouching for the diet could strengthen your belief in it, making you more susceptible to experiencing a placebo effect when you try it yourself. 

Your mind sees this social validation as further "proof" that the diet works, amplifying your perception of its effectiveness.

The Dangers of Misinformation Online

Today, a single tweet, video, or blog post can reach millions of people in a matter of hours. 

Viral content is powerful: it can amplify voices that might otherwise go unheard, but it can also amplify misleading or outright false information. 

In the case of the Ice Hack diet, the trend gained traction quickly through a catchy hashtag or a series of viral TikTok videos, reaching a wide audience before experts had the chance to weigh in on its validity.

Dangers and Consequences in Health and Wellness

When talking about health, getting the wrong information can be risky. Here are some possible risks and bad outcomes:

Physical Harm: If you follow health tips that aren't backed by science, you could be risking your health. For example, the Ice Hack diet says to drink lots of ice water, but as mentioned above, drinking lots of water at once can lead to hyponatremia.

Financial Exploitation: Bad info can make you spend money on products that don't work. With the Ice Hack diet, you might buy Alpilean thinking it will help you lose weight, but since the claims of the supplements aren't proven, you may not get your money's worth.

Mental Health Effects: If you try something like the Ice Hack diet and it doesn't work, you might feel down or even depressed. You might think it's your fault, but really, the diet itself is the problem.

Long-Term Health Risks: Fads and trends generally focus on quick fixes and ignore the long-term implications. Consistently falling for such fads can lead to a cycle of unhealthy behaviors and yo-yo dieting, which have their own long-term health risks.

Erosion of Trust: When you keep seeing bad health tips, you might start to lose trust in good health advice. This makes it easier to fall for more bad info in the future.


The Ice Hack diet might seem like a quick and easy way to lose weight, but it is not backed by science and is just another fad. 

Real weight loss isn't about quick tricks or what's trending online. 

It's about eating right, staying active, getting proper sleep, and managing your stress levels.

For your health, you want to be sure that what you're doing is backed by real science and is safe for you. 

In other words, don't just follow a trend because it's getting a lot of likes or shares; make sure it's genuinely good for your health before you decide to try it.

By Rahul Malpe

Rahul is a dedicated nutritionist and personal trainer with expertise in the science of nutrition and its impact on the body. Certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and the American Council of Exercise (ACE), he is committed to educating individuals through sharing science-based information on making smart food choices. By writing informative articles, Rahul aims to empower people with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their health and wellness journeys.