Deliberate Cold Exposure — How to Do it RIGHT with Dr. Andrew Huberman | The Proof Podcast EP 205 | Summary and Q&A

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July 25, 2022
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The Proof with Simon Hill
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Deliberate Cold Exposure — How to Do it RIGHT with Dr. Andrew Huberman | The Proof Podcast EP 205

TL;DR

Deliberate cold exposure for 11 minutes a week can increase brown fat density, improve metabolism, and have positive effects on blood lipid, insulin management, and mental resilience.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Can deliberate cold exposure increase brown fat density in adults?

Yes, according to a recent study published in Cell Reports Medicine, deliberate cold exposure for 11 minutes a week can increase the density of brown fat in adults.

Q: What are the health benefits of deliberate cold exposure?

Deliberate cold exposure has a range of health benefits, including improvements in metabolism, blood lipid levels, insulin management, and mental resilience.

Q: How can one achieve uncomfortable cold exposure for 11 minutes a week?

There are various methods to achieve uncomfortable cold exposure, such as cold showers, ice baths, or immersion in chilly water. The key is to get uncomfortably cold and stay in for 2 to 3 minutes, ensuring safety.

Q: Can cold showers provide the same benefits as other methods of cold exposure?

While there is limited scientific research on cold showers specifically, they can still provide some benefits of cold exposure, such as increased mental clarity and alertness.

Q: What other effects does cold exposure have on the body?

Cold exposure causes vasoconstriction and vasodilation, leading to improved blood flow. It also significantly increases dopamine levels, enhancing alertness. Additionally, activating shivering can further boost metabolism and fat loss.

Q: How should the 11 minutes of deliberate cold exposure be divided throughout the week?

The 11 minutes can be divided across multiple sessions throughout the week, and the specific schedule can vary. It's important not to attempt to do the full 11 minutes in one go, especially for beginners.

Q: Does cold exposure help with building resilience and overcoming discomfort?

Yes, getting into cold water against your initial resistance helps override limbic friction and build mental resilience. Special operations and screening tools often use cold exposure as a way to test and train individuals in overcoming discomfort.

Q: What is the relationship between shivering and brown fat activation?

Shivering activates the release of a molecule called succinate, which then activates brown fat and further increases metabolism. If you don't shiver while in the cold, standing there without drying off can help induce shivering.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Brown fat, which acts as a healthy furnace for metabolism, can be increased through deliberate cold exposure.

  • 11 minutes per week of uncomfortable cold exposure, whether through cold showers or other methods, can have significant health benefits.

  • Cold exposure leads to vasoconstriction, increased dopamine levels, improved blood flow, and enhanced fat loss.

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