Best sauna protocol


Given the insights shared by Dr. Andrew Huberman throughout various episodes, here's a summary of the recommended sauna protocols for optimizing health benefits:

Heat and Cold: Combination Protocol

  • Start with a 20-minute sauna session at high temperatures (up to 260°F but start lower and acclimatize) followed by 3-5 minutes in a cold plunge up to the neck.
  • Repeat this cycle several times for maximum effect, inducing hormonal and neurotransmitter adaptations that aid in recovery and enhance tolerance to heat and cold 1.

Cold Exposure

  • Do not engage in cold water immersion directly after hypertrophy training because it can blunt the desired inflammation process which is necessary for muscle growth 1.

General Sauna Use

  • A single 15-minute sauna session can increase white blood cell profiles and adjust cortisol levels 2.
  • For stress reduction, 12-minute sauna sessions at 90°C, followed by a 6-minute cool down, can significantly lower cortisol 3.

    Heat and Cold Exposure

    Andrew shares his intense protocol for heat and cold exposure, which helps with recovery and stimulates growth hormone. He discusses the benefits of deliberate cold exposure and the importance of timing it correctly. Andrew also mentions his sauna routine and the positive effects it has on hormone and neurotransmitter adaptations.

    Tim Ferriss Show

    Dr. Andrew Huberman — The Foundations of Physical and Mental Performance
  • Ideally, aim for a temperature around 170°F for an effective session 4.

Growth Hormone Release Protocol

  • To maximize growth hormone, engage in a cycle of 30-minute sauna sessions followed by a 5 to 10-minute cooling period, repeating this multiple times. This cycle provokes a potent growth hormone response due to the stress stimulus 5.
  • The most remarkable effects on growth hormone have been observed when sauna is used once per week in four sets of 30 minutes each 5.

Minimum Effective Dose

  • Consider doing sauna for 20 minutes at 170°F four times per week as an effective approach to support health 4.

Alternative to Sauna

  • If you don't have access to a sauna, using hot baths could be an alternative, with caution advised for men regarding reproductive health and heat exposure 4.

Please hydrate properly, ensure adequate salt intake, and approach these protocols with well-being in mind. It's critical to acclimate to the heat slowly, to avoid overheating, and to adhere to safety precautions.