What are the benefits of cold exposure?


Cold exposure has been associated with a variety of benefits according to . Some of these benefits include:

  1. Metabolic Increases: Cold exposure can lead to a rise in metabolism and brown fat stores, which are beneficial and function as a heat source during cold conditions 1.
  2. Mood and Focus Enhancement: The release of catecholamines like dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine during cold exposure can result in substantial improvements in mood and focus that persist for hours 2.
  3. Resilience and Self-Discipline: The practice of engaging in cold exposure can foster a sense of self-discipline and build resilience over time 3.

    Benefits of Cold Exposure

    Andrew discusses the numerous benefits of cold exposure, including increases in metabolism, brown fat stores, and dopamine levels. He also explains how dopamine affects our perception of time and offers tips for managing discomfort during cold exposure.

    Huberman Lab

    Time Perception & Entrainment by Dopamine, Serotonin & Hormones | Huberman Lab Podcast #46
  4. Reduction in Inflammation: Cold exposure has been shown to reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial for recovery and overall health 4.
  5. Conversion of Fat Cells: Studies have suggested that cold exposure can assist in converting white fat cells, which store energy, to thermogenic beige or brown fat cells, which aid in keeping the body lean 5.
  6. Stress Inoculation: Deliberate cold exposure has been touted as a method for building mental resilience and increasing tolerance to real-life stressors 6.
  7. Lower Inflammation for Recovery: It can assist in lowering inflammation in the body, which many people seek post-exercise or to reduce general bodily inflammation 7.
  8. No Significant Rise in Cortisol: Surprisingly, despite the stress of cold exposure, there are no considerable increases in the stress hormone cortisol, suggesting that it induces what is known as eustress, a beneficial stress that can lead to positive health outcomes 7.

These benefits need to be balanced with safety considerations. It is essential to approach cold exposure gradually to avoid shock to the system and ensure that the exposure is "uncomfortably cold but safe" 4.