Heat and Cold


Here are some insights shared by Lex Fridman and Andrew Huberman discussing the benefits and applications of heat and cold:

  1. Heat and Cold Experiences:

    • Engaging in hot conditions activates heat shock proteins which help repair damaged proteins. This exposure also enhances the way endorphins bind to their receptors, making pleasurable events even more satisfying.
    • Cold exposure dramatically increases levels of epinephrine and dopamine, which can have long-lasting effects and are beneficial for discomfort endurance 1.
  2. Heat Therapy:

    • Regular use of saunas or engaging in activities that increase body temperature can lower the risk of cardiovascular events by 50%. Alternatives like hot baths or wrapping in warm clothing can also be beneficial if sauna access is not possible. These activities trigger the release of dinorphin, which plays a crucial role in how we process thermal stress 2.
  3. Cold Therapy:

    • Cold water immersion should be avoided immediately after workouts designed for muscle adaptation. Instead, employing cold therapy outside of this four-hour window or on non-training days can be effective.
    • The "Soberg principle" suggests ending with cold exposure to maximize metabolic increase during cold therapy 3 4.

      Benefits of Heat and Cold

      Andrew explains the benefits of being uncomfortable in the heat and cold, including the activation of heat shock proteins that repair broken proteins and the release of hormones like epinephrine and dopamine. He also discusses the benefits of strong heat stimuli in saunas and the potential benefits of infrared light.

      Lex Fridman Podcast

      Andrew Huberman: Focus, Stress, Relationships, and Friendship | Lex Fridman Podcast #277

These insights demonstrate the physiological benefits and considerations of using heat and cold therapy for health and recovery.