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Biological skeleton for testosterone, which is increased by cold showers and ice baths

The Molecular Skeleton of Testosterone

“Once you start doing cold showers – warm showers are shortly dismissed from thoughts. Honestly I think more of taking a cold bath than of ‘taking a regular warm shower.'” – Reddit User UltimatumQ

If this was the only benefit of cold showers, it would make them worth it. Cold showers increase low testosterone levels, fulfilling the frustrating quest of thousands of men and women who no longer feel drive and desire in their life (including those in their 20s).

Their predicament is because testosterone is a powerful hormone.

  • Men whose testosterone levels are slightly above average are less likely to have high blood pressure, less likely to experience a heart attack, less likely to be obese, and less likely to rate their own health as fair or poor. 1
  • Maintaining normal testosterone levels in elderly men has been shown to improve many parameters that are thought to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, such as increased lean body mass, decreased visceral fat mass, decreased total cholesterol, and glycemic control. 2
  • There are positive correlations between positive orgasm experience in women and testosterone levels. 3

On the flip side.

  • Preliminary evidence suggests that low testosterone levels may be a risk factor for cognitive decline and possibly for dementia. 4
  • A University of California at San Francisco study with men who were exposed to 30 minutes of “wet heat” (hot baths and such) a week. When the men cut this exposure out, their sperm count went up by 491%. 5 While it’s not certain that cold showers and baths increase sperm and testosterone, getting rid of the hot stuff will make you feel like they do.
  • Need to stop biting your nails? A study on how testosterone affects how people react when they win and lose showed that people with low testosterone didn’t change their preference to continue or abandon a competition, while those with normal T-levels chose to compete more when they won. 6 Low T-levels = you won’t care to move forward in life. You won’t be hungry for more so you’ll never get anything better, which is a shame considering that the fight is often the most enjoyable part of life.

Now that we’ve established that the important questions come up.

There are results questions: How much do cold showers increase testosterone levels? Will this increase be enough to make a difference to me as a bodybuilder?

and tactics questions: When in the day? How long? How many times a week? Can I wear a bathing suit?

The tactics are easy. At night 1 hour before bed. 5 minutes. 3 times a week. And no.

(Recommended: Breathing techniques that oxygenate the blood and rush heat through your system)

The results questions needed a little more investigation. In 3 hours of searching I found 3 stories that use can use as a guide for yourself.

From The Paleo Solution Podcast-

Greg Everett: The results came back a few days later lower then I had hoped for (577 ng/dL). Over the next three weeks I took ice baths 2-3 times per week, for a duration of 20 minutes per bath, at a water temperature in the low 50’s. At the end of the third week I had my Testosterone tested again at 9am; this time it came back at 707 ng/dL.

From The 4 Hour Body

PROTOCOL #1: LONG-TERM AND SUSTAINED

Fermented cod liver oil + vitamin-rich butter fat— 2 capsules upon waking and before bed

Vitamin D3— 3,000– 5,000 IU upon waking and before bed (6,000– 10,000 IU per day), until you reach blood levels of 55 ng/ mL.

Short ice baths and/ or cold showers— 10 minutes each, upon waking and right before bed

APRIL 3, 2009 (BEFORE) TO AUGUST 20, 2009 (AFTER)

Total testosterone: 244.8 to 653.3 (normal: 170– 780; it would later jump to 835, more than tripling my original value, with the addition of Brazil nuts)

Free testosterone: 56 to 118 (normal: 47– 244)

Percentage free testosterone: 2.3% to 1.8%

Bioavailable testosterone: 150 to 294 (normal: 128– 430)

Albumin: 5 to 4.6 (normal: 3.5– 4.8)

DHEA-S: 170.5 to 201.8

FSH: 6 to 8.5 (normal: 1.27– 19.26)

Estradiol: 39 to < 20 (normal in males: < 47)

From Muscle for Life

Researchers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science did find that fluctuations of testosterone within the physiological normal range had significant effects on body fat percentage.

The higher the testosterone levels, the leaner subjects were. And conversely, the lower the testosterone levels, the fatter they were. When researchers decreased certain subjects’ testosterone levels from the baseline average of 600 ng/dl to around 300 ng/dl, they saw a dramatic 36% increase in fat mass.

Although the exact mechanisms behind this aren’t fully understood just yet, research has show that testosterone directly inhibits the creation of fat cells and that low testosterone is a contributing factor to obesity.

 

In short, they work. Now it’s up to you. Try cold showers or ice baths for 1 week. If they don’t work out you can just go back, but if they work.

Take your life by the reins and move it in this direction, I know you won’t be disappointed.

IAAF World Champion using the advantages of cold showers to win

(Photo Credit: Andrey Zverev)

(This post is about the subtle, but large benefits to daily life and work that cold showers can give. If you’re looking for the physical and mental health benefits of cold showers you can find them here and here.)

The benefits of taking an cold shower and ice bath are catching on. The top runners and bodybuilders of the world universally take them, but why a regular guy/gal would want them is less talked about, and that’s a shame. Trust me, my experience has shown me that there’s more to these shriek inducing wonders than getting the biggest muscles in the gym.

What they do for me (and what they’ll do for you) is more subtle than goals like that, it’s more elegant. The cold harsh water shapes perspective and gives internal strength. The strength to do what needs to be done and let go of talking about “problems.” Things that don’t matter but are an easy way to fill time. I get it, it’s hard being “on” all the time, but soon you’ll start being “on a little break” more and more of the time. I was a master at letting myself do less than I could, and less than I should. I implore you to not make as deep a mistake as I did. It’s easier to beat the competition and win once you know how close you are too it, take advantage of this and do what must be done. It feels better than you can imagine.

Life Advantage #1 – Energy

This is the main physical change that lets you work hard enough to do what you want to do. It’s a jolt as powerful as a cup of coffee and it’s been reported to relieve whole-body pain too! A study on the effect of water exercise on the symptoms of 73 multiple sclerosis patients revealed a 50% decrease in pain. There were also improvements found in the occurrence of spasms, disability, fatigue, depression, and autonomy. From my experience these effects come partially because the intense cold demands your full attention. That focus on just one thing translates to everything you do for the next few hours, unless you’re acting particularly whimsical that day.

Life Advantage #2 – Complaining Less

The most effective and consistent strategy for sticking with the cold water setting is having a goal. Something that you need an extra push to accomplish. It works because the habit feeds back into itself, becoming easier over time.

Once you take a cold shower for an explicit reason you will be more likely to not excuse yourself from whatever reason it is with complaints. You’ve already worked towards completing your goal by virtue of the cold shower, so are you really gonna let all that effort and discomfort go to waste? Not too likely. On the flip side, next morning you’ll remember how much progress you made yesterday because of your simple willingness to withstand the mild cold. This process starts your internal encouragement engine. “If I did all that because I just tried a little, then I can be better than him/her.”

The winner isn’t usually the best, but the more willing.

Cold showers aren’t hard, and they aren’t pointless, unless you let them be. Have goals each day and you’ll be able to go far.

Life Advantage #3 – Outlook

This study, done by Pirkko Huttunen from the Department of Forensic Science at Oulu University, found that winter swimming improved the mood and general well-being of the swimmers. Distractions get a little less distracting. “Shocking” and “disturbing” events lose some of their bite. Everything becomes more trivial in the face of what you’ve already done that day.

Usually once I sit down to work, I look at it and say “Well I might as well do it, I’m feeling pretty good and I have some time.” Life has amazingly become easy in comparison to when I wasn’t taking a morning cold shower.

To wrap this up, the advantages of cold showers are…

  1. Physical energy and fatigue are lessened or eliminated
  2. Complaints fall away, feeling petty and unnecessary
  3. Outlook changes, and harsh events lose their bite.

Remember this when you’re thinking about whether you should get in or not. Don’t choose the one you’ll regret. Alright internet friends, time for me to go. Until next time. – Daniel Best June 6, 2016

Acne goes down with cold showers

(Photo Credit: alyhasacne)

Hot showers or cold showers for acne? Well the answer is easy and I’ll tell you why.

I’ve  been taking cold showers for 2 years now on and off. Every time I take hot showers I get acne. Every time I take cold showers that acne is gone.

The reasons are simple.

Hot showers increase body temperature. This causes veins to expand so they can capture the heat in order to use less energy keeping your body at 98.6 degrees. Expanded veins is literally part of the definition of inflammation, also known as acne. The greater the inflammation the greater the acne.

Cold showers decrease body temperature. This makes veins contract to move away from the surface of the skin in order let less heat out of the body. This reduction in inflammation also comes with increased growth hormones adiponectin and irisin to rebuild your skin (without the acne) faster and an increase in white blood cells which will kill acne causing bacteria in your pores.

Don’t just take my word for it though. I searched for “cold showers acne” on google and the first 30 results said the exact same thing – cold showers are good for acne. Here are the choice quotes I found.

Results Don’t Lie – Cold Showers Help Acne

“The results were absolutely extraordinary” – Richard W.

“I noticed my skin was gentler, and softer to the touch, especially my face.” – Lizette B. of Medical Daily

“I remember once I started, the results were pretty immediate.” – Chris P. Founder of Acne Advice For Men

“My skin looks 100x better. I used to get tiny pimples on my back [and] now they are gone. I remember when i took hot showers and went to sleep with clear skin i woke up with pimples all over my face lol but not anymore since I [take] cold showers.” – Wreck

“I’m no longer shocked by the cold, in fact… it doesn’t bother me at all now. I’ve been doing this for probably a month and have been significantly clearer than I have for as long as I can possibly remember. I can attribute my progress to this therapy more than anything else I’ve been doing. Trust me guys, it costs nothing to try this. What do you have to lose?” – Jared

“I’ve had acne for a long time and finally cured it.” – L.J.

“Ever since I used steam/hot water before shaving and then use cold water to close the pores my face has gotten WAY better. I ALWAYS put my face under cold water when I’m done with a shower. Noticeably smaller pores.” – Josh L.

“I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s better to be aware of the fact that hot showers make acne worse, than to continue to let your skin worsen. Not all hope is lost though unlike hot water, cold water does not do damage to the surface of the skin. You’ll notice that your skin retains a lot more moisture following cold showers.” – Seth Founder of screwyouacne.com

“I tried it and within a week my skin cleared up 95%.” – Heather G.

“Cold showers cured my chest/back acne. At 25 I went on a course of accutane that completely cleared it but it all came back. I didn’t want to continue accutane so I searched for another solution. Someone here suggested cold showers, I tried it, and within 2-3 days I saw a 50% improvement. In a week, about 90% improvement. My routine is to take a warm shower, then for a minute 3 separate times, make the water freezing and stand under it making sure it hits different parts of my chest and back. Pretty much everything else that I tried just irritated my skin, I even continued to try some washes after I found cold showers to work since they were unpleasant. I’m so happy that I found a solution not involving accutane that is guaranteed to work.” – Stacy

“Always take a cool shower or bath following an exercise regime of any kind. Exercise causes your pores to open up to produce sweat. A cold shower will wash away bacteria and close your pores back up after exercising to prevent the intrusion of more bacteria.” – Michelle C.

“Cold showers rule, even in the winter. I shower with hot water and then give myself a good cold rinse before stepping out. Believe it or not, I’ve actually gotten used to it and rarely have body acne since I’ve started. Just sayin…” – Kristin J.

“I went to the paleo diet and didn’t see much results. Although, when i completely stopped using my acne wash/toner/cream and started taking cold showers the results were drastic! I recommend to anyone struggling with acne to not let any hot water touch their face and try the cold shower method for a week. The results will be AMAZING.” – Dylan

“If I would have continued having hot showers through my teens, today Id be a ugly pock marked man who no one would care to look at. cold showers constantly made me look brighter and amazing” – Sam

“The colder the water, the more fortunate you are!” – Tara B.

“I used to take the type in which you get into a warm shower, then gradually turn it to cold. But for the past year or so I just step into cold water. It’s much better that way: it wakes you up with a blast of cold, and you leave it feeling invigorated. I recommend them.” – P. D. Mangan

“I used to have two hot baths a day and had shocking skin. I haven’t had a hot bath in three weeks, just cold showers. This is the best my skin has ever looked! Surely not just a coincidence.” – John

“Something that people with dry skin should never do: Take hot showers.” – Levi A.

Take cold showers and see your acne disappear. It’s that simple.

Cheers to not being embarrassed in public anymore my friends. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Daniel Best – June 3, 2016

What to do after an Ice Bath - Drink hot coffee of course!An ice bath is a very chilling (haha) experience your first time around. After you’re done you’re probably thinking “I should get myself warm, but does that defeat the purpose?” Should you jump in a hot shower after an ice bath or let your let your body adapt to making itself warm again on it’s own?

Luckily most of the benefits people want from cold water therapy don’t go away once you’re warm again. The internal results of an ice bath, including

  • Fat loss
  • Reduced Soreness
  • Muscle Repair
  • Depression Prevention
  • and more

come regardless of whether you make yourself hot afterwards. These effects come from hormonal changes, neurotransmitter increases, and cold shock protein activation, that stay regardless of whether you go into a boiling sauna afterwards or not. [click to continue…]

Athlete Ice Bath Instructions. Ice Bath for Athletes complete guide.Ice baths in high-level sports are typically done with large professional facilities that have water cooled to mid 50 degrees for right when people are getting out a match or game. Luckily we don’t need to be so fancy ;).

Things to remember

How long should an Athlete take an Ice Bath?

The answer on the internet is 10 minutes for soreness after the activity that causes it. 20 minutes, 3 times a week, for losing weight and gaining muscle.

How cold should an Ice Bath be?

This study done on the effects from various temperatures of water on the body showed the greatest effects from 55 degrees Fahrenheit so that is what we will aim for.

How much Ice should I use?

Till the water+ice+you hits the place where you can be comfortable either sitting with your upper body above the water or your entire body below your neck is below the water. [click to continue…]

Icy day in parade gardens. When to take an ice bath? Right now.

(Photo Credit: Richard Mathews)

A question as old as warrior society’s is: when do I take a ice bath? The practice can be found in the training of both the famous Spartan army and Aikido martial artists of China.

For them harsh cold was used to purify the body, toughen the mind, and find your spiritual center. Not to mention that it gets you ripped.

The question though, is the right way of taking the ice bath. There are very few people that know, or talk about the actual mechanisms of action that make ice so wonderful. The first thing to consider is what type of exercise you are doing. Aerobic exercise (running, jump rope, biking) works out the heart and burns glycogen (stored carbohydrates) from your muscles or lipids from your fat cells. Anaerobic exercise (lifting weights) causes muscles to break apart so they can reform bigger and stronger. Part of the effects of both is presumed to be from increased body temperature, which increases insulin sensitivity in muscle cells and thus muscle growth. [click to continue…]

Getting cold exposure through surfing instead of cold showers

(Photo Credit: Daniel Ramirez)

This post details every way to get cold exposure there is and by doing so answers the questions of “How do get the benefits of cold showers if I HATE cold showers?” & for the hardcore out there “What if I want to get LOTS of cold, more than just cold showers?”

How to get cold – Your options

67 degree (F) room or house, especially for sleep as it can increase both the duration and quality of sleep which aids muscle growth (better sleep = more muscle regardless) and the maintenance of Brown Adipose Tissue.

Sleeping without a blanket (Fold it in half and cover your legs then fold it again to cover less and less until you get rid of it completely. Wear socks to aid the transition to not having a blanket.)

[click to continue…]

Girl looking sexier weighing more because of muscle and bodyfat % changes

No matter who it is (even me) you should know the signs that we’re wrong. This is how to tell if I’m right about using the cold for fat loss.

The photos from this blog post at paleo zone nutrition show people at various levels of bodyfat and muscle composition to show you that weight may fluctuate, or even go up, and you could still be lowering fat. This site demonstrates the difference quite well.

http://paleozonenutrition.com/2012/04/25/what-does-your-body-look-like-on-the-inside-more-reasons-to-lift-weights/ READ MORE

Wim Hof, along with people he trained in his method, climbed to the base of everest unconventionally. The men were wearing nothing but shoes and shorts and the women wearing that plus a top. They trained over 4 months and he gave them technical instruction on only 4 days throughout the whole process.

Naturally I was curious how they trained.

This post will teach you the 1st lesson from his method which he created and uses. He and his students have all shown, within the first month (often under a week):
Stopping endotoxin bacteria from harming them within 15 minutes (usually takes WEEKS to go through your system)

READ MORE

Usain Bolt shows us his cold immunity by smiling from his after run ice bath
Let’s say you want to become better at basketball than you’ve ever been before and you can ball Lebron James for simple, but effective, training advice. Who’s your first call? That’s an easy answer. Here’s a hard one: Assuming you don’t have his home phone number (I’m envious if you do) what would he say? What would anyone who is really good at what they do, say for advice on going beyond your previous limits? What advice would come from everyone ranging from Lebron James and Serena Williams to Usain Bolt and Katharine Hepburn?

[click to continue…]