Ice Baths Boost Testosterone: Best Practices & Tips w/ Tom Seager, PhD

by Mike Mutzel


Dr. Seager discusses science and best-practices with cold immersions for supporting hormonal health.


Support your Workout Sessions and Healthy Hydration with this Creatine Electrolyte Combo by MYOXCIENCE
Save 12% with code podcast at checkout

Save $350 off an amazing Cold Water Immersion tank with code HIH350: morozkoforge.com

Study References:



Show Notes:


2:25 Surprise is a basic human emotion that opens all your senses. Surprise updates your belief systems.

03:20 Complete freedom from stress is death. Stress is part of what makes us alive. There is a systemic beneficial response.

03:40 Thermal contrast is used to measure physiologic responses to stress. Adapting to this kind of stress is a measure of your resilience.

04:40 It is your beliefs about stress being harmful that cause harm to your health.

05:00 Our ancestors lived in discomfort and sought comfort. We should be seeking discomfort. Intentional discomfort with recovery makes us more resilient.

07:10 Water cold as 60 degrees will help your metabolism. Psychological resilience begins at water about 39 degrees.

09:50 HRV improves with cold exposure. Your heart rate should expand or contract to adjust to the demands of your body. HRV is a physiologic measure of your psychological resilience. It makes your heart more resilient.

11:30 Ice cold water exposure activates thermogenesis, the autonomic nervous system, and production of neurotransmitters and hormones that your body needs when your fight/flight system is on high alert.

13:10 When you come out of the ice water, you feel like superman.

14:30 Autonomic conflict theory: You will gasp. Gasp reflex activates fight/flight, increases your heart rate. If you cannot calm your breath, you may hyperventilate. A countervailing reflex is the dive reflex where you automatically shut down your breath and metabolism goes into conservation mode. It conserves oxygen and builds up carbon dioxide and slows your metabolism.

61:10 Your heart rate goes up In an ice water bath, and your liver releases glycogen into your bloodstream to fuel your muscles.

16:30 Tipton’s hypothesis is that if you are subject to both the gasp and the dive at the same time, it will create an autonomic conflict that may cause your heart to skip a beat. It is potentially an issue with people with arrythmia. However, there are no documented cases of heart arrythmia and cold emersion causing issues.

17:25 Contraindications of cold exposure: drowning, hyperventilation, and breath hold. Hyperventilation purges the carbon dioxide from your system and can shut down the receptors that give you the urge to breathe.

18:40 Go feet first. Bathe sober. Breathe continuously.

20:25 Primary Raynaud is a complex extreme over reaction to cold. It is partly physiological and part psychological. In general, cold induces vasal restriction. To protect your core, your body changes the circulation of your blood, shutting off circulation to your fingers, toes, and limbs. It reduces heat extraction.  Secondary Raynaud is a vascular disorder caused by some other disease.

22:10 Anxiety makes a Raynaud response worse, which makes the anxiety worse.

22:25 Exposure therapy has been a successful method for overcoming primary Raynaud.

28:40 You can micro dose cold exposure. The first 15 seconds bring on an autonomic response, fight/flight. Consistency is important.

32:14 Tom brought down his PSA to 0.8 with keto and more consistent ice baths.

32:40 Testosterone goes up when a cold bath is done before exercise. Do not ice bath for recovery if you are trying to build muscle mass.

36:00 Precool (cold exposure) before exercise for peak muscle power, endurance. Precooling protects mitochondria. Testosterone response goes way up.

36:55 Cold stimulation in women raises saliva testosterone. Testosterone is the dominant sex hormone in women, but not to the same levels as men. Testosterone is important for women at all ages. Menopausal women who experience a testosterone deficiency have no FDA approved treatments.

42:40 Brown fat is an essential organ. 30% of babies’ weight is brown fat.

43:40 Without regular cold exposure, you will lose all your brown fat. By age 40, 95% of Americans have 0 detectable brown fat.

43:55 Metabolic disorders are associated with a lack of brown fat. It is a secretory organ. It makes hormones. It makes more thyroid stimulating hormone than any other thing in your body.  Thyroid and brown fat work together. If your brown fat has dissipated, there is nothing to modulate thyroid activity.  Hyper or hypothyroidism is common in people with no brown fat.

44:40 Cold exposure is a potential remedy for thyroid disorder that does not require a lifetime of RX meds.

45:00 Beiging white fat, recruits more brown fat into your body. Brown fat produces neuroprotective hormones for your brain, thyroid stimulating hormone, and it will modulate your metabolism to bring it back to order.

46:55 Everyone’s body is evolutionarily designed to expect cold exposure, exercise, and certain nutrition.

48:25 People who live in thermal neutral environments generally have a higher rate of adiposity.

49:00 Cold exposure burns fat and calories when you are in it, but your body compensates for the caloric deficit after.

 50:10 Cold exposure remodels your fat. It changes visceral fat into subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat can be benign. Visceral fat (pot belly fat) can kill you.

50:40 Electrical impedance meter is not calibrated for brown fat. Don’t worry about absolute numbers.

54:40 Eleven minutes a week is enough time to keep brown fat working.

59:44 Ice bath can provide the emotional arousal needed to consolidate short-term memory into vivid long-term memory.

01:00:40 Shivering can be for thermogenesis, and it can be for nervous system release. Your nervous system can release trauma via trembling. PTSD is unresolved stress. Trauma is when stress has no release or resolution.

01:06:55When buying an ice bath: What is its temperature? Is it grounded? The tub must be electrically connected to the earth. What kind of water treatment does it have? Ozone is the most powerful water disinfectant for cold water.

01:10:40 Tom adds Epsom salt, potassium sulfate, zinc sulfate, and he does not shower after. Magnesium is stored in your bones, not your blood. Keep chloride out of your ice bath.



Leave a Reply