What if I told you that there was a 90 second hack you can do each morning which could

  • Boost Your Testosterone Levels

  • Optimize Hormone Levels

  • Bulletproof Your Immune System

  • Improve Circulation

  • Increase Your Ability To Burn Fat

  • Reduce Stress

  • Aid In Battling Depression

With all of the above claims, you might say it’s worth a shot, eh? Allow me to blow your mind by showing you why you’ve been showering wrong for all these years.

What the heck am I talking about? Hot and cold hydrotherapy is the name of the game, and it is probably the greatest daily hormone hack that you can add to your morning ritual.

What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy has been used for thousands of years. It is the use of water for restoring, maintaining, and regulating health. Treatments include steam baths, saunas and hot and cold compresses, among others. Water is used both internally and externally in many different forms, such as steam, liquid or ice. Many people use hydrotherapy in many different ways, and it can be carried out both by a professional and at home.

Make Cold Showers And Polar Plunging A Priority

First I want to discuss the benefits of cold exposure. When you are exposed to cold water, remarkable processes start happening in the human body.  First of all, it is a natural stimulant to the sympathetic nervous system, so people who are trying to get off of coffee and sugar can get a tremendous energetic surge from a cold shower, or a cold bath, or a dip in the cold water. What happens is that it shocks the autonomic nervous system to immediately regulate blood flow to the surface of the body which happens whenever you are sympathetically activated, except you are not doing it by a drug you are doing it by natural means.

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There’s something else! As the body gets colder and colder it reaches a point where you get what’s called hunters reflex; have you ever been so cold in water that you started to go numb? Right when the body starts to go numb like that it triggers a hunters reflex and shunts the blood out from the surface of the body into the glands and organs.

Do you see what just happened? We’ve had a complete reversal of the direction of flow in the arterial vascular system; when you first get in the cold water it shocks you, your autonomic nervous system turns on and sends blood to the surface like crazy, so it opens all the vessels going outward, then when you start to get numb, the body says “I gotta survive this thing, I better keep the central nervous system and organs warm, I don’t care if my arms and toes freeze off I need to keep my brain and guts alive!”, so it now turns around and redirects the blood inward, so what this does is it gives you a vascular massage, it opens the pours, and closes the pours, it opens the vessels, and closes the vessels.

Just like muscles need exercise to grow,  smooth muscles (organs, glands, arteries, veins) all have walls that have participation. Veins aren’t so active like arteries are but when you are in cold water you are activating the arterial muscular system, activating the vascular system, you are pumping the lymphatic system, you are stimulating the autonomic nervous system which naturally excite the adrenal glands and gives the adrenal glands healthy exercise as opposed to stressful exposure to chemicals.

Several studies (shown later in this article) prove that the shiver, shiver, is totally worth it.

HOT AND COLD HYDROTHERAPY

A hot shower or bath is what many doctors recommend for people who have trouble falling asleep — to help them fall asleep. The reason: Emerging from a hot shower into cooler air brings a sudden decrease in body temperature1, leading to a tranquil state of mind. This is helpful when you’re looking to fall asleep but not what you need before you start your day.

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The secret lies in the contrast. Here’s how to do it:

Once you’ve finished your normal showering ritual, crank the nozzle as cold as it goes, and stand under the water for about 30 seconds. You will feel shortness of breath and feel like your heart is coming out of your chest, but hang in there!

After 30 seconds, turn the water up as hot as you can stand for another 30 seconds. This opens up the capillaries, increases blood flow and provides an all-around sense of stimulation.

Finally, cap it off with one more cycle of icy cold. You should always end on cold.

Hot and cold hydrotherapy has been used for thousands of years. In Finland, the country is home to 2 million saunas! (for a population of 5 million)

SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF HOT AND COLD HYRDOTHERAPY:

Reduced Stress: 

stress1Stress is the silent killer. Every feeling you have affects some part of your body, and stress can wreak havoc on your physical health even if you’re doing everything else “right.”

Stress plays a major role in your immune system, and can impact your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance. It is increasingly being viewed as a cardiovascular risk marker.

Mounting research shows that people exposed to traumatic and/or long-term stressors, such as combat veterans, New Orleans residents who went through Hurricane Katrina, and Greeks struggling through financial turmoil, have higher rates of cardiac problems than the general population. According to NBC News:2

“Disasters and prolonged stress can raise ‘fight or flight’ hormones that affect blood pressure, blood sugar and other things in ways that make heart trouble more likely, doctors say. They also provoke anger and helplessness and spur heart-harming behaviors like eating or drinking too much.

‘We’re starting to connect emotions with cardiovascular risk markers and the new research adds evidence of a link,’ said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association spokeswoman.”

Your heart is not the only organ that takes a beating when you’re stressed. While under stress, your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure rises, and blood is shunted away from your midsection, going to your arms, legs, and head for quick thinking, fighting, or fleeing.

In a study on free radicals, 10 healthy subjects swam regularly in ice-cold water and showed adaptation to oxidative stress and hardening3 (an increased tolerance to stress). Stress keeps your hormones out of whack, so it’s wise to do everything you can do adapt to the stress of daily life.

A Stronger Immune System: 

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Your immune system is a complicated, interesting and amazing system which helps keep you healthy and strong, protecting your body from environmental stressors.

However, no matter what you do sometimes your immune system gets tested.

All great athletes know this. They train hard so their bodies stay healthy and they can perform at their best. But they still have physiotherapists and health professionals on call because they know sometimes life just throws a curve ball.

That’s when hot and cold hydrotherapy come into play.

A study found that taking daily cold showers increases the number of disease-fighting white blood cells. In an attempt to warm up, the body speeds up its metabolic rate and activates the immune system, releasing more white blood cells.4

Improved Blood Circulation:

Improve-Your-Blood-Circulation-NaturallyAs mentioned earlier in this article, when exposed to cold water, our arteries and veins constrict. This temporary tightening allows blood to flow at a higher pressure, which is great for cardiovascular health.

When you first get in the cold water it shocks you, your autonomic nervous system turns on and sends blood to the surface like crazy, so it opens all the vessels going outward, then when you start to get numb. So it now turns around and redirects the blood inward, so what this does is it gives you a vascular massage, it opens the pours, and closes the pours, it opens the vessels, and closes the vessels. Resulting in optimal blood circulation.

Increased Ability To Burn Fat: 

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Not all fat is created equal, according to several new studies. Researchers found that “brown fat,” typically found in babies, is present in adults and has impressive calorie-burning powers.5

Another study shows that cold-induced glucose uptake results in the creation of brown fat cells, which create warmth, burn energy and keep you slim.6 Brown fat for the win!

Boost Testosterone Production:

testosteronepicThere’s a reason why your testicles hang in that pouch. It’s because the gonads need to be few degrees colder than rest of the body is for optimal function. When it gets hot, the sack works by lowering itself down so that the balls get “cooled down”, this is their way of escaping the heat of the body.

When it’s cold, the sack stays in place, or even rises higher in your body.

Any man that is having problems with maintaining an erection probably means he’s too dried out, too hot, too burnt out. A simple solution, cold shower. According to a study, human testis perform at their best when they’re around 31-36 °C (87-96 °F). Anything hotter than that will negatively impact DNA synthesis, spermatogenesis, and most likely also testosterone production.7

Another study found that rats who were exposed to 43 °C (109 °F) heat for 15 minutes had significantly lower testosterone levels and a staggering 65,4% reduction in testicular weight when compared to control group.8 You are probably thinking that this study isn’t valid since they tests rats but keep in mind that male humans share nearly identical testicles with male wistar rats.

This study tested 6,455 semen samples for a period of three years. They found out that sperm quality, volume, and motility was significantly higher in the colder months of the year.9 The same precursor hormones (LH and FSH) that kickstart spermatogenesis, also start the testosterone synthesis; this is not just a coincidence.

Aid In Battling Depression: 

depressionA 2008 study found that adapted cold showers stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and increase beta-endorphin levels in the blood.10 They send a high level of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could produce an anti-depressant effect.

 

 

References and Sources:

1 Emerging from a cold shower into cooler air brings a sudden decrease in body temperature, leading to a tranquil state of mind

2 Mounting research shows that people exposed to traumatic and/or long-term stressors have higher rates of cardiac problems than the general population

3 10 healthy subjects swam regularly in ice-cold water and showed adaptation to oxidative stress and hardening

4 Taking daily cold showers increases the number of disease-fighting white blood cells

5 Brown fat has impressive calorie-burning powers

6 Cold-induced glucose uptake results in the creation of brown fat cells, which create warmth, burn energy and keep you slim

7 Human testis perform at their best when they’re around 31-36 °C (87-96 °F)

8 Rats who were exposed to 43 °C (109 °F) heat for 15 minutes had significantly lower testosterone levels and a staggering 65,4% reduction in testicular weight when compared to control group

9 Sperm quality, volume, and motility was significantly higher in the colder months of the year

10 Adapted cold showers stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and increase beta-endorphin levels in the blood

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