Dr. Andrew Huberman & Cold Plunges: 7 of His Unique Thoughts

Joey Randazzo

Published: Oct 31, 2023

Last Updated:

7 Times Dr. Rhonda Patrick Talks Cold Plunges: What Are His Thoughts?

Did you know that Dr. Andrew Huberman has cryo chambers as his 4th favorite deliberate cold exposure therapy?

Yep, he has 3 other types of cold therapy that are better than cryo chambers.

As you can see below, he’s pretty hyped on it.

In this article, we’ll share some of his other thoughts on cold plunges and cold therapy in general.

What I love about him is that he’s well-rounded.

He’s not a fad guy.

A lot of the gurus that have come and gone get stuck on one thing…

  • Eat keto
  • Fast for 7 days a year
  • Cold exposure will guaranteed make you the healthiest person ever

No.. that’s not Dr. Andrew Huberman. 

He’s thoughtful. He discusses a variety of topics within the general area of “health.”

And because of that, it makes me particularly keen to understand his thoughts on cold plunges because I know it’ll be intentional, thoughtful, and based in science (which reduces its likelihood to be a fad that comes and goes).

So instead of you scouring the internet, listening to podcasts, and spending 2 days of your life trying to find what Dr. Andrew Huberman thinks about cold plunges, we did the research for you.

This guide shares 7 times that he talks about the cold and what his beliefs are.

If you hate reading, here’s the general summary on Dr. Andrew Huberman’s belief about the cold

The cold has a ton of profound positive benefits, including:

  • Increases energy and focus
  • Can promote fat loss (especially in men)
  • Builds resilience and grit
  • Can enhance mood
  • Increases metabolism.

But all cold exposure isn’t created equal. Ideally, here’s the protocol:

As quoted on his website

“Consider doing deliberate cold exposure for 11 minutes per week TOTAL. NOT per session, but rather, 2-4 sessions lasting 1-5 mins each distributed across the week. Again, the water temperature should be uncomfortably cold yet safe to stay in for a few minutes.” 

Cold Plunge Thoughts from Dr. Andrew Huberman: The 7 Thoughts

1. Stop building a thermal layer. Move during your cold plunge

Here’s a 43-second clip where he talks about this:

Joe Rogan and Andrew Huberman BlueCube and Thermal Barrier

Here’s what he says:

When you get into an ice bath, if you act stoic and still, what you’re actually doing is building up a thermal layer. Kinda like a fortress for warmth. You’re not allowing the cold to seep in. So if you’re operating from an ice bath perspective (like most folks) instead of an expensive cold plunge, then the best thing you can do is to move during your ice bath. Don’t stay still.

Here’s some more information that may be helpful (the info below is not directly from Dr. Andrew Huberman - we extrapolate to provide more context):

Ice Bath Limitations:

  • Temperature rises with use (unless continuous ice is added).
  • Inconsistent temperature due to lack of flow.
  • Fails to break the thermal barrier.

Cold Plunges with Low Flow Rates:

  • Some flow is better than still water for cold exposure therapy.
  • Low flow rates don't fully break the thermal barrier.
  • Test the flow rate by moving arms and legs; inadequate flow shows increased intensity when moving.
  • Low flow rates can't counteract the impact of body heat, unsuitable for intense cold plunging.

Cold Plunges with High Flow Rates:

  • High flow rates eliminate the thermal barrier, forcing the body to work harder to stay warm.
  • Similar to swimming in a chilly stream or the cold ocean.
  • High flow doesn't significantly increase intensity when moving.
  • Results in greater hermetic stress, adaptation, and health benefits in less time.
  • Analogous to lifting free weights with momentum versus using an ARX fitness machine with constant resistance.

2. Cold plunges can increase dopamine, a positive type of stress

Cold exposure leads to the prolonged release of dopamine, a potent molecule known for its mood-enhancing, focus-boosting, and goal-oriented effects. Even brief periods of cold exposure can result in lasting increases in dopamine levels, leading to elevated mood, enhanced energy, and improved focus.

Click here to learn more about what Dr. Andrew Huberman says.

3. Cold plunging (cold water immersion) is the BEST type of deliberate cold therapy you can do (yep, better than cryo!)

Here’s exactly what Dr. Andrew Huberman says (start at 34:53):

Using Deliberate Cold Exposure for Health and Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast #66

“The second most common question I get about deliberate cold exposure is whether or not cold showers are as good, better, or worse than cold water immersion, up to the neck for instance. I also get a lot of questions about whether or not cryo chambers are better than all the others, et cetera, et cetera… 

I’m going to make all of that very simple for you by saying that cold water immersion up to the neck with your feet and hands fully submerged is going to be the most effective.

Second best would be a cold shower.

Third best would be to go outside with a minimum amount of clothing, but of course clothing that is culturally appropriate, that would allow you to experience cold to the point where you would almost want to shiver or start shivering.”

4. Deliberate Cold plunging gives you a better “furnace” when done 11 minutes per week

Deliberate Cold Exposure — How to Do it RIGHT with Dr. Andrew Huberman | The Proof Podcast EP 205

Your body has something called brown fat.

It’s not the blubbery fat that you want less of.

Dr. Andrew Huberman straight up calls it healthy fat.

And in this video above, he references a study out of Denmark that shows that doing deliberate cold exposure for 11 minutes per week, broken up into 2-3 minute chunks, increases the density of brown fat in adults and allows them to feel more comfortable in cold temperatures.

There are a whole host of other benefits that he shares in the video above when doing deliberate cold exposure:

  • Improving resting metabolism
  • Improving blood lipid and insulin management profiles
  • Improving mental resilience
  • And many more

5. There’s no perfect “cold” temperature for plunging - it should be uncomfortable to the point where you tell yourself…

“I really want to get out.”

If you’re in cold enough water where you are telling yourself that you really want to get out, then that’s cold enough.

There’s an important caveat though:

You should feel safe.

See what he has to say in this video below:

Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman Explains Benefits of the Cold Plunge

I think this is a really important thing to discuss (and I think Dr. Andrew Huberman would agree).

6. Cold plunging (immersion) led to a significant reduction in fat (if you’re a man?)

Embed this Instagram post.

Here’s exactly what he says in his comment:

“This new study had subjects do 1 cold immersion and five cold showers per week. The men in the study experienced significant fat loss. The women did not. Both men and women experienced significant positive psychological shifts across the duration of the study. Those were stable changes and not just during the cold exposure.”

7. The Søeberg Principle is wicked cool (pun intended)


The Søeberg Principle, developed by the deliberate cold researcher Dr. Susanna Søeberg, suggests a method to optimize the metabolic benefits of cold exposure: "End With Cold." 

This approach involves allowing your body to naturally reheat itself after exposure to cold temperatures.

Additionally, embracing shivering during or after cold exposure can further enhance the metabolic effects. Shivering triggers the release of succinate from muscles, which in turn activates brown fat thermogenesis.

To increase shivering and maximize the benefits of cold exposure, follow this protocol:

1. Avoid huddling or crossing your arms while in the cold or after coming out of the cold environment.

2. Refrain from vigorously towel drying your body; instead, allow it to naturally reheat and dry off.

Although challenging, adopting this protocol can lead to more substantial metabolic effects. While it may be tempting to take a hot shower and towel dry after cold exposure, doing so may limit the overall impact on your metabolism.

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