Hyperthermic Conditioning for Hypertrophy, Endurance, and Neurogenesis

Hyperthermic Conditioning for Hypertrophy, Endurance, and Neurogenesis

dr. Rhonda Patrick here in my last video an accompanying article I discussed growth hormone and igf-1 and their performance longevity trade-off on the one hand as a downstream mediator of growth hormone igf-1 has many positive effects associated with youth such as decreasing fat while increasing lean muscle mass increasing verbal memory and increasing neurogenesis the growth of new brain cells and also promoting muscle repair on the other hand mice worms and flies that are genetically engineered to have high levels of growth hormone or igf-1 have substantially shortened lifespans hence the trade-off heat acclamation through sauna use a term that I call hyperthermic conditioning can help achieve and give you many of those positive effects associated with igf-1 without the risk of high levels of growth hormone or Supra physiological levels of growth hormone that’s associated with growth hormone therapy today I’m going to discuss how acclimating your body to heat through using something like the sauna either in conjunction with or independent of exercise can induce physiological adaptations that can help improve your endurance performance and the acquisition of muscle mass in addition I’m going to discuss how he Taklamakan and positive effects on the hypothalamus and neuro endocrine system many of these impacting brain function including neurogenesis lastly I will discuss how he acclimates or modulating your core body temperature may also be responsible for the term known as the runner’s high so let’s begin with the endurance enhancements first PETA acclamation increases the blood flow to your skeletal muscles this increases glucose esterified fatty acids and oxygen to your skeletal muscles often times during endurance training your skeletal muscles will deplete these nutrients and then they have to rely on local glycogen stores anecdotally endurance athletes often talk about hitting a wall while this in biological terms is referring to when your muscles have depleted local glycogen stores in fact it’s been shown that heat acclamation reduces the need to rely on glycogen stores between 40 and 50 percent as compared to not being heat acclimated second heat acclamation increases blood flow to the heart this lowers cardiovascular strain and lowers the heart rate for the same given exercise workload these things allow physical activity to be maintained for a longer period of time as compared to not being heat acclimated third is heat acclamation increases blood flow to the skin and it activates the sympathetic nervous system which allows sweating to occur at a lower core body temperature and to be maintained for a longer period therefore lowering your core body temperature it also releases norepinephrine which is a vasodilator among other things and allows for heat to be dissipated more official efficiently also lowering the core body temperature so let’s take a step back from these nuts and bolts and talk about what kind of endurance gains you can expect from heat acclamation through sauna use in one study male runners engaged in the 30 minutes on a session two times a week after their workout these runners were able to increase their running until exhaustion by 32% and they experienced and accompanied seven percent increase in plasma volume and 3.5 percent increase in red blood cell count it’s thought that the increase in red blood cell count was due to a compensatory mechanism for the increased plasma volume and possibly through erythropoietin heat acclamation through sauna use can also have positive effects on muscle hypertrophy is gaining muscle mass muscle hypertrophy mostly relies on increasing the size of muscle cells which depends on increasing protein synthesis exercise is a well-known inducer of muscle hypertrophy because it increases net protein synthesis but unfortunately it also has to combat the effects of oxidative stress which increases protein degradation at the same time so anything that can combat oxidative stress during exercise will result in a net increase in protein synthesis and thus muscle hypertrophy there are three ways that being heat acclimated can increase muscle hypertrophy first it’s through the induction of heat shock proteins second is by boosting growth hormone levels and third is by improving insulin sensitivity heat shock proteins as their name implies are induced by heat this robust induction of heat shock proteins upon heat exposure is a prime example of hormesis heat shock proteins are able to repair damaged proteins and prevent protein oxidation by scavenging free radicals and by increasing endogenous antioxidants in our body such as glutathione and this is how they are able to cause a net increase in protein synthesis acclimating your body to heat can also result in higher basal expression of heat shock proteins as well as a more robust induction during later elevations in core body temperatures such as during physical exercise in one study in rats hyperthermia conditioning resulted in a robust induction of heat shock proteins and is correlated with 30% more muscle regrowth compared to controls after seven days of immobilization the second way heat acclamation effects muscle hypertrophy is to the release of growth hormone the anabolic effects of growth hormone are well-known for example growth hormone administration to endurance athletes for four weeks resulted in 50% less protein oxidation and degradation thereby increasing muscle hypertrophy but what’s not well known is that the sauna also effects growth hormone levels these effects depend on the temperature time spent and the frequency of sauna use for example two 20-minute sauna sessions a day at 80 degrees Celsius can result in a two-fold increase in growth hormone levels over baseline but perhaps what’s more surprising is the profound effects that frequency of sauna use can have on growth hormone levels and this really highlights the physiological adaptations that occur as a consequence to hyperthermic Lia conditioning your body to heat to one hour a day sauna sessions at 80 degrees Celsius for seven days in a row resulted in a 16 fold increase in growth hormone levels over baseline in men that’s pretty huge you the third way in which heat acclamation can promote muscle growth is by improving insulin sensitivity insulin is anabolic because it decreases protein degradation much like heat shock proteins and growth hormone whole body hyperthermia has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity in an obese diabetic mouse model what’s also interesting is that heat stress which is known to boost growth hormone levels in humans has been shown in flies and worms to cause about a 15% increase in lifespan now this is counter to what you might expect if you watched my last video on the performance longevity trade-off the reason for this is that heat stress induces hormesis and that causes the increase in expression in genes and proteins such as heat shock proteins that are known to improve longevity intermittent heat exposure and heat acclamation also have positive benefits on the brain these positive benefits include increased neurogenesis improved learning and memory and improved focus sauna adduced hyperthermia also has a profound effect on norepinephrine and prolactin levels and one study individuals that stayed in the sauna until exhaustion had a 310 percent increase in norepinephrine and a tenfold increase in prolactin levels norepinephrine helps with focus and attention and prolactin is important for myelin growth myelin increases the efficiency of the electrical activity in your brain and is also important for repairing nerve cell damage in addition to increasing norepinephrine heat acclamation also increases the biological capacity to store norepinephrine for later release this is very relevant for disorders such as ADHD which is often treated with norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and is associated with decreased norepinephrine release during exercise heat stress also increases neurogenesis hyperthermia in conjunction with exercise increases the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor BDNF even more so than extra ellone BDNF is often referred to as a Miracle Grow for brain cells because it increases the growth of new brain cells and it promotes their survival of already existing neurons BDNF also increases neuronal plasticity which is important to learn new information as well as to remember and retain that new information be gen-f has also been shown to decrease depression and anxiety associated with early life stressful events and if that weren’t enough BDNF can also be released from your muscle cells where it promotes muscle repair and the growth of new muscle tissue all I can say is Wow a couple of other interesting facts about physiological effects of heat stress ever wonder what’s responsible for the runner’s high or the post exercise high in general you may think it’s due to the release of endorphins but that’s not the whole story endorphins also known as beta endorphins are part of the body’s natural mucoid painkiller system this is the same system that potent narcotics like morphine interact with well you may not be familiar is the counterpart to this the Kappa opioid system dine or Fionn is responsible for that feeling of dysphoria it is the opposite of endorphin the discomfort experienced from intense exercise heat stress or even eating spicy foods is due to the release of that dysphoric opioid Dyne orphan it is the release of Dyne orphan that causes your new opioid receptors to become sensitized to that feel-good opioid endorphin hyperthermia from sauna use increases Dyne orphan levels and subsequently endorphin levels even more than exercise alone did you retain all that awesomeness I just threw it you okay let’s have a quick recap heat acclamation through sauna use a term I call hyperthermic conditioning has been shown to improve endurance by increasing nutrient delivery to your muscles and thereby reducing the need for glycogen stores by improving vascular mechanisms and reducing heart rate and also by improving thermo regulatory mechanisms and lowering core body temperature it’s been shown to improve muscle hypertrophy by the by preventing protein degradation and thereby causing a net increase in protein synthesis from the pulp following three mechanisms one by inducing the expression of heat shock proteins which also are induced from a hormetic response that has been shown to improve longevity and lower organisms secondly by increasing the release of growth hormone and thirdly by improving insulin sensitivity hyperthermic conditioning through sauna use also has important positive effects on the brain it increases the release and the storage of norepinephrine which is important for focus and attention it increases prolactin which helps your brain function faster through myelination which is also important for repairing damaged nerve cells in addition increases BDNF which increases the growth of new brain cells it is important for learning and memory and also helps decrease depression and anxiety that’s associated with early stressful events lastly it also increases the expression of dine orphan which sensitizes your body to the feel-good and orphan I believe that hyperthermic conditioning in general is worth a closer look as a tool in the tool bit of athletes beyond its more traditional role as a means of relaxation because hyperthermic conditioning works by inducing stress in order to build stress tolerance it should definitely be used with some level of caution and common sense particularly with regards to your own unique body chemistry here’s one more thing for you CrossFit people out there heat stress has been shown to increase the expression of heme oxygenase one which as it turns out is also known as heat shock protein 32 and has been shown to protect against the toxic effects of rhabdomyolysis in rodents I’m dr. Rhonda Patrick and I’ll catch you next time you

100 thoughts on “Hyperthermic Conditioning for Hypertrophy, Endurance, and Neurogenesis

  1. Very interesting stuff! One question I had but can't seem to find an answer for: How do the elevated HGH levels after heat acclimation compare with the HGH levels of someone actually taking/injecting HGH? For example, if someone is taking 2iu of HGH, are their levels 500% above normal? 2000%? If I'm subjecting myself to heat exposure am I anywhere near the levels of someone actually taking HGH!? Thanks for the great video!

  2. So if I were to do the 2 one hour sessions a day for a week. Would I have to keep that time and frequency up to continue seeing the benefits ?? Or would I be able to reduce it 20 or 30 minute sessions or so ?

  3. And….what about IGF-1? You asserted in your previous video that HGH's effects were mediated primarily through IGF-1, which, you asserted, potentially has life-shortening effects, ergo, the "trade-off" in your words. Are you saying that hyperthermia induces HGH without inducing IGF-1, or that hyperthermia somehow negates or overrides the adverse effects of IGF-1?

  4. Could anyone answer how cold showers relate to this topic in anyway please…
    I would like to understand if they is a right way to mix the 2 methods

  5. Two 1-hour sessions per day at 80 C = 176 F?! Are you fucking kidding?! 140 F at 10% humidity MAX: https://www.livescience.com/34128-limits-human-survival.html

  6. You are quickly becoming my favorite YouTube resource for health and fitness related information. As a addiction recovery coach I really appreciate your work.

  7. when you say 16 fold, that sounds like your saying to the 16th power of the base. Just say its 16 times greater, why the hell would you make it so unnecessarily complicated?

  8. Rhonda, if your local gyms sauna didn't get quite hot enough (155 to 160) could you do anything to help raise heat? Where clothes?

  9. My spirit animal… 🐼 Absolutely love you and your work!! God I wish my Dad would listen to me. If I could get him just to intermittent fast and use the sauna he'd reverse so much sickness.

  10. Dr. Patrick, what are your thoughts on the effect of sauna on male fertility, because there are numerous studies showing that heat exposure lowers sperm count? How to get the benefits of hypertermic conditioning, contrast showers and sauna, without exposing to heat?

  11. Norepinephrine is a vasoconstrictor, not a vasodialator (3:10). It would do the exact opposite of what you are claiming. It is the most potent treatment available to vasoconstrict patients that are septic in an ICU and provide hemodynamic support. It constrict peripheral blood vessels, shunting blood volume away from muscles and toward vital organs to maintain function.

  12. I lost count of her big words. The first 100 were fine for me. I buy it! Where do I sign? Oh yeah, an I'm goin to the sauna RIGHT AWAY!!

  13. On a healthy body, but if you have a severe condition on your Pituituary gland, I have experienced after a Sauna, a terrible feeling on my brain. and sudden low blood preassure…….Even though, i still love Sauna's1

  14. I find myself to be a dry person at times. I like steam rooms over saunas, but either aren't easily accessible to me. I wonder if i can reap the benefits mentioned here by taking hot showers. I do already take warm/hot showers and enjoy them but if i did this it would surely use more water sadly, but still nonetheless may be better for me in my situation.

  15. Hi I have a question: if holding one's breath for as long as possible also gives someone the same results in increasing growth hormones by 3 to 16 fold, but holding one's breath doesn't overall really affect one's performance, what is the difference in terms of affects between holding one's breath and going to the sauna.

    Also, I noticed that in the studies showing runners increased red blood cells and performance by a certain percent after both running and using a sauna, but is is this increase in percentage compared to people who don't use a sauna or is it just compared to sedentary people. Because if the later, then how do we know if the sauna did anything..

    I have a lot of similar questions to each of the studies you mentioned (as the obese mice study seems questionable, the growth in flies and worms don't really seem to relate to humans, and many more). Also, how much did total growth hormone increase throughout the day instead of one specific time right after sauna use.

  16. Curious if exercising in tropical climates, with high humidity and temperatures, provides similar benefits?

  17. Great info. I have to keep pausing because of the amount of knowledge. Maybe (sorry to say this) maybe soften the vocal delivery a bit?

  18. How in the world are people doing 1 hr sessions at 176 degrees Fahrenheit. That's crazy. I can do 30 minutes at my gym which is only 140 degrees (although I do run before).

  19. Hi everyone,

    This is very interesting and exciting, as I love all of the benefits you have explained here and without needing to take in exogenous sources of these hormones.

    My philosophy has ALWAYS been to optimize my bodies ability to produce its own hormones within itself and with my own endocrine system.

    The Sauna times seem to be very long, and I feel would be dangerous if you were not conditioned to take these long durations.

    I would begin with 5 minutes per day, and then each week, I would increase by 5 minutes for each days sessions.

    This video is almost 5 years old, are these findings still holding true now?


  20. Hi Dr. Patrick,

    I want to start using a sauna and a cryotherapy chamber to supplement my training. Out of curiosity, when would you say is the best time to use them? I feel like it makes more sense to do the sauna in the evening and then to do a morning cryotherapy session. I typically do my workouts in the morning, but it wasn't sure how effective a workout would be after having done a cryotherapy session. Thank you for your Insight!


  21. i always get a paper and pen every time i watch one of her videos. but the 13 minutes video becomes 30 minutes.

  22. Thanks for the valuable information Dr. Rhonda. I have always been a big believer of the amazing benefits of sauna exposure and I have a very good heat tolerance. However, I have noticed recently that my hands are getting swelled up during sauna exposure and I feel tingling in my hands which has been concerning. I would like to know if this is a common situation and how safe is to keep the sauna exposure. Also, it would it be great to know about the relationship between hyperthermia and electrolytes depletion or dehydration. Thank you SO much!

  23. After introducing the sauna into my training routine, I wanted more info. It is mind blowing to see the potential health benefits available!
    This video is the best thing I've seen on the internet on this topic.

  24. As if I didn't have enough to worry about with just getting quality water, essential vitamins, and minerals. Now, where do I find a sauna? :-O

  25. You made my day Dr Ronda Patrick .There are 3 fundamental things with directly effect my life: a- insulin insensitivity, b- neuropathy which is damaged myelin sheets on the peripheral nerves ,c- declining memory ,probably beginning senility. And loss of muscle muscles . What can I say I love you!

  26. Super information on heat therapy.

    Lots more going on than just relaxation.

    I do some hot tub time before and after workouts to warm up and stretch. Apparently I get a lot more out of it then just that.

    Thank you for the video.

  27. hi dr rhonda patrick, i saw your video lectures in the philippines , i think with dr Achacoso and i read about jennifer doudna’s work on gene editing but i love your work more on nutrition and biochemistry.

    ive been on depression for many years and just found out on webmd that depression and cardiovascular is linked.

    i like to know your facebook page cus i like to listen more on health and wellness through nutrition and biochemistry because biochemistry is the foundation of nutrition on how food nutrients affects genes and combat cardiovascular disease.

    hopefully if you could have another conference in the philippines not just in manila but also in cebu. im from cebu, philippines. i love to listen your lectures. thanks for everything!

  28. Would you
    write a standard prescription for me that prescribes a hot tub for therapy which is
    medically necessary for the treatment of ailment/body part conditions and elimination of stress?

  29. I came on here thinking that she was going to be talking about the benefits of ice cold baths and showers. Am I sooooo glad that it is the opposite. I love the sauna!!!

  30. Thank you Dr. Patrick,
    Another great video on my Finnish sauna regimen.
    I am very impressed with your style and excellent research. I've discovered many new things about the sauna that are more beneficial to me at my age then just the tradition of getting very clean.
    Keep up the great work!

  31. I'd like a link to any studies that suggest these benefits as id like to read them for myself. Sources would be nice.

  32. Ok, I'm going to give saunas a try for a month and see how I feel. Is it optimal/OK/detrimental to do right after weight lifting?

  33. It has improved my sleep. I went to a sauna for the first time last Saturday and repeated this the next day. I slept well for the entire week. I'm going back tomorrow.

  34. I love your videos I’m preparing for a stem cell injections to regenerate my optic nerves as I became blind only one year and a half ago and I promised myself I would do everything in my power to regain my vision. These videos are helping me prepare my body to the pre-and post injections. I’ve been doing the sauna and cold showers alternating for a week and it is insane how my anxiety and stress is going down I’m finally able to sleep better this way effects that I am noticing. Thank you

  35. Hello! Quick question. I do a cold shower before going in the sauna 20-25 mins. Then another cold shower after. Is this okay? Or I’m i destroying thyself lol 😆

  36. Dr. Rhonda, can a person with kidney disease safely use a sauna? If so, might it have any benefit for that person? I'm starting to love your videos, BTW.

  37. the best part is that you don't have to remember any of this stuff. Just workout and go get in a sauna as much as possible.

  38. Has anyone study men who work in high temperature environment ,such as foundries .I would like to compare twins that work in different work temperatures.

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