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Minimum effective dose for CT?

Discussion in 'Cold Thermogenesis' started by sjoshua, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. sjoshua

    sjoshua New Member

    So this is a bit of a strange inquiry, and my guess is there is too little data to really give an effective answer... but it never hurts to ask :)

    I am using CT solely for the vast array of subliminal health benefits (immunity, well-being, longevity, etc.); I am already ~8% BF so don't need it to help me lose fat really. So far, I have experimented with daily cold showers (almost 2 months now). I really like doing them, and at this point I can basically jump right in without much more than a couple seconds of adapting... When I first started I would have to count to 90 or so before my body was tolerant without being uncomfortable. I also can feel myself radiating heat at night now as it gets cooler outside, and find I get overly warm if I wear something more than an A shirt or T shirt. (Aside: I live in San Jose; night temps only dip to ~50's this time of year)

    My question is, is there a minimum effective dose to CT? Or, what is the minimum amount that must be done in order to obtain the majority of the benefits? Is it merely a linear sliding scale of "more is better"? Are my showers sufficient or are the benefits 10 fold by switching to extended baths?

    If relevant, my diet is primarily keto: 6 days/week I eat 1 large evening meal composed of meat (grass fed beef or various seafood) and veggies cooked in coconut oil. Occasionally I will have a handful of walnuts afterwards, but usually my meal is more than sufficient. One day a week, typically on the weekend, I will allow myself to eat outside of keto, but still keep to 1 meal and use choices like sweet potatoes or trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried berries) and would estimate I don't surpass 150g carbs in the day.
  2. Dali Dula

    Dali Dula Moderator

    Any exposure below body temp is theoretically having some effect and it is cumulative. More frequent sessions are more effective than less. More is better. Dr K's protocol does not advocate for full immersion temps below 50 deg although many here practice at temps as low as 32. I am of the opinion that full immersion up to your ears is the way to go. If you have a way to swim at cold temps there is nothing better. Your skin should turn pink. I think Dr k would say you can't do this too much. As for diet try switching your big meal to breakfast.
    Brent Patrick likes this.
  3. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Dr. K. told me that cold showers aren't good enough ... nor is the ocean if it isn't cold. Tub and ice is the way to go!
    Don't get me wrong - the ocean is great - but if it isn't cold - and it hasn't been this summer ...then you still need a tub and ice......
    Brent Patrick likes this.
  4. MeghanK

    MeghanK New Member

    @sjoshua.... I'm in the same situation... i don't need to lose weight but am interested in the minimum dose of CT... I have been doing the 20" of cold 10" of warm for 5 minutes (Ray Cronise Protocol) in the shower.... I was hoping I get similar benefits without having to buy a bag of ice a day to do bath CT... what do you do in the shower? Do you measure the temp of the water....?
    Are you only eating one meal a day as per the "Warrior Diet" or doing a Lean Gains type IF 16/8....
  5. sjoshua

    sjoshua New Member

    Thanks for the feedback all!

    I wish I could relocate my office to a meat locker and just CT all day while at work ;-P Alas, not realistic for a desk jockey... I guess to clarify my inquiry, my intent for asking is to find the most efficient way if time is a factor (sure, the philaspohical answer is likely whether my time is worth more now vs. the benefits/longevity gained, but let's not get into that). From the sounds of the replies, my cold showers aren't enough and I need to up my game to baths. When adopting the baths, what would be the ideal temp/time allotment for achieving the MED? (For more info or some examples of MED, please check this article out: http://gizmodo.com/5709902/4+hour-body-the-principle-of-the-minimum-effective-dose ).

    @Dali Dula: Although I realize Jack supports a heavy morning meal, my diet is designed around convenience. I'd much rather spend the time to cook and eat in the evening then try to throw something together before going to work. My compliance is 100%, so I don't consider this to be an adjustable factor.

    @MeghanK: I keep a consistent, cold temp on the water for my whole shower time (~5-7 minutes); I have not tested the temp prior but I will attempt to check it tonight. Sadly my kitchen thermo recently broke, so I will do the best I can with the laser temp guage (the type for tracking skin/surface temps)... Do you know the temps yours run?

    My one meal/day was initially inspired by lean gains/IF, but it is strongly driven by and maintained due to personal convenience. Not having to cook, clean, or otherwise stop what I am doing to spend time pertaining to eating more than once/day is ideal for my lifestyle.
    When only cooking once/day, I tend to put more time and effort into crafting a gourmet-esque meal vs. just cookin' up some grub. Also, I have always been one to eat big when I eat, so this allots me the ability to do so without much issue.
  6. Andrés

    Andrés New Member

  7. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    any CT is worthwhile, but some need more than others due to their personal context.
    Brent Patrick likes this.
  8. Danco3636

    Danco3636 Silver

    sjoshua. Interesting that you make it one meal a day. Do you include any coffee or Bulletproof coffee dur
  9. Danco3636

    Danco3636 Silver

    sjoshua do you have any coffee or Bulletproof coffee during the day? Any other snacks? Also do you incorporate workouts during the day? I generally fast 16-20 hours a day and have two meals. For me one meal and I would be stuffed eating the required calories I would need. Unless it was mostly fat.... Now that may work with bacon as a meal. :) I generally skip breakfast as well having a lunch or late mid day meal.
    Sounds like it is working for you.
  10. sootedninjas

    sootedninjas New Member

    it's the keto diet that makes IF natural.

    I'll eat 1 meal around 4pm, following day around 8am or 9am I'll have a variation of bulletproof coffee then around 2pm do some kind of workout martial arts or strength training at the gym. and literally WILL NOT be hungry even after 2 hours.
  11. sjoshua

    sjoshua New Member

    Danco3636: Aside from a coffee in the morning with a splash of cream on the weekends only, I really just drink water. If I drank coffee before work I would be wayyy to wired to sit at a desk! I have maintained a much higher natural energy level since switching my diet ~2 years ago now. No snacking either, never have a need. I waste time with walks (2-2.5 mi) or bike rides (~10 mi) on my daily lunch breaks. 2-3 days/week before dinner and after work around 5-7PM I also do some sort of strength lifting using the reverse pyramid training style (a variation of a high intensity/low set/low rep lifting protocol).

    I aim to eat an avg. around ~140g protein/day, which is approx. 1g/lb lean mass (I think this may be more than I really need; I've been doing some rough experimenting with reducing protein and upping fat recently but need to do so in a more organized manner to really dial it in). My fat comes from whatever the protein sources I am eating contain, but I always aim to eat at least 1/2 my protein from a high fat source. Pair that with a pile (1-2 lbs) of broccoli/cauli/carrots/spinach cooked in coconut oil.

    Like I mentioned above, I have no problem putting away a lot of food in one sitting. But don't get me wrong, I'm not just force feeding myself. It typically takes me around an hour to eat my whole meal, and sometimes I will be snacking on it for ~2-3 hours.

    Sootedninjas: (cool name! ha) Sounds like you are living similarly to me. Curious - do you get hungry at all anymore? On rare occasion I will be too busy and have very little or no meal one day, and then continue my fast to the next evening out of habit (~45ish hours total). When this happens, I may feel a momentary pang earlier in the day, but find that I actually start to feel a little hungry again around my typical meal time that second night.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  12. sootedninjas

    sootedninjas New Member

    not really. I don't get hungry at all. sometimes I eat just because it's been 18 hours since my last meal. the beauty of keto diet is that you are not starving at all, not just hungry because being in ketosis is basically being a fat burner. the longest I've been w/o a meal is 25 hours last Saturday. When I moved around, like teaching Martial Arts or lifting heavy things, the less hungrier I get.

    looks like you got your diet dialed in. just tweaking it a little here and there. my current tweak right now of Epi-Paleo because it just make sense. I will putting seafood as the main food source in my pyramid then the standard keto paleo of grass fed offal and beef yadi yadi yada....

    What is your carb intake ?

    Mine is like 50g daily ala Volek & Phinney, Art and Science of Low Carb Performance.

    Since, I'm tweaking my diet right now to include more seafood and sea vegetables NOT sure how much more carbs that will add to my diet.

    I might just need to start weighing and counting calories for the next 2 to 3 weeks. I hate counting because I find it very stressful BUT it is a necessary evil sometimes when I tweak my diet BUT I soon as I get dialed in to the change I stop counting.
  13. sootedninjas

    sootedninjas New Member

    do you do any face dunking ?

    What should be the minimum dunk time @ 55 degrees ?
  14. sjoshua

    sjoshua New Member

    Ok, it sounds like your experience is similar to mine. I've noticed that even with food in front of me and immediately following an intense workout I'll occasionally have no motivation to eat it. I've been buying grass fed beef by the 1/4 - 1/2 cow for a couple years now, so always have a healthy supply of red meat, and also like to switch things up with mixing various types of fish/mussels, and the occasional fowl meat.

    I don't actively track my carb intake, but it is definitely <50g/day 6 days/week. During these days the only carbs I eat are a couple pounds of cruciferous veggies, with the occasional use of peppers/onions/mushrooms for variety. My estimate would be ~30-40g average. One day a week, typically saturdays and also typically following a strength training session, I will allow myself additional carbs through sweet potatoes and/or trail mix incl. dried fruit, nuts, chocolate; but I tend to keep this ~150g.

    Art and Science of Low Carb Performance is definitely a book that has interested me, but I haven't had the opportunity to read yet. Do you recommend it? I realize this is purely individual, but was it educational, or moreso a review of principles you were already aware of?

    Weighing and counting calories in veggies is fairly moot in my opinion, especially if you are sticking primarily to cruciferous veggies (of which I believe seaweed and probably other sea veggies are generally included along with or would at least be equivalent to) due to their lower carb content. But I understand your concerns about assuring you have things tweaked correctly.

    Just curious, do you have macros you aim for vs. your weight/lean mass? Have you experimented with adjusting protein/fat ratios to perfection?

    Also, have you implemented any forms of CT into your regimen yet?
  15. sootedninjas

    sootedninjas New Member

    1) Def we have similar diet. that is exactly what happens even if there is food in front of me. I bulk buy my grass fed beef too and pastured eggs BUT rarely eat fowl. too much omega 6. I always loved seafood BUT the cost is just sometimes prohibitive specially wild caught. But I've decided to change up and eat more seafood instead. However, I grow up eating a lot of offal so that will always be in the table and it is the cheapest part of the grass fed cow. Sometime I have a group of 4 people split a whole cow and nobody wants the organ, head, tongue and tail so I always end getting it all. suckers :)

    2) yeah about 50g daily is what Phinney and Volek suggested and def working for me. I highly recommend the book BUT as you said you are basically doing what they are recommending. They do discuss protein intake tho.

    3) Oh I am very high fat. When I was tracking my macros it was like between 75/15/10 to 80/15/5 (fat/protein/carb) and my weight is very stable. Carb goes up by 5% because from time to time I will have a 1 week worth of berries (strawberry, Blueberry, Blackbeery and raspberry) and mango too if it is relatively inexpensive, That's about my fruit intake. Protein is about .75g to 1g of protein for every pound of body weight. Heavy lifting days, 1x per week for 1 hour, post workout I might go as high as 1.25g of protein. I do high intensity lift a variation of super slow and static. 7 reps of 1 set. By the 7th rep I should be really struggling. If I can do about 8 or 9 rep w/o struggling then it is time to increase the resistance.

    4) Based on Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson discussions, try safe starches if you can tolerate it. I tried BUT heck after 2 days I noticed that my right was kinda swollen and my knuckles was hurting plus I suddenly got 2 big pimples in my face. That was the only thing that change in my diet. After I stop eating the safe starch for 1 week the swollen hand subsided and it was back to normal. So I guess, just like Dr. Kruse mentioned on Paleo Summit podcast he does NOT believed on safe starches.

    6) CT, I will start this weekend. Do some face dunking for a week or two.

    Have you done any CT face dunking ? Once you get your skin temp to around 55 degrees, how long should you be dunking your face for that session ?

    After, face dunking I might get one of those cold vest. Have you used any of those ? If you have which ones you recommend ?

    Then after cold vest, cold showers and see how it goes.
  16. sjoshua

    sjoshua New Member

    Very cool, I ended up with the heart and liver from my last cow buy, I requested all organ parts they offered that were available. The liver was soo delicious; I was thinking about making it into a liver jerky and having a piece or two every day for a steady supply of organ meat to supplement my other meat choices.

    Aside/observation: I had a couple friends in town visiting for the last week and due to this was eating grocery store meats(burgers/sausages) ... currently been burning through all the leftovers since I don't want to waste meat. But I can definitely feel the difference and cant wait to get back into grass fed. I aim to eat a week straight worth next week to remedy this. Maybe a night or 2 of mussels of to get some seafood in the mix.

    CT: I have been doing cold showers for 2 months now. I do them 6 days/week, allowing myself a warm shower over the weekend (but I notice I don't keep the water nearly close to as warm as I used to... so its more like luke warmish). I didn't start with face dunks or ice vests, I just went straight to the showers. When I first started, I found it easiest to just push through it and count to myself in my head for a distraction. At first I would count to 90+ before feeling accustomed to the water, but after a week or two of consistently decreasing counting times, it become much easier. As it stands, it only takes me a couple of seconds to adapt and then I am fine.

    Also, in an effort to feel the effects a little longer, after shutting off the shower I dont dry myself off right away but allow my body to bask in the remaining cold dripping water for a 60-second count. If I'm off from work and have extra time, I will throw some gym shorts on right away and get outside in the sunlight to let the cold water naturally evaporate; that feels great given the chance!

    If you are already LS, which I imagine you are considering what you've written, I don't think you'll need to baby step so much into the CT. Commit to a week's worth of cold showers and go from there. I may start doing the baths once in a while, but time constraints make it more difficult to fit into life.
  17. MeghanK

    MeghanK New Member

    How long do you take for your cold shower? Thoughts on 10 x 20" cold, 10" warm... so 5 minute CT...?
  18. sjoshua

    sjoshua New Member

    I take as long as I need to shower, I'd estimate 5-7 minutes. I do straight cold; haven't tried the alternating but am not really interested in being bothered by switching back and forth and tracking the time.

    Also, I apologize for not mentioning this sooner, but I attempted to check the water temp with my laser temp guage... but was not successful. If only my kitchen thermo hadn't broken recently...
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  19. brent-next

    brent-next Gold

    I have the same question. Does anyone have any new thoughts on how much time in cold water is one likely to need to notice improved insulin resistance, better blood sugar control etc? I also don't need to loose weight.

    I think that my winter swimming adventures were not nearly enough time in cold water to do me any measurable good.


    They do make you feel good (and feeling good is worth something) but my guess is that cold water in small doses has a small effect.

    Any new comments on this subject?
  20. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    DEpends upon your heteroplasmy rates......but CT is helpful in any dose and at any time because it shrinks the distance between the respiratory proteins.
    Brent Patrick and brent-next like this.

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