We’re going to get really science-y in today’s episode, but thanks to my former podcast guest Dude Spellings and his brilliant interpretations of the research published by Dr. Jack Kruse on cold thermogenesis, we will be reviewing these mind-blowing insights in an easy to understand way.

If you want to learn essential information about cold therapy, the science behind its benefits, and how it can actually reverse the aging process through therapeutic cold exposure by enhancing mitochondrial function (crucial to longevity, since mitochondrial dysfunction is the root cause of all disease), this is the episode for you. 



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Brad (00:00):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Brad (00:38):
What’s happening inside your body when your body gets cold is the fluid contained inside your cells heats up.

Brad (00:40):
Hey, listeners, we’re gonna get really sciency, but thanks to my former podcast guest, Dude Spellings, and his brilliant interpretations of the research published by Dr. Jack Kruse on cold thermogenesis. We’re gonna try to get it down to, uh, somewhat understandable, these mind blowing insights about how you can reverse the aging process at the quantum physical level in your mitochondria, in your cells. You can reverse the aging process through therapeutic cold exposure, and you’re doing so by enhancing mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the energy producing power plants located inside most of our cells. It’s become an emerging topic in the progressive health circles. There’s entire books written about how to improve your mitochondrial health, and many scientists and medical experts agree that mitochondrial health represents the root of all health, energy, vitality, and longevity. And mitochondrial dysfunction represents the root cause of all disease.

Brad (02:01):
It comes down to your body’s ability to produce energy. And if you suck at producing cellular energy, you are on your way to accelerated aging, demise, disease, and death. And if you are a highly energetic human who can perform, you’ve also heard all the science recently about one’s VO two max value. That’s a measure of exercise, uh, capacity, oxygen intake capacity during intense exercise. This is also highly correlated with longevity. And of course, getting that mitochondria to make ATP efficiently is what makes you an active energetic being. So how does cold exposure come in here? And if you haven’t heard of Jack Kruse, he’s way out there on the cutting edge and possibly a controversial guy in some circles because his stuff is so far out there. But he’s a brilliant, neurosurgeon, noted biohacker longevity expert.

Brad (03:02):
He has some wonderful blog articles, and I have done a complete recording prior about his article on his website called Cold Thermogenesis 7. And he takes us around the 24-hour human biological clock, noting the hormonal processes, that are happening in the body on a circadian clock. So you’ll learn in that episode the best time to have sex, the best time to work out, the best time to eat, and particularly how amazingly important the hours of 12 midnight to 3:00 AM are for your hormonal function, repair and restoration, and how sensitive your body is, where it requires complete darkness, and hopefully your sleep that whole time, because that’s when growth hormone and other adaptive hormones come out to play. And they’re very, very light sensitive and they’re very sensitive to, uh, disruptions in healthy sleeping habits. So, Kruse is definitely one of the cutting edge proponents of cold exposure.

Brad (04:08):
I remember talking to him, oh, 10 years ago, where he was reporting that he had made it for, uh, an hour in an ice bath in his bathtub at home. And I was like, wait, are you kidding? So the water near freezing, he has gone out to the very, very cutting edge of what the human can handle and the effect on the human of extreme cold exposure. But that’s not what we’re gonna talk about here. We’re gonna talk about establishing a regular practice of therapeutic cold exposure to improve mitochondrial health. And if you’re not familiar with the topic, probably consume some content because it’s so popular these days. You can find my, uh, comprehensive online course. I believe it’s the most comprehensive online multimedia course on getting started with a cold therapy practice that you can find on brad kearns.com.

Brad (05:01):
It’s called Take the Cold Plunge, and I’ll have everything you need to get up to speed on this interesting practice, but one that’s been widely misinterpreted and misappropriated. It seems like it’s turned into a macho contest. I love the parody, uh, videos on Instagram where people are joking about, um, you know, putting cold exposure and, and bragging to the world about how tough they are. So really what we want to focus on is therapeutic exposure to cold water, to help with things like fat burning and mitochondrial function in the case of the focus of this message. So, you realize that exposure to cold increases the activation of brown fat as well as regular white body fat. What’s happening inside your body when your body gets cold is the fluid contained inside your cells heats up. That’s because mitochondria are working in overdrive to produce ATP.

Brad (05:58):
That’s the energy source for cellular respiration, the energy currency of the body. We’re working hard and the mitochondria is heating up because we’re cold, we’re trying to keep our body warm, the body reacts when we plunge into cold water. Here’s an insight that we also are familiar with. When water heats up, its volume shrinks. It’s one of the few materials on earth where this is true. And when water is cooled, its volume expands. How do you already know that? Put a plastic water bottle in the freezer and see what happens. It busts out of the confines of the bottle. So this is an important insight to remember as we go through the story, but you already know this. So, interestingly cold water expands when it’s cold and shrinks when it heats up. Now with smaller intracellular water molecules, this means when you’re in cold water, the respiratory proteins inside your mitochondria, they’re called cytochromes, can move closer together.

Brad (07:07):
This makes the mitochondria and the cytochromes vastly more efficient at doing their vitally important job of fueling ATP. When your cytochromes move closer together, they can shuttle electrons more quickly through the electron transport chain. This enables you to make more ATP more quickly throughout the body. For every angstrum that’s a scientific term, meaning 100,000,000th of a centimeter. For every angstrum that cytochromes move closer together, you achieve a tenfold improvement in ATP production. So if you’re completely oblivious to the scientific terms, it doesn’t matter. What we’re saying is when you engage in therapeutic cold exposure, your mitochondria become better at making energy inside the body by a vastly exponential tenfold improvement in ATP production. Now, why is it good to make energy more efficiently? Forget about cold exposure for a moment. Think about someone who runs warm with warm body temperature.

Brad (08:16):
They’re comfortable in cold temperatures outside even with less clothing. They’re fast moving, they move quickly. They think quickly. Their leg is fidgety when they’re sitting at a table. These are highly energetic human beings, which is by and large an indicator of a robust health and longevity potential. There’s even been research showing that one’s walking. Speed is directly correlated with longevity. The faster you walk, the greater longevity potential you have outside of your fitness and getting outta breath. And they also have research about fidgeters and fidgeters have a tendency to maintain better body composition better metabolic function just because they’re producing energy at rest. In contrast, we see, uh, very clearly with a lot of disease patterns, especially, associated with thyroid dysfunction, people who run cold, who have a tendency to easily get cold hands and cold feet.

Brad (09:14):
They’re very sensitive to outside temperatures and need to dress warmly. They can’t handle even the slightest disturbance by going out in cold weather for a few minutes. They have a tendency to move slowly or a tendency to remain at rest. The object at rest remains at rest. So you could use the word lazy, because once they’re ensconced in the couch to watch evening entertainment, they’re kind of have a hard time getting up and answering the door to get their DoorDash. Just teasing a little bit. But, um, we know the problems associated with that sluggish metabolism and those running cold symptoms. If you have spent time around a senior citizen, you will realize that they’re very temperature sensitive. And if you go into the nursing home, you’ll see them dressed up in sweaters and coats, even in a normal room temperature environment because they’re so sensitive to cold.

Brad (10:06):
I remember spending time with my father in his final months and days at the age of 97. So he had a good, beautiful run, but he was always wearing his robe and a sweater underneath that and was very sensitive to cold. And we’d have the heat dish working in his room so that he would feel more comfortable because he was not as efficient at producing his own body heat and making energy in the ATP, just a normal consequence of aging and ultimately, um, being on your deathbed. Right. Okay. So these are like kind of undisputed insights. In contrast, someone running hot, as we talked about earlier, is likely indicating optimal ATP energy storage and the extra energy because they already have optimal energy storage. The extra energy is used to generate heat through the uncoupling of mitochondria.

Brad (11:00):
And the uncoupling of mitochondria has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, a key health and longevity marker, lower free radical production, react reactive oxygen species, and help optimize lifespan. So increasing this mitochondrial efficiency is especially relevant as we age because mitochondria grow larger and further apart through the normal process of aging. How do we experience this or prove this? That’s a decline. It, it can be represented by, for example, a decline in both explosiveness and endurance. Hey, that’s what makes sense to me when I’m sprinting around the track and my recent track meet and looking at that clock, and I’m thinking, wow, I went all out, felt strong, was powerful down the home stretch, but the clock is wrong because 10 years ago it was, uh, five seconds slower. In fact, track and field experts contend that you lose about one second per year in your 400 meter time as a well-trained athlete, uh, dealing with aging.

Brad (12:06):
It’s so funny to me to, you know, realize that sation of what it’s like to run all out pace for one lap. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, or for example, run all out pace for one mile and when I’m up on my toes and feeling strong and pushing the pace and pumping the arms, and when I was 25 years old, I checked my watch and it was 4:47, and now it’s 6:00. I’m like, Hey, what the hell’s going on here? This is a decline in mitochondrial efficiency. They’ve also done interesting research on video gamers, and it is widely acknowledged that the top competitors, the, you know, the professional gamers who are making millions of dollars competing in these tournaments and playing video at the highest level, the highest ranking on the online streaming, they peak in their late teens or early twenties.

Brad (12:57):
One comprehensive study of competitive gamers and gamblers revealed that 39 year olds were 150 milliseconds slower than 24-year-old players. This represents a massive competitive advantage when you’re trying to shoot somebody or whatever you’re doing, race the car on the popular video games. This is also relevant to the insight that you become less insulin sensitive and more carbohydrate intolerant as you age. That’s due to the mitochondria’s ability to process energy and, for example, deal with an overload of carbohydrates from the hot fudge sundae. So if you go down to the ice cream shop with a teenager and you both inhale a hot fudge sundae, the teenager’s gonna be fine, and you’re gonna be feeling like collapsing on the couch. Dr. Doug Wallace of the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine in Philadelphia asserts that our hetero plasmic, that’s the number of mitochondrial mutations in a cell, our hetero plasmic degrades by about 1% per year.

Brad (14:07):
This is one of the a fundamental essences of age related decline. So going back to that discussion of how cold exposure causes the mitochondria to heat up within the cells, if cold therapy can reverse this age related distancing of mitochondria by one angstrum, that’s like reverting your cognitive processing athletic abilities and fat burning efficiency back to how they were 10 years ago. Dr. Wallace also presents extensive research, linking mitochondria and the many diseases and chronic health conditions they’re associated with and how this can be improved. So if you can do anything to boost mitochondrial function, you are going to have a profound anti-aging effect. We’ll talk now about Einstein’s theory of relativity and the profound assertion that getting your cytochromes closer together can literally delay the process of aging. A general description of Einstein’s theory is that, he said, as objects speed up, time slows down for them relative to other objects.

Brad (15:22):
Trying to give you an easy way to understand all this stuff. So hopefully you remember the movie Interstellar with Matt Damon, and remember how the astronauts were visiting other planets and traveling through black holes and time warps and space as they call them. And remember how the spacecraft had a problem they needed to do a repair on a planet that had a different time, uh, association from Earth. And they were delayed one hour fixing the spacecraft, and they were really stressed about it because a one hour delay on a distant planet represented a loss of seven years time on Earth. And the movie carries on to where they come back and they astronaut to see their little child is now a teenager just because the spacecraft broke down on the other planet.

Brad (16:14):
So that was fun to watch in the Hollywood movie, but everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson confirms that while the movie presented an extreme example of time dilation when in proximity to a black hole, this stuff is the real deal. Research from Cambridge University, bringing it back from outer space to real life research from Cambridge University, suggests that as we age, we lose cognitive processing speed, obviously for an assortment of reasons, including the degradation of the electron transport chain that I talked about, that the, mitochondria are responsible for. And so losing that cognitive processing speed causes time to seem to pass faster, and our days seem to go shorter. Quote, clock time is not the same as time perceived by the human mind. We’re gonna put this all together for an anti-aging epiphany that will have you ordering a cold plunge from my special discount code, saving you $150 off in no time.

Brad (17:27):
That’s at the cold plunge.com. The discount code is Brad podcast. And you’ll love these wonderful units. How about that? For a smooth commercial in between this highly scientific discussion, hopefully you’re following along, but maybe we can relate on a practical level that days seem to pass faster for the elderly. Days go by shorter. Again, back to the example of my father. We’d bring him out from his, uh, resting times for lunch and get him to walk down the hall and have a bite to eat and then shuffle back to the room for reading or rest. And then we’d go and get him, uh, for dinner time. And he’d say it, it’s already dinner time. Didn’t we just have lunch? And of course, five hours had passed, but for him, time seems to pass faster and the days seem to go by more quickly.

Brad (18:18):
So here’s the thing. Those electrons vibrating inside your body are actually you. In the quantum physical sense, the tiny subatomic particles, um, which are comprised of the thousands of mitochondria in almost every cell of your body, represent the building blocks of your body. Dr. Deepak Chopra my favorite book, I believe his first book, the Incredible Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, explains quantum physics in a really practical way that will be, uh, memorable even for me decades later after I read it. But he says things like, we are not physical beings separate from the world around us, and we are assumed erroneously to be tracking on this linear path of aging and eventual death. What we perceive to be our physical body is actually what Deepak describes as a swirling mass of atoms. So when I went to Deepak’s wonderful live presentation many years ago in Sacramento, California, he instructed us to introduce ourselves next to the person next to us, someone we didn’t know, and you were instructed to introduce yourself, in my case.

Brad (19:26):
Hello. I am the swirling mass of Adams known as Brad. And that is more literally, scientifically accurate than seeing yourself as an independent being from as Deepak describes intently, you know, from the desk or the tree, or the vehicle that we’re traveling in. It’s all just a swirling mass of atoms. And so these atoms are constantly renewing based on signals from our environment. And Deepak goes into detail about how the body works. He also did this on Oprah, on his wonderful appearance there decades ago. But from a literal atomic perspective, we actually manufacture a new stomach lining every week, and we make an entirely new liver on a molecular atomic level, very six weeks. Continuing Deepak’s quote, within just a few months, most of the calcium and phosphorus crystals that make up your skeleton have come and gone.

Brad (20:29):
Every year 98% of all the atoms in the human body have been exchanged. Why did I throw this section about Deepak’s insights about quantum physics into this story? It’s because if you can manipulate and improve your mitochondrial functions by moving the the cytochromes closer together, you can influence the aging process just like the astronauts on the other planet, you can delay. And of course, we know all kinds of ways to screw up healthy mitochondrial function and literally speed up the aging process by making a crappy new liver every six weeks, right? We’re still gonna turn over the atoms, but if we have lifelong adverse health consequences adverse health practices, like smoking, like drinking alcohol, like poisoning liver in so many ways that we do, then we are going to degrade, degrade, degrade over time. So here’s Dude Spellings summarizing, my spewing insights from Deepak Chopra, from Jack Kruse and so forth.

Brad (21:46):
Quote from Dude: the cold water forces your mitochondria to make heat, and that heat shrinks the fluid inside your cell, right? We already learned, uh, heat, uh, uh, water heats up and it shrinks. Water cools down, it expands, and the plastic water bottle’s broken back to dude’s quote. This causes the cytochromes to get closer together, as I’ve said a few times, this allows them to process energy more quickly and efficiently. Electrons can travel faster by an order of magnitude. Remember, when we move one angstrom, uh, closer together, we get a big improvement in energy production per the theory of relativity. When they move more quickly, time is perceived as passing more slowly. These electrons are part, these particles make up your body. So when they experience time more slowly, so do you, you literally slow your rate of aging. And if you’re a little lost there, I’m gonna give you a funny practical example, and I’ve checked this with scientific references to make sure it relates.

Brad (22:52):
Here’s one. Let’s say that tomorrow we chose you to go back to first grade and you’re gonna go through an entire day in the first grade classroom. Guess what? That day is going to be perceived by you. The theory of relativity time is relative to the perception of the observer. That day is going to drag on like no one’s business because you’re gonna be bored off your ass because of your quick adult intelligent cognitive processing speed. You’re gonna get extremely bored going at the pace they go. However, when you were in first grade, the day goes by quickly because you’re being, you know, presented with new information and working hard, and you have a nice fast youthful cognitive processing speed. And so, you know, compare and contrast to you going back to first grade and getting bored versus my father at 97, thinking that he just had lunch when in fact it was five hours before, due to the slower cognitive processing speed.

Brad (23:58):
So when you engage in a regular discipline practice of cold therapy and improve that mitochondrial function accordingly, and there’s so much research supporting this. Dr. Rhonda Patrick has a PDF download at her website with pages and pages of scientific reference, validating how therapeutic cold exposure improves mitochondrial function. You come away with this amazing insight that you actually can, literally, delay aging through cold exposure and all other things that enhance energy production and mitochondrial functions such as your fitness pursuits. And of course, it might be easier to relate how keeping fit and insisting on still doing races around the running track even years after, uh, you did so at a faster pace back in your youth. At least you’re fighting that battle and delaying aging accordingly. ’cause, the lap around the track still seems really fast to me.

Brad (25:02):
The only the, the perception is the same as it was when I was racing 400 meters in high school. It’s just the clock is different and that’s the impact of aging. But I’m still remaining youthful by doing so. Does that make sense at the end? Yeah. Go check out the, the, the online course. It’s really great. I talk about how to engage in cold therapy through the various modalities, starting with the cold shower, getting a dedicated cold tub, and also doing cold exposure in the best place of all, which is a beautiful outdoor environment. And by the way, when your body is immersed in water, you are the most protected from electromagnetic fields and you are, um, functioning your hormonal metabolic immune function is all optimized in the water accordingly. Thanks for listening, watching any questions. Probably will have some, any comments you know, how to contact us podcast@bradventures.com. Thank you.

Brad (26:11):
Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email, podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kears.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.




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