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The Peter Attia Drive

May 15, 2023

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In this “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode, Peter delves deep into the data surrounding different forms of cold therapy, including cold water immersion, cryotherapy, and cold showers, aiming to unveil the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with cold therapy. He dissects the studies examining the effects of cold therapy on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), activation of brown adipose tissue, and its potential impact on mood and as a therapeutic approach for depression. Furthermore, Peter discusses the potential negative impact cold therapy may have on muscular hypertrophy and offers his perspective on the extent to which the data support the notion of cold therapy providing longevity benefits. Finally, he also discusses the existing consensus, or lack thereof, regarding the optimal structure of an effective cold therapy protocol.

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We discuss:

  • Overview of discussion on cold therapy (and a Formula 1 tangent) [1:45];
  • The most common cold exposure therapies [5:45];
  • Potential benefits of cold water immersion: a look at the data [9:30];
  • Comparing the effects of cold water immersion with whole-body cryotherapy [18:30];
  • The potential impact of cold exposure on mood and as a treatment for depression [20:45];
  • How do cold showers compare to cold water immersion? [28:15];
  • Cold exposure and the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) [34:15];
  • Things that clearly impact brain health: smoking, alcohol, sleep, head injuries, blood pressure, and more [34:15];
  • Exercising in cold temperatures: impact on exercise performance [38:30];
  • Potential downsides of cold therapy and its impact on hypertrophy, strength, and recovery [44:45];
  • Are the blunting effects of cold on hypertrophy due to the effects on inflammation? [50:45];
  • Does cold exposure offer any potential geroprotective benefits? [53:15];
  • Cold therapy protocols for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) [56:30];
  • Summarizing the data and takeaways from Peter [1:01:00]; and
  • More.

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