Iceman, Eisbad, Sauna, Kälte, Hitze, Hormesis, Detox

Sauna and ice bath: How these challenging practices can make us healthier and younger

Ice baths, cold showers, saunas! Athletes and biohackers swear by the performance-enhancing and rejuvenating power of heat and cold. But what is behind these trends? What should you pay attention to? And what health benefits have already been scientifically studied and confirmed?

The man who helped ice bathing become hype: Wim Hof and the power of hormesis

Wim Hof, that's the name of one of the most famous health pioneers, who especially made ice bathing popular. Among his followers he is also called The Iceman. The so-called Wim Hof method is a health regime consisting of breathing exercises and ice baths. The method promises several health benefits, including fat loss, reduction of inflammation, a strengthened immune system, balanced hormone levels, improved sleep quality, and the production of mood-boosting endorphins. The reason for all these improvements is the activation of an ancient survival mechanism, according to the official website.

What is Hormesis and how does it work?

This "ancient survival mechanism" is known in research as Hormesis.

In biology and medicine Hormesis is defined as the adaptive response of our cells to moderate, usually intermittent, stress. Examples include repeated exercise, heat or cold shocks, and Fasting. Studies suggest that hormesis helps control the aging process. The logic behind this is this: What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. So if we expose our bodies and thus our cells to a certain degree of controlled stress, we build up resistance and thus protect our cells from damage that can lead to an accelerated aging process and associated diseases.

Can we have a little more stress? Why stress can be healthy

But otherwise it is always said that stress is bad for your health? And that is true, but here it depends on the dose. The point is that stress - and we're talking about physical stress here - has to be moderate and temporary to have a positive effect. Too much of it could easily have the opposite effect on our bodies and harm us. Evolutionarily, it was enormously important for humans to be able to survive fluctuations in temperature and prolonged periods without food intake unscathed. With the help of the adaptive response of hormesis to such critical situations, our body has learned to drive cell renewal processes. Today, we can harness this knowledge to maintain our health and fitness.

What happens when we expose our bodies to heat and cold?

So heat and cold can trigger hormesis, strengthening and protecting our bodies. But are there other health benefits? Anecdotal evidence about the health benefits of saunas and ice bathing is a dime a dozen. But evidence is also piling up on the scientific side. A study from 2020 concludes that regular cold baths have a positive effect on our cardiovascular system, endocrine system, immune system and mental health.

And what about saunas? Here, too, there are scientific studiesconcluding that regular sauna visits are associated with many health benefits, from cardiovascular health and improved cognitive performance to physical fitness and muscle maintenance. In addition, sauna bathing appears to be a likely means of extending life expectancy.

What happens when we expose our bodies to heat and cold?

When we sit down in the sauna at 90°C, our body switches to alarm mode. After all, it always wants to maintain its optimum of 37°C. Our body regulates body temperature through our blood. To protect our organs and especially our heart, brain, lungs and liver from extreme heat, our body pumps our blood to our extremities, arms and legs. Arms, legs, hands and feet get warm, our organs stay at the optimum of 37°C. Our body accomplishes this by dilating blood vessels and making it easier for blood to be pumped throughout the body. When we expose our body to great cold, the exact opposite happens. The blood flows to the vital organs to stabilize the body temperature there.

While heat ensures that our body enters a relaxed state, acute cold makes us awake and clear. Especially after sports, both heat and cold have a regenerating effect on the muscles and can relieve cramps and sore muscles.

How can Hormesis keep us young and healthy?

In addition to heat and cold, Hormesis can also be used by Fasting can also be triggered by fasting. But in order for Hormesis to have its full positive effect, another important ingredient is necessary, called Autophagy, our body's own detox process. Current scientific studies conclude that hormesis and autophagy autophagy are closely linked. Autophagy ensures that damaged cell components are metabolized or repaired and thus protects our body from inflammation and aging. So for Hormesis to have an effect, our autophagy must also be active. This can also be achieved via Fasting fasting or by taking a spermidine-containing dietary supplement. Spermidine stimulates the autophagy in our body. If you want to find out more about this promising active ingredient, you can here read more about it here.


Regular use of sauna and ice bath can make a significant contribution to our health and youthfulness through hormesis- and have positive effects on our body and mental resilience.

By the way: Our nutrient complex Cell Boost contains spermidine. Here you will find an overview of all ingredients and here you can order the product directly.

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