All Episodes

January 24, 2024 14 mins

Jumping into a cold pool after a long sauna or hot tub can be pretty great. Saunas have proven health benefits like lowering blood pressure; cold plunges are shown to reduce inflammation. Why not combine them? A bunch of safety reasons, bucko, that’s why.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hey, and welcome to the short Stuff Josh, Chuck, Jerry,
not Dave, but Dave short stuff. Let's go.

Speaker 2 (00:10):
That's right. We're talking about a the very hot trend.
It's been around for a long long time depending on
where you are in the world, but it's a very
hot trend of course among probably celebrity types and influencers.
We're talking, of course about cold plunging and specifically the
sort of hot cold thing, either hot tub or sauna. Yeah,

I'm sorry, souna.

Speaker 1 (00:35):
Is that just you that says that?

Speaker 2 (00:37):
No, we got When we did our sauna episode, every
finished person in the world wrote in and said it's
pronounced sona.

Speaker 1 (00:44):
Wow, great, nicely done. I'm gonna start saying sausage, sausage.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
I already say sausage. Yeah, you want to see how
the sausage is made?

Speaker 1 (00:54):
Do you? Are you part finned? No?

Speaker 2 (00:57):
No, I wish I was, but I'm not.

Speaker 1 (00:59):
Okay, So yeah, it does kind of make sense that
this would be like big in Finland because the Fins
were the ones who were credited with inventing the sauna. Sauna,
which supposedly in Thinn sauna means bath, essentially what you
would call bath and before the Fins had running hot
water that was handy everywhere. They used saunas to basically

bathe rather than having to just go out in the
snow and bathe.

Speaker 2 (01:29):
Yeah, I guess like a dry bath, a hot dry.

Speaker 1 (01:31):
Bath exactly that you make yourself wet in.

Speaker 2 (01:35):
That's right, exactly, You're you're you're lathering up with your
own liquids. That sounds really gross. If you go to
like the Finished Tourism Board website or something, you might
see them also say something like this when you come
out of the sauna, jump into a lake, or roll
in the snow.

Speaker 1 (01:54):
Because they all sound like Freud.

Speaker 2 (01:55):
Apparently they do. If you do roll in the snow,
make sure it is fresh and powdery. Old icy snow
can have an effect on your skin like sandpaper that chuck.

Speaker 1 (02:04):
One of that voice is one of your Halloween episode voices.
I recognize it from some Yeah.

Speaker 2 (02:11):
So what they're talking about, though, is this hot to
cold thing which is leaving a sauna and jumping right
into some cold water or in their case a lot
of times, snow.

Speaker 1 (02:22):
Yeah, which is awesome. It can be really great, But
just like any trend or thing that everybody's behind, it's
worth taking an extra look to see if it may
or may not be actually beneficial, could even be harmful.
And it turns out there is a lot of evidence

on each saunas and cold therapy, cold plunges, that kind
of thing that say, yeah, these actually do have some
pretty good beneficial effects, but both of them also pose risks,
and there's not a lot of actual research on combining them,
which is purposefully shocking your body temperature wise, that's the

point of that hot cold thing. We're not exactly sure
if it's a good thing for you.

Speaker 2 (03:10):
Yeah, I mean, I think we all know that like
a sauna or something like that, getting a good sweat
in can be good for you. There's a lot of
benefits to sweating. You're regulating your body temperature, you're activating
your cardiovascular system. It kind of can mimic exercise, even
cardiovascular exercise. We also know that it can help detoxify you.

And we also know that cold stuff has benefits and
it's a great anti inflammatory. And athletes have long you know,
sat in like ice baths and stuff after like the
big game or something like that, not specifically the Super Bowl,
any big game, not Capital T H E. Big game. Sure,
But these two things separately we already know and it's

kind of proven that they both have a lot of
great benefits. But there are people that say, well, when
you combine them together, you can reap even more benefits.

Speaker 1 (04:06):
Yeah, and what the benefits arise from, ostensibly is called
the hormetic effect or hormetic stress, which is technically a
good kind of stress. It's the kind of stress you
put on your body when you're exercising, and in doing
so by kind of pushing your body beyond its normal
homeostatic you know, status quo. Yeah, you're actually you're training

it to better respond to stresses that you don't intentionally
put on it, like just being stressed in general. And
so supposedly, according to this idea, the hormetic effect, which
seems to be pretty legitimate, by just kind of slowly,
little by little stressing your body, you improve your body's stress,
respond to your immune system, that kind of thing, and

exercise is one way to do it. But also exposing
it to temperature extremes like through a sauna or a
cold plunge also produces hormetic effects because they put hormatic
stress on your body too. That seems to be the
basis behind health benefits from sauna in or cold plunging.

Speaker 2 (05:08):
Yeah, and you know people will tell you that it
really also can help you mentally. It can I could
be an invigorating experience and people, you know, there is
a little bit of research that says that people have
shown to like improve their mood and stuff like that.
So you know, there are a lot of people that
say a lot of things about all the benefits what

you haven't seen a whole lot of and I guess
we'll discuss this after the break. Is like, all right, well,
then show me the large scale, randomized controlled studies with
large data pools of people from all kinds of age groups.
I guess not randomized, but just large, you know, a
variety of people doing this thing. And then like, then

we can actually talk science. So we'll get to that
right after this. All right, So go anywhere online to

any influencer blog and they tell you how amazing this
is for you. A lot of websites will say this
is wonderful and you should all do it. But then
when you start digging a little deeper and you're like, well,
let me see if there's any studies about this. It
turns out they're trying to do it now and we're
only just now, like the research or these articles that

I kind of picked from, we're from just a couple
of months ago, like late in twenty twenty three, where
they're just now starting to say, like, hey, we need
to get a thousand people, not you know, twenty healthy
young men, you know, twenty healthy young finishmen who are like,
this feels great. Need to really because you know, some
of this stuff is plausible, these doctors are saying, but

we really need to dig in on it because it
also could probably be dangerous.

Speaker 1 (07:08):
Yeah, because I mean it seems like what the whole
idea is predicated on is that we do have, you know,
like substantial research showing that there are health benefits from
the sauna, like it lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health,
and that there's demonstrable benefits from cold plunges, like it's
an anti inflammatory, like you said, it can improve mood. Apparently,

a technique for breaking a panic attack when you're in
the midst of it is to sink your face into
a bowl of ice water for about ten seconds, and
it produces what's called the diving reflex, and it releases
dopamine and orapinephrin in enough amounts that it can actually
derail or short circuit of panic attack. So there is

like actual legitimate benefits to each one, like you're saying,
though it's them combined that the jury is still out
on right.

Speaker 2 (08:00):
I wonder if Huey Lewis was having a panic attack
when he plunged his face in ice water and the
I Want a New Drug video.

Speaker 1 (08:08):
He wasn't after that, I'll tell you that much.

Speaker 2 (08:10):
Not to make light of panic attacks, of course, I
was just kind of making light of Huey Lewis and
his news. Well we had someone right in actually, because
we've been flipped with that term. That's like, if you've
ever suffered a panic attack, you probably wouldn't just say, oh,
almost had a panic attack.

Speaker 1 (08:26):
Sure that doesn't sound say what that doesn't sound like us?

Speaker 2 (08:31):
Oh it was us. So depending on who you talk to,
there are doctors that say this actually can be very dangerous.
The National Center for Cold Weather Safety website says, you
know you can. This is something called a cold shock response,
where you have such a rapid increase in breathing and

heart rate and blood pressure that if you're not in
great cardiac health, this could possibly kill you, Like you
could have cardiac arrest right there on the spot.

Speaker 1 (09:00):
Yeah, that's nuts, which makes sense because I mean it
feels like you could, like when you jump into a
cold plunge, especially if you're already really hot, but supposedly
in less than a minute, you could die in water
that's sixty degrees parreheight or lower. And there's other things
that can happen too, if you jump all the way in,

Like a lot of cold plunges don't involve your head,
which is way way worse than just jumping in or harder,
I should say, more difficult. But if you do jump
in all at once, the shock of the cold could
be enough that you involuntarily gasp, and if you're underwater,
that's not good for your lungs.

Speaker 2 (09:40):
Yeah, And you know, the first time I kind of
reconsider this because I had done this kind of thing.
I've done some and it wasn't like, oh, let's do
a cold plunge. Like literally in high school in the eighties,
we would like jump into the icy lake at this
sort of youth group camp. So that wasn't being tripped.
It was just the fun thing to do. Gotcha, It's
like a polar plunge. But I was with my good

friend Adam Pranica of the Greatest Generation over not too
long ago, and I was moving to do this. It
was Hey, we're in the hot tub, let's jump in
this cold pool and he said you better watch out, bro.
Adam say, bro, and what do you mean? He went, well,
I'm just getting ready because you could have a cardiac arrest.

I was like what, and you yeah, it's something that
can happen. And all of a sudden, I was nervous
because you know, I'm not in you know, like headed
toward the emergency room anytime soon. But I have a
cardiac score that gives me a little bit of pause
when it comes to thinking about something like this. Sure,
so I was like, well, geez, I'm not in high

school anymore. Maybe I should think about this. And I
jumped out of the hot tub and I dove into
the pool head first. And it was great and it
was awesome and it was fun and I didn't have
a cardiac arrest. But it did make me think twice.
And each time I moved to do this, from now on,
I will think twice.

Speaker 1 (11:07):
I have to say I was really surprised by that
twist at the end there that you actually want to
jump in. Yeah. I was to be like, no, I'm
not doing that anymore.

Speaker 2 (11:16):
No, And you know what what I gathered, And of
course we need the real research and the real data
to know this, but from what I gathered from the warnings,
it was like, there's probably a middle ground between like
being a healthy twenty two year old finish person and
having like being in really really poor cardiac health. And
I'm somewhere in the middle there, and you should not

do it if you're like in really really bad cardiac.

Speaker 1 (11:40):
Health, not even really really bad. If you're being treated
for any kind of cardiac condition, you probably shouldn't cold plunge,
especially not after a sauna too. At the very least,
talk to your doctor about it. Don't listen to it,
don't don't take our advice.

Speaker 2 (11:51):

Speaker 1 (11:52):
But not only is the whether you have a heart
condition or not a differentiator temperature. It's a differentiat too.
You'll see people who are like, yeah, jump into water
that's like fifty seven degrees farentheight. That is astoundingly cold.
That's the water temperature that killed the survivors of the

Titanic going down like that's North Sea in February. Cold
water temperature, right, you can get the same effect from
much warmer yeh water, I mean I'm talking like seventy
degrees still sounds warm. That's not warm, especially if you're
in like a hot tub first, or a sauna first,
or you've exercised or something like that. It does the trick.

It does everything you need to do without or I
shouldn't say without the chance of killing you, with a
much less chance of killing you.

Speaker 2 (12:45):
Yeah. I mean, I've even seen that you can take
a very hot shower and then turn it to cold.

Speaker 1 (12:50):
Yeah, that's nice to see that.

Speaker 2 (12:51):
And that's even enough to sort of give you some benefit.

Speaker 1 (12:53):
Even worse chuck is not taking the hot shower first,
just getting into a cold shower immediately turning the water on.
It's it's rough, but if you can train yourself to
do it, it's very rewarding.

Speaker 2 (13:04):
Yeah. I did that for a summer in Athens when
I didn't feel like turning the gas on.

Speaker 1 (13:08):
Man, and you were like ripped from it. I'll bet
I was.

Speaker 2 (13:13):
More ripped than I was now. And of course it
was Athens in the summer, so it was hot. So
it wasn't quite as bad as you might imagine for.

Speaker 1 (13:20):
Sure, So I guess we should probably just wrap up
one more time. This can be dangerous. You should probably
do a little more research on it, especially if you
have a questionable heart or your heart's questionably healthy. Just
use your head, use your noodle first. Don't just listen
to what people on TikTok tell you. Listen to what

people on podcasts tell you.

Speaker 2 (13:42):
Yeah, and maybe even a pool noodle in case you
lose consciousness.

Speaker 1 (13:45):
Its smart. That means short stuff is out.

Speaker 2 (13:51):
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