How to Stack Cold Water, Sauna and Breathing to Accelerate Your Metabolism

Susanna Soeberg, Ph.D.

Cold (paired with heat) repairs your cells, lowers your risk of disease, builds your resilience, and increases your longevity.


In this Episode of The Human Upgrade™...

… Susanna Soeberg, Ph.D., a Danish researcher, international scientist and expert in cold and heat therapy for health and performance, explains how you can harness the massive benefits of:

  • Cold water immersion (winter swimming)
  • Sauna
  • Breathing
  • Metabolism

When it comes to biohacking, a few things rise to the top and make a pretty big difference in your body and brain. Through her research, Susanna discovered the minimum threshold of cold and heat exposure for health benefits. We get right into that on the show. She also works with functional breathing during cold environmental conditions and cold water immersion, especially winter swimming. 

Have you been considering this biohack for awhile? Baby steps won’t get you there—prepare to go all-in with the cold. “You could take cold showers, for sure,” Susanna says, “but it’s not going to activate your parasympathetic nervous system in the same way as submerging yourself into cold water.”

Earning a Ph.D. in metabolism at the University of Copenhagen set her on course to focus her expertise on ways metabolism works for and against you—and what you can do to improve your metabolic profile. She researches obesity, Type 2 diabetes and insulin management, as well as how brown and white adipose tissue (fat) function differently within the human body.

In Susanna’s new book, “Winter Swimming: The Nordic Way Towards a Healthier and Happier Life,” she describes the benefits of winter swimming and cold water immersion on your physiology, mental health, and capacity for resilience.

The experience (of cold water) is generally described as a kind of positive shock, a moment of reset, in which your brain gets a kick-start of energy and you’re ready to face whatever comes your way, she says. Cold-shock response activates your cardiovascular system, parasympathetic nervous system, metabolism, hormones and more. It’s all all-body, all-brain cascade.

“The cold receptors on the skin are definitely the ones activating the brown fat the fastest.”

Susanna Soeberg, Ph.D.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR THE HUMAN UPGRADE LISTENERS: Go to and use code DAVE for a special discount on Susanna Soeberg’s 3-week course, The Thermalist CureTM.

Opportunity: Breath, Cold, Stress & Resilience Conference, Feb. 18, 2023. Presentations by Susanna Soeberg, James Nestor and other experts. Register here.

Watch this episode on YouTube!

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