Everything You Need to Know About Cold Shock Proteins

Lose Weight, Feel Great & Detoxify

Written by Christopher Kiggins

Should You Jump into a Freezing Lake after your sauna session?

Have you ever seen Russians plunge into frozen water with nothing but goggles and bathing suits? It may be shocking to those from warmer climates, but it has long been a part of their tradition to celebrate important events (which is still shocking…) This activity is known as winter swimming, which is also performed by daring individuals worldwide.

On the other hand, some people are crazy enough to take a cold shower, which has a similar effect to a cold plunge. Cold showers are well-known for increasing alertness, heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate that some favor to spice up their morning. Once the body’s temperature is decreased, their metabolic activity would increase accordingly to raise their temperatures back to normal. Therefore, a slight increase in metabolic activity occurs.

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What are Cold Shock Proteins?

Our body produces proteins in response to stressful stimulus such as extreme heat or cold to maintain our physiological functions. See last week’s blog about Heat Shock Proteins here.

Cold shock proteins are sets of proteins that perform chaperone functions which stabilize unfolded proteins. This gives the cells time to regenerate and synthesize proteins that were damaged by the stressors. They are released in response to ‘cold shock’ (or extreme cold), which is your body’s reaction when immersed in cold environments. Doing so would increase cardio-respiratory responses that we are familiar with when having cold showers. This response inevitably increases the production of Cold Shock Proteins in your body.

Cold shock proteins are the counterparts of heat shock proteins, which are produced when your body is exposed to high temperatures. They are usually produced during exercise when the body rises in temperature. Both heat and cold stressors produce the same effect on the human body, allowing us to survive in high or low temperatures while repairing any cellular damage that was caused in the process.

Benefits of Cold Shock Proteins

Almost all of the health benefits that are produced by CSPs stems from its root function: cell regeneration and repair. Damaged cells need to be replaced by new ones, and CSPs are the ones in charge to make sure this process goes smoothly. As a result, their production was reported to increase people’s overall quality of life by alleviating stress and fatigue. 

The regeneration of the synapses enhances cognition, memory and ability to learn more effectively. It also raises energy levels and people with regular exposure are more likely to continue having active lifestyles.

Physically conditioning your body to increase its tolerance to the cold would prevent you from shivering and involuntary cold shock responses. Furthermore, it allows people to grow a layer of fat which effectively insulates the body without becoming overweight, which is why this lean trait is common amongst people living in colder regions. 

Such training is particularly useful for athletes and soldiers who would need to be constantly exposed to cold water. Doing so also strengthens their muscles to enhance their physical performance while speeding up their recovery time from any injuries. However, it is absolutely crucial for them as developing resistance to the cold prevents the body having cold shock responses and drowning.

Those who undergo activities that elicit cold shock responses have a lower risk of contracting infectious diseases. Other illnesses that it helps to prevent include respiratory diseases, rheumatological diseases, fibromyalgia or asthma. Furthermore, it is reported that they experience less pain and may also be a great way to reduce conditions such as chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is responsible for reducing inflammation and histamine levels which is particularly beneficial for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Last of all, the release of CSPs may be a great weight loss technique. This is mainly attributed to how fat is burnt by the activation of brown adipose tissues (BAT). BAT burns body fat to produce more heat and stay warm. In each session, you could expect to burn an estimate of 100 calories in addition to boosting metabolism. Although this treatment should not replace exercise and eating a healthy diet, it could provide the extra push needed to accelerate one’s weight loss journey.

CSPs can also reduce signs of aging by rejuvenating your skin and complexion. When our body ages, our metabolism slows which causes collagen production to slow down. This, in turn, causes the skin to become wrinkled and saggy. CSPs mediate this response by once again boosting their metabolism and regenerating lost collagen proteins.

Surprisingly, studies have shown that the production of CSPs were proven to alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Those who are exposed to cold treatments report feelings of euphoria which improves one’s mood and energy levels. 

This is due to the release of endorphins and adrenaline along with CSPs. Again, this must not replace the need to consult with mental health professionals. However, it can be a pleasant change to spruce up people’s daily routines while also supplementing their primary treatment.

How can we produce more Cold Shock Proteins?

Cryotherapy or cold saunas can be the perfect treatment to release CSPs in your body. The treatment involves immersion in a chamber of nitrogen vapor, decreasing the surrounding temperature to a whopping -180°C. Each session doesn’t take long, lasting only up to 2 minutes while reaping the immense health benefits of CSPs.

Clients would be given a set of gloves, socks, slippers, face masks and ear muffs in order to protect their sensitive skin. Although temperatures decrease dramatically, the chamber was designed to make the treatment as pleasant as possible with clients experiencing mild chills at most. 

During this process, the thermal receptors in our skin detect the change in temperature and draws your blood away from the skin to protect your organs. This allows Cold Shock Proteins to heal and rejuvenate the body by alleviating injuries or enhancing physical performance. Since the process only penetrates the skin, internal organs will remain completely safe.

Although the positive effects of a single session only lasts from 6-8 hours, regular immersion would allow you to really see the difference it makes to your body. By constantly exposing your body to low temperatures, your body will slowly become acclimated to it, allowing you to resist the cold like an absolute champ. Bathing every few days throughout a whole month would make the positive effects of cryotherapy last much longer.

If you are unsure whether cryotherapy is the right option for you, you could always feel safe knowing that you could walk out whenever you wish. But cryotherapy isn’t for anyone as those with high blood pressure can potentially suffer from a heart attack due to the constriction of blood vessels caused by the treatment. It is also not known to be safe for pregnant women or children under 18. Please consult with a medical professional beforehand to determine whether it is the right treatment for you.

Cryotherapy and cold saunas could be the perfect solution for your health as the treatment welcomes everyone! Whether you are a patient who wishes to relieve sensations of pain or find a cure for their illness, an athlete who wants to be at peak physical condition or even if you simply want be happier and healthier. All you need to do is to take the first step to treat your body in the best way you know how.

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I am glad infrared saunas have developed the way they have, because I couldn’t imagine my life without the benefits they provide, like deep sleep, lower blood pressure, less joint pain, weight loss, and a boosted immune system. Here at SaunaCloud I sell saunas that are some of the best history has offered. My far infrared saunas use advanced ceramic-carbon combination heaters for an amazing sauna experience. For more information on how SaunaCloud’s infrared saunas work and how they can improve your health, download my book The Definitive Guide to Infrared Saunas. Just give us a call at SaunaCloud 1.800.370.0820.

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Christopher Kiggins | Sauna Enthusiast

Christopher Kiggins | Sauna Enthusiast

I have been writing, learning, educating and generally pointing people in the right direction infrared sauna wise since 2012. Let me know how I can help: chris@saunacloud.com - (530) 417-1220