Dr. Craig Heller: Using Temperature for Performance, Brain & Body Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #40

Dr. Craig Heller: Using Temperature for Performance, Brain & Body Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #40

This episode I am joined by Dr. Craig Heller, Professor of Biology at Stanford University and world expert on the science of temperature regulation. We discuss how the body and brain maintain temperature under different conditions and how most everyone uses the wrong approach to cool off or heat up. Dr. Heller teaches us the best ways and in doing so, explains how to offset hyperthermia and hypothermia. He also explains how we can use the precise timing and location of cooling on our body to greatly enhance endurance and weight training performance. He describes how cooling technology discovered and engineered in his laboratory has led to a tripling of anaerobic (weight training) performance and allowed endurance athletes to run further and faster, as well as to eliminate delayed onset muscle soreness. Dr. Heller explains how heat impairs muscular and mental performance, and how to cool the brain to reduce inflammation and to enhance sleep and cognition. We discuss how anyone can apply these principles for themselves, even their dogs! Our conversation includes both many practical tools and mechanistic science.

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00:00:00 Introducing Dr. Craig Heller, Physiology & Performance
00:02:00 Sponsors: Roka, Inside Tracker, Athletic Greens
00:06:45 Cold Showers, Ice Baths, Cryotherapy
00:10:45 Boundary Layers
00:11:55 Cooling Before Aerobic Activity to Enhance Performance
00:14:45 Anaerobic Activity Locally Increases Muscle Heat
00:16:45 Temperature Gates Our Energy Use
00:19:00 Local Versus Systemic Fatigue: Heat Is Why We Fail
00:22:10 Cooling Off: Most Methods are Counterproductive
00:26:43 Exercise-Induced Brain Fog
00:27:45 Hyperthermia
00:31:50 Best Body Sites for Cooling: Palms, Foot Pads, Upper Face
00:38:00 Cooling Your Brain via The Upper Face; Concussion
00:41:25 Extraordinary (Tripling!) Performance by Cooling the Palms
00:45:35 Enhancing Recovery, Eliminating Soreness w/Intra-workout Cooling
00:50:00 Multiple Sclerosis: Heat Sensitivity & Amelioration with Cooling
00:51:00 Enhancing Endurance with Proper Cooling
00:53:00 Cool Mitt, Ice-Cold Is Too Cold, 3 Minutes Cooling
00:58:20 How You Can Use Palmer Cooling to Enhance Performance
01:01:15 Radiation, Convection, Heat-Transfer, Role of Surface Area
01:04:40 Hypothermia Story, Ideal Re-Heating Strategy
01:11:40 Paw-lmer Cooling for Dog Health & Performance
01:12:45 Warming Up, & Varying Temperature Around the Body
01:17:35 Cooling-Enhanced Performance Is Permanent
01:19:55 Anabolic Steroids versus Palmer Cooling
01:24:00 Female Athletic Performance
01:25:18 Shivering & Cold, Metabolism
01:26:55 Studies of Bears & Hibernation, Brown Fat
01:31:10 Brown Fat Distribution & Activation In Humans
01:34:18 Brain Freeze, Ice Headache: Blood Pressure, Headache
01:37:50 Fidgeters, Non-Exercise Induced Thermogenesis
01:39:44 How Pre-Workout Drinks, & Caffeine May Inhibit Performance
01:43:42 Sleep, Cold, Warm Baths, Screens, & Socks
01:48:44 Synthesis
01:49:30 Supporting the Podcast & Scientific Research

Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman’s teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac –


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