Ice bath affects on ketosis test for fun

(John A Buckwalter) #1

Just for fun, I did a keto science experiment. This morning I had a fasted (12 hour fast) I had a Ketone blood test 0.2 mm/dl with a blood sugar of 111. While remaining in a fasted state after taking a 30-minute ice bath while breathing exercises ( Wim Hoff style, kind of)

and a 30-minute rewarm bath I repeated the tests - Ketone came in at 0.4 blood sugar 87 I expected the blood sugar to be lowered due to the dawn effect but for me the 0.4 reading is significant.
This is only a data point if one. The test cost me 4$ in strips so I would not want to spend that every day but it was fun to do.

Although technically this level is under under the nutritional ketosis protocol traditionally it’s been very difficult for me to go very deep and ketosis I have a hard time to ever get above 0.6 even after continuous fasting and exercise.


I remember a longecity member saying he greatly increased his insulin sensitivity with large amounts of cold exposure. He wore a homemade cold vest for many hours a day.

(Solomom A) #3

Please, why didn’t you allow your metabolism to rewarm your body rather than taking a 30 minute rewarm bath? I suppose you would have had a higher ketone and lower glucose readings as your muscles/brown adipose tissue would have worked harder to restore your body back to normal temperature, my 2 cents.


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words ‘it was fun’ and ‘30 minute ice bath’ incompatible in same post
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(TJ Borden) #5

Along the lines of what @solomon was getting at. This seems pretty obvious. Your metabolism has to increase to help regulate your body temp against the cold. You used up available glucose first, then ketone production had to ramp up to compensate.

The greatest part (in my opinion) is it shows the power of something as simple as temperature has on the metabolic rate. Something CICO chasers can’t account for.

(Bob M) #6

On the Ketohacking MD podcast, Dr. Limansky had Jimmy Moore doing HIIT (20 minutes?) then IR sauna (20 minutes?) then an ice bath (20 minutes?). I don’t think they got to real analysis of data, yet. They were discussing the protocol. I’ve been attempting to take cold showers, but that pales in comparison to real ice.

That’s an amazing blood sugar decrease. During “exercise”, my blood sugar goes up. It’d be interesting to experiment with cold therapy.

(John A Buckwalter) #7

You’re exactly right I’m working up to allowing my metabolism to warm myself up it’s just that when I get out of the ice bath. I have been working on suppressing my shivering response and doing calisthenics to try to warm myself up I can usually last like 8 - 10 minutes but I’m just so cold I just need to get into warm water

(John A Buckwalter) #8

I’ll have to check that podcast out something to listen to while I’m in an ice bath

(Thomas P Seager, PhD) #9

The replies here are way better than the advice I’ve heard get from medical doctors and nutritionists.

My own research is here

Cold exposure uses glucose, cause the release of free fatty acids into the bloodstream, and stimulates the liver to produce ketones immediately. The quickest route to keto is in the ice bath, so the experience of the original poster is consistent with scientific studies.

(Bob M) #10

Is that also cold exposure outside, lightly clothed? Or is more intense cold, such as from an ice bath, necessary?

I know I used to take cold(er) showers, but I saw the data for cold showers was not really there. And often in the middle of winter, the last thing I want to take is a cold shower.

(Thomas P Seager, PhD) #11

One studies I’ve read used 32F air for 90 minutes, dressed in T-shirts and shorts to measure ketones. Another was closer to 50F air, which was enough to reverse Type 2 diabetes in 10 days.

I don’t have 90 minutes to stand around in a freezer, so I use 4 min in 35F water instead. I haven’t done the math, but the argument is that it’s time under temperature that matters. Some equation of minutes multiplied by the number of degrees below body temp might allow us to compute an index of cold exposure that is applicable between freezing and the high 60’s F.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

My self observations (autopsy). I’ve been relatively thin all my life. I ate SAD (and drank beer) for pretty much 70 years without serious detrimental effects until my 60s when I started slowly gaining weight. So my guess is that by then my metabolism was beginning to get insulin resistant. This reversed completely when I started keto at the age of 71 four and a half years ago. I’m back to about exactly my weight and comp when I was 18. And I’ll take it!

All those years I preferred cold to hot. Sure, when young I could sun bathe on the beach - for a couple of hours. I spent most of my childhood in Savannah, Ga. But even then I preferred the air-conditioned lounge afterwards. Heat literally makes me melt. Did so all my life and continues to do so. I lived for a decade at Lake Laberge Yukon (the 70s, when the big climate threat was the coming Ice Age!). Summers were moderately warm and short, winters were very cold and long. I thrived in that environment. In fact, I looked forward to the coming Ice Age with eager anticipation.

So I think there are some of us who are genetically preconditioned to being heat radiators, or ‘wasting energy’, as Bikman puts it so succinctly. Maybe my predilection for cold is an indication that I gravitate towards the best place to be - for me.

(Thomas P Seager, PhD) #13

There are some people who are born with more brown fat and have a genetic predisposition to keeping it. You might be one of those people!

Because brown fat is associated with leaner body composition, and responsible for non-shivering thermogenesis, it could explain your preference for cold.

And Bikman’s book Why We Get Sick is fantastic, I think.

(Bob M) #14

For Bikman’s book is there anything in it to recommend to someone like me, who has read a ton of low carb/keto books (and blogs and articles and…)? Was thinking of getting it, but haven’t bought a book in this area for a few years (other than Jen Unwin’s book, but it’s more about carb addiction).