Heat shock proteins and brown fat triggered by sauna use and ice bathing

Saunas in Oslo are becoming increasingly popular for health, but what is actually happening  on a biologial level? – we are going to dive into some of the biologiocal mechanisms being stimulated by the saunas heat and the fjords cold! 

Heat shock protiens – what are they?!

Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a group of proteins that are produced by cells in response to stress, such as high temperatures. These proteins play an important role in protecting cells from damage and helping them to recover from stress. When we sauna, our body’s temperature increases, triggering the production of HSPs. This process is believed to have a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving cardiovascular health, and helping to protect against certain diseases – you will also activate heat shock proteins by going to Bikram yoga and HIIT classes. We can recommend trying out Bikram Yoga Oslo if you are interested in this and / or signing up to Bruce Norge, an amazing training app where you pay one membership and get tonnes sauof awesome training options – this includes our sauna in Tjuvholmen! 

Goblet of Ice champions at Mad Goats Tjuvholmen
Strong ice bathers after the Mad Goats ice bathing challenge, about to jump into a floating fjord sauna on Oslo Fjord

Why are heat shock proteins beneficial?

One of the ways that HSPs are thought to be beneficial is by reducing inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. HSPs have been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory molecules, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

In addition to reducing inflammation, HSPs may also help to improve cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that HSPs can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots, and improve the function of the blood vessels. These effects may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of HSPs, as well as their ability to protect the cells that line the blood vessels.

Another potential benefit of HSPs is that they may help to protect against certain diseases. Studies have shown that HSPs can help to protect cells from damage caused by toxins and radiation, and may also help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. However, more research is needed to fully understand the role of HSPs in disease prevention.

Heat shock proteins and brown fat thermogenesis
Heat shock proteins and brown fat thermogenesis with sauna and ice baths on Oslo Fjord

What is brown fat and how does ice bathing stimulate it’s production?

On the other hand, taking an ice bath, it is known to increase the generation of brown fat, which is a special type of fat that helps to burn calories and generate heat. Brown fat is different from the more common white fat, which is stored in the body and can contribute to obesity and other health problems. Brown fat, on the other hand, is more metabolically active and helps to burn calories and generate heat – check out this super interesting study about brown fat thermogenesis

When we take an ice bath, our body’s temperature drops, triggering the conversion of white fat into brown fat. This process is known as “browning” and has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss and overall health. The cold exposure also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to an increase in the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are hormones that help to burn fat and increase metabolism – Wim Hof is often touted as having a ridiculous about of brown fat and it is quite obvious why!

3 young lads ice bathing in Oslo fjord with smiles on their faces
There young lads have started generating brown fat an heat shock proteins early!

To conclude as to why you should ice bath and sauna more often

In summary, sauna and ice bath have different effects on the body. Sauna increases the production of heat shock proteins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to protect against certain diseases. On the other hand, ice bath increases the generation of brown fat, which helps to burn calories and generate heat, leading to weight loss and overall health. However, more research is needed to fully understand these effects. As always, It is important to consult with a doctor before making any significant changes to your exercise or wellness routine.

Catch you in the sauna guys! We have a beautiful sauna in Oslo where we love to sauna and ice bath all the time – and everyone is welcome! Kiwi friendly vibes is what we are known for! – it cannot be faked or bought! Maaaeeeeh!! <3

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