Liver King is famous for tearing his teeth into raw liver, cow brains, and even drinking blood. But his latest Instagram post explores a different tenet of his ancestral living ideology–embracing the cold.
Wearing naught but shorts and a Viking helmet in the video, Liver King enjoys an ice massage from his wife (dubbed, of course, the Liver Queen), who pounds his back with two large ice cubes.
“Whether you do cold-hot contrast showers for 30-seconds at a time, spend 10 minutes in a cold plunge, or head to an ice bar in Vegas, always make time to get cold,” Liver King’s Instagram caption reads.
This isn’t the first time Liver King has talked about embracing the cold. His website touts the many benefits of cold therapy including better blood flow, more tolerance to stress, and increased immunity.
His theory: Your ancestors couldn’t walk into a store to buy a Snuggie, so they froze their asses off and reaped natural benefits from the cold that we’re missing today.
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Science Behind Cold Therapy
It’s hard to believe for some people, especially you Liver King doubters, but some research backs Liver King’s cold therapy claims.
Cold showers cause blood vessels to constrict, Hasit Jethwa, a health and fitness tutor at The Training Room told Women’s Health. When you step into a chilly spray, blood rushes to your organs for warmth and promotes better blood flow. (Your heart works harder in cold temperatures so people at risk of stroke or heart attack may want to skip this one.).
As far as improving immunity, a 2014 study showed hydrotherapy (the therapeutic use of water in any of its forms, including ice) improved immunity and was effective for pain management.
More recent research found that non-wetsuit cold water swimmers suffered fewer and milder infections than swimmers who wore a wetsuit. One theory why: cold water may release stress hormones, and short-term stress better prepares your immune system for infection.
Liver King also may be onto something when it comes to building your stress tolerance. A 2021 study found cold water immersion decreased cortisol levels in young men and induced relaxing effects.
So yeah, go ahead and take an icy bath or get an ice massage. We’re still not making meals of raw liver though.