Cold body temperature (most commonly cold hands and feet) is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
However, some people don’t want to use thyroid, or don’t get the heat benefits from thyroid when they use it. Or simply, thyroid has some side effects in some people and they simply can’t use it.
Here are a few ways you can increase your temps without (or alongside) thyroid.
However, this vivo study shows that the increase in temps isn’t necessarily through an increase in uncoupling, but rather from speeding up the metabolic rate (R).
Aspirin has been shown to increase free T3 and enhance thyroid hormone uptake into the cell. This alone will increase energy expenditure and heat production.
When I was hypothyroid, I routinely took 500mg aspirin in the morning and 500mg before bed. Sometimes when I was having a bad day I’d take 1g before bed.
Exercise is one of the fastest ways to boost your temps. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise, but even walking can do the trick. Exercise speeds up glucose and fat oxidation, relieves stress, boosts androgens (if done right), promotes blood flow to the extremities, improves insulin sensitivity, etc.
Dress to comfort and then start walking, or doing some kind of exercise (bodyweight squats, walking lunges down the hallway, push-ups, planks, etc.) until you feel you have warmed up.
I’d always recommend having some carbs before exercise, such as fruit juice, since even mild exercise can drop blood sugar which can make you even more hypometabolic if you’re prone to that.
I never got cold or overly fatigued from exercise when I was hypo, but then again, I was never training fasted or to exhaustion.
#3 Hefty mixed meal
A good meal, consisting of meat, carbs, fat and salt can quickly bring temps up to normal. For example, gelatinous veal cuts made into a broth/stew with potato, butternut, carrots, mushrooms, etc. This will supply a good amount of protein, fat, carbs, gelatin and salt.
Protein is the most thermogenic of all the macros. Combined with saturated fat (fat in the meat), salt and carbs potentiate the thermogenic effect.
Alternatively, something like monster mash (as advocated by Stan Efferding) can also be very useful. Lots of ground beef mixed with rice, broth and salt.
#4 Always start the day strong
A lot of people wake up with low temps and then struggle to get it up during the day. Towards the end of the day, core temps might be normal, but someone might still experience cold hands and feet.
One of the reasons for this is that people don’t eat properly in the morning. They snack on this and that, but it’s not good enough to get temps up.
A good breakfast would be, for example, beef bacon/sausage with mash, eggs, and an espresso with cream.
Again, thermogenic protein, potentiated with saturated fat, salt, carbs, and caffeine.
#5 Espresso, cream & theanine
Caffeine is thermogenic, and in my experience, cream potentiates it even more. Having an espresso is great because it contains little liquid thus preventing the dilution of your stomach acid. Adding cream to the espresso helps to make the caffeine more of a slow-release, thus preventing jitteriness or anxiety.
If you want to play it safe, add 100-200mg theanine as that will help to greatly (completely) take the edge off.
#6 Black cumin
Black cumin seeds contain thymoquinone, which is a potent quinone that is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, pro-metabolic, anti-oxidant, etc. You can read more about the benefits of black cumin here.
Supplementing black cumin seeds has been shown to improve thyroid function, and thus body temps. There are an overwhelming amount of anecdotes of people who report better temps when they take black cumin.
#7 Hot baths
Nothing helps to increase overall temps like a (very) hot bath. On the plus side, it’s also very relaxing.
However, such heat exposure dramatically enhances glucose oxidation, which can cause hypoglycemia. Typical symptoms include headache, fatigue and agitation.
Having some fruit juice before and during the bath can help to prevent hypoglycemia and make the bath therapeutic instead of stressful.
If you can’t take a hot bath in the morning, like most people, then a quick footbath should also do the trick. About 15min should do it. You can add sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Epsom salt, and sodium salicylate to the foot bath to increase CO2 levels and magnesium uptake and to reduce inflammation. If your gut is sensitive to aspirin or sodium salicylate, then absorbing it through your feet is a great alternative.
Similar to a hot bath, sauna is a great way to increase temps. Most gyms have a sauna and if you lift in the morning, you can always hit the sauna afterward.
If you don’t want to lift but have a gym membership, just go in for the sauna if you have some spare time.
You can even get a red light sauna at home, which will give you even more benefits.
#9 Sitting in a hot car
This is the poor man’s sauna. Sunlight through the window can very quickly increase your temps, since the window block most of the UVB light, allowing mostly red and near-infrared light to enter. Addtionally, if you keep the windows close, then the CO2 and heat can accumulate for even more benefits.
Sitting in the car for a while in the sun can quickly become therapeutic and increase your temps.
#10 CO2 (carbon dioxide) bath
CO2 increases body temps and circulation to the hands and feet. Many people who do some sort of breathing exercise experience and heat rush in their body. And this is due to the buildup of CO2.
Alternatively, to doing breathing exercises, you can do a CO2 bath, which is what I do. You just need some refuse bags, duct take, a CO2 tank, a nozzle and some pipe. In no time you can create your own setup and gain the benefits from CO2 bathing.
I have a full-body setup, which requires that my wife help me each time, so this might not be the best setup for everyone. However, most people can just wrap it around their midsection and that also works great.
#11 Bag breathing
As I just mentioned, breathing exercises can help to retain more CO2, which promotes proper circulation and boosts body temps. There are many benefits to proper breathing, but for those that need a quick boost, you can just do bag breathing (with a paper bag).
That’s the fastest way to build up CO2. Do it until your feel slightly uncomfortable, then stop for a bit. If temps are not increased, do it again in multiple sets.
#12 Heat lamp
A reptilian or grow lamp or even 150W halogen lamp are greatly thermogenic. You can always create your own setup with 4 or so halogen lights (which is actually also a good source of red light) that you can use daily for 10-15 min to increase your temps.
Alternative, 1 reptilian lamp shown on your belly/chest or back should quickly increase your temps. You can always have 1 lamp for your body and 1 for your feet. The benefits to these lamps are that they are very cheap, you’ll just have to create your own setup.
Although generally considered a female hormone, men can also greatly benefit from this prohormone.
Progesterone is thermogenic (R) and that’s one way how it promotes better sleep quality. If you’re too cold, then sleep onset and sleep duration becomes disrupted. Taking progesterone and raising body temps can speed up sleep onset and levels of deep sleep.
Progesterone will even help to (partially) prevent the drop in core temps during a calorie deficit (R).
Calcium, especially from dairy, is thermogenic and can help to increase temps (R). This study found that ≈550mg of calcium at breakfast was better at boosting diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) than ≈250mg (R).
#15 Warm liquids
When you’re cold, drinking cold liquids can quickly make things worse. A common offender is cold milk. A simple trick is to simply heat the milk before consumption. So instead of cooling you down, it will help to heat you up.