Cold Showers for Weight Loss
Cold showers look painful, but would you believe if someone told you taking a cold shower every day can get you to lose a few extra pounds off the scale every week? Neither would I. But let’s take a look at the research and see if there’s any truth to this. There’s a lot of hype out there about cold showers so in today’s video I want to help you discover the true benefits of taking cold showers while simultaneously dispelling all the myths.
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Let’s start with weight loss….is there any true relationship between cold showers and losing weight. There have been claims that you could burn an extra 500 calories a day just by taking a cold shower. And I don’t know if you guys know this but 500 calories are more than some people burned during an intense cardio session. On top of that people have published books audibles and articles all about this topic swearing that this is a true fat loss hack. The theory typically goes like this. When you’re born you’re born with adipose tissue and this is what we all generally refer to when we’re talking about body fat. But theres another type of fat known as brown fat otherwise known as bat or brown adipose tissue. The main function of these brown fat cells is to generate Heat. That’s why these are overly abundant in babies. These cells are typically inactive but if you find yourself in a very cold environment that’s below room temperature then these bat cells are supposed to activate in order to generate Heat for your body.
So ultimately these Brown fat cells will be burning regular fat once activated in a cooler environment. Awesome! there’s proof for this right. Well…………..let me tell you about my research. I scoured the internet looking for a study where they compared two groups of people with a control group and an experimental group and to my surprise, I didn’t really find much. Finally when I did find a couple articles that claimed that there was scientific proof the proof was not that strong. First of all all these experiments were set up to determine if subjects in cold exposed conditions would experience an increase in energy expenditure and if they would activate more brown fat cells. The problem is is that there’s a big difference if your energy expenditure increases 25 calories versus 400 or 500 calories like many proponents of cold showers want you to believe. The truth is that the results from the studies show that the difference in energy expenditure is there but it’s not really all that significant except in certain cases. So what I mean by that is that in one of the studies one of the subjects increase the number of calories burned per day by 400 calories. That’s something that I’m sure we would all love to have but in the same study, the average increase across all the subjects was only around 70 calories.
So that’s obviously a pretty small effect 70 calories isn’t gonna have you tightening your belt up every week. So it’s clearly a very small effect and on top of that if one person could burn 400 calories and another person would only burn 70 calories then it’s obvious that there’s huge variation from person to person. Meaning you might burn even less than 70 calories you might burn 10 because of the amount of brown fat cells you may have and way they react to cold environments. On top of that these experiments aren’t exactly applicable to a regular person taking a thirty second cold shower. Many of these studies were super particular about how they would keep their subjects whole body cold for hours. One study even used a liquid conditioned tube suit which would have cold water poured into it. I don’t know about you but I don’t have a liquid conditioned tube suit. I also don’t have a method to ensure that my whole body stays at a certain temperature the whole day. So some people are taking this to the extreme by swimming in freezing cold water to burn more fat from their workouts. I’d rather not swim in freezing cold water for the possible opportunity of burning 70 extra calories. I feel like a lot of people that are overweight might be looking for a shortcut or a quick fix and those are the people trying cold showers or putting an ice pack behind their neck with minimal results and there’s a reason for that. One study titled “cold-activated brown adipose tissue in healthy men” found that there’s a high percentage of young men with brown adipose tissue. So that’s good news they have the right fat cells to help them burn fat during cold conditions.
My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first gym in 2011, Gravity Training Zone. I'm now in the process of opening up my third location! I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with over 100,000 subscribers! I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to email@example.com