Cold showers, hot weight loss?

Fitness with Ferritto
Amy Ferritto

With crazes to lose weight, people are willing to go to extreme measures in order to shed a few extra pounds. With all of the hype over diet, exercise, and weight loss, it’s no wonder that many fitness and health myths arise. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what methods are effective and which are rumors. I’ve heard before that drinking a glass of ice cold water helps promote weight loss because your body uses energy to raise the water to a temperature it is able to process. Recently, I’ve heard an interesting variation on this myth that I looked into; can taking a cold shower aid in weight loss?
Taking a cold shower definitely has benefits. Cold water is better for your skin, makes hair super shiny, and just feels refreshing on a hot summer day. I am skeptical, however, on whether or not it can help you shed a few pounds. Livestrong.com, my go to website for all questions health and fitness related, has an article entitled “How to Lose Weight with Cold Showers.” If the title itself doesn’t immediately state the author Andrew Bennett’s angle on this myth, he cites the 2008 study, “Human Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Uncoupling Is Associated with Cold Induced Adaptive Thermogenesis.” This study shows how human brown fat tissue can increase fat burning in response to cold temperatures. It doesn’t state specific research that cold showers are included in this study.
Bennett gives a humorous step by step procedure on how to use cold showers to promote weight loss. It is suggested that the cold water lasts at least 30 seconds, and can be repeated two to three times a day for maximum results. He suggests slowly turning the temperature to cold so that your body has time to adjust to the low temperature without being miserable. I know some people that would be horrified at taking a shower that is below scorching.
What I’ve found is that a correlation between cold temperatures and weight loss has been proven throughout many studies. Of these studies, cold showers themselves weren’t specifically tested. I don’t think there is enough evidence to believe that this technique really does work, but if you don’t mind the cold temperatures, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.

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Amy Ferritto

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