Beyond Live It NOT Diet! – Consider The Cold Shower

The body composition benefits from starting your day with a cold shower can’t be ignored.  Which may sound gimmicky, until you recognize that there’s no product to recommend, or solution to sell.  And really no ulterior benefit to pushing this information in general.

Other than maybe a pat on the back and a:

“Thanks man, my abs are looking sweeter than ever.”

But the truth is, the science is there too – as recently popularized by Tim Ferris in The 4 Hour Body.  Because when your skin is cold, your body attempts to produce heat by shivering, or partaking in non-shivering thermogenesis. And this activates the same hormones that increase your metabolic rate and promote fat-burning during fasting.

With a quick 5 minute cold water plunge, or bone-chilling shower, basically mimicking a metabolic environment similar to 10-12 hours without food, and priming the body to burn stored fat as fuel.

dive-in-glacier

Furthermore, research published in 2014 in the journal Cell Metabolism demonstrated that shivering produces high amounts of irisin – the hormone responsible for turning white (or bad) fat into brown (or good) fat, and often discussed as one of the major benefits of regular exercise.

The study found that 10-15min of cold-activated shivering produces as much irisin as 1hr of exercise.

The interesting part being, that white fat appears to have a higher likelihood of storing energy, while brown fat may actually be an energy burner. With the lead researcher (in this innovative study), Dr. Lee, commenting that “when we are cold, we first activate our brown fat because it burns energy and releases heat to protect us.”

And demonstrating in his paper that:

50g of white fat stores 300 kcals of energy in a day, and 50g of brown fat burns 300kcal of energy in a day.

cold shower - harry & lloyd

Fortunately, there’s no stipulation on how long your cold shower or cold water plunge has to be.  And from personal experience I say, “work your way up!”

The other nice thing, is that unlike the latest fat burning supplement, or superfood, it’s perfectly natural and doesn’t have any side effects.  Provided you can handle the shock!?

Women generally have a higher cold tolerance (because they naturally carry more body fat overall), so they may want to attempt a bit of a longer cold-shower. And the same holds true for those that still have a large amount of fat to lose.

Stay Lean (and Cool)!
Coach Mike


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