What is Cold Themogenesis?
Cold thermogenesis is the idea of getting into icy cold baths for supposed various health benefits. Jack Kruse talks about it a lot and has some FAQ's about it on his site. He also talked about it on Underground Wellness Radio.
But is it is a good idea? No, it is not for everyone, especially if one has any health problems. Such a shock to the system might not be a good thing. Even if one is healthy, why would one want to jump into icy cold waters?
When asked what he thought of cold thermogenesis, Chris Kresser answered in one of his podcasts by saying ...
"I think that’s a really bad idea, but there is absolutely something to cold thermogenesis"
From his experience as a surfer, he found that spending time in water that is slightly colder than ambient temperature makes him feel good afterwards. However, one does not have to be so extreme about it.
Benefits of Cold Water Therapy
It does not have to be icy cold water. Perhaps just a lighter jacket outdoors or just a cold shower would do. A less extreme method is also known as "cold water therapy".
Mark Sisson wrote about "cold water therapy" which talked about some research that found winter swimmers showed better adaptation to cold temperatures.
Other benefits includes increased metabolism, increase immunity, and increased anti-oxidative defenses.
Cold Increases Metabolism and perhaps weight lost
Cold can increase metabolism and hence speed up weight lost.
In the book Fat Chance, by Robert Lustig, he writes ...
"Four factors have been shown to speed up the liver's Krebs cycle: cold, altitude, the thyroid hormone, ... and exercise. ... Cold and altitude are a potent anti-obesity combination." [page 146-147]
Another theory is that cold water sucks heat out of your body so your body has to speed up metabolism and burn more calories in order to bring your core body temperature to normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Wired Magazine talked about this some more.
Another blogger Michael Allen Smith writes that you need to challenge your metabolism by giving your body some temperature differences in order to let it learn to adapt. If you wear coats and set heat and air conditioning to regulate environmental temperature within such a narrow range, your body forgets how to adapt to temperature changes.
In his post You Broke Your Own Metabolism he writes ...
"They aren’t just wearing a jacket because they are cold, they are cold because they are always wearing a jacket."
By becoming more cold tolerant, you also become more heat tolerant.
What are your thoughts? Would you jump into icy cold water? No, not me.