Scientists recently found that metabolically protective brown fat—quantities of which are increased with deliberate cold exposure—can lead to meaningful increases in fat burning and metabolic rate.
The study also observed that levels of brown fat differ among people; some have it and others don’t. In addition, individuals with brown fat experience more significant increases in fat oxidation and metabolic rate after breakfast and lunch compared to those who don’t have much brown fat.
Other research has suggested that a consistent “cold therapy” practice can increase quantities of brown fat.
In this episode, we also discuss some practical ways for getting started with cold exposure and how to make it a fun habit.
Support your Vitamin D levels this winter with Essential Fatty Nutrients by MYOXCIENCE Nutrition:
Save with code podcast at checkout
0:19 New study by Scientists in Japan
0:53 Not everyone has same amount of brown fat
1:29 How Brown Fat impacted metabolism
3:20 Vitamin D in the winter
4:17 Brown adipose tissue is under-recognized
5:08 Getting Cold in the AM is key
10:11 Getting Started with Cold Exposure
10:40 Circadian rhythm alignment
11:29 Morning cold may help PM sleep
11:57 Starting with a stock tank (sodium dichlor can help)
12:57 Morozko Forge tank is the best
13:52 Getting cold helps induce the brown fat
14:53 Morning cold showers are ideal for fat loss
16:00 Brown fat increases the thermic effect of food
17:00 Brown fat helps increase fat oxidation after breakfast and lunch
17:52 Brown fat is more active in the morning then at night
18:36 Cortisol may help the brown fat activity
19:52 Brown fat is a metabolic sink
20:00 Free fats drive metabolic disease
Cold Exposure Increases Fat Oxidation, Metabolic Rate in the Morning
Researchers in Japan published a new study highlighting how brown fat can help increase fat burning in the morning and raise your metabolic rate.
In brief, they found that people with measurable levels of brown fat (around the upper shoulder) had more significant increases in fat burning and metabolic rate after cold exposure in the morning and even after lunch compared to those who didn’t have significant quantities of brown fat.
In my opinion, the most exciting takeaway of this experiment is the influence of the circadian rhythm on brown adipose tissue activity.
Brown fat is more active in the morning, suggesting that the optimal time to get cold on purpose is also in the morning. So, the implication is that there’s an additional benefit to starting your day with a cold shower or plunge shortly after waking. From a circadian rhythm perspective, your body temperature is lowest in the morning, too.
Since temperature helps entrain your biological clock in the same way light and meal timing does, it’s possible that a cold shower in the morning can actually help you sleep better at night—that is, if you’re consistent about it.
It’s worth mentioning that increases in fat oxidation and favorable changes in respiratory quotient don’t guarantee fat loss, but no metabolic researcher worth their salt would complain that something as simple as periodic cold exposure could significantly increase proxies related to fat-related metabolism and metabolic rate.
This lab has conducted lots of cold immersion experiments in humans over the years and has concluded in this latest study that “…brown adipose tissue acts as a metabolic sink, helping to regulate fatty oxidation.”
In summary, when including cold thermogenesis in your daily routine, consider this progression:
– Start with a cold shower within one hour of waking up. It might be 5 seconds the first time, then 15 seconds, and before you know it you’ll be cruising for 30 seconds without losing your breath.
– Graduate to an outdoor cold plunge, such as a Behlen Country stock tank. A dash of sodium dichlor can help keep the green algae away.
– As your resilience improves, grab some friends this winter and jump into a lake, ocean or slowly moving river or stream. This is invigorating and a memorable shared experience with others.
– Then, if you’re ready for mastery, purchase a Morozko Forge tank, arguably one of the best at-home deliberate cold water tanks. We keep ours at 32 degrees Fahrenheit year round, and the chunks of ice really do help keep body fat in check.
Save on the Morozko Forge System with code HIH