Everyone wants to look or feel their best. But, in a world of chaotic schedules, the stress of everyday life, and limited hours, that goal seems impossible. Just 30 minutes three times a week of contrast therapy can give you and your metabolism the jumpstart you desperately want.
How? It’s all based on science. Now, we know the facts thanks to renowned biohacking researcher Dr. Susanna Søberg. She found that the metabolism increased by 350% when participants were exposed to 57-degree water. What’s the evidence? How does this work? How can I make the most of my plunge session? We explore all these questions and more below!
What’s the evidence?
We’ve already mentioned Dr. Søberg’s fantastic research. But, she’s not alone in looking at the effects of cold water. Let’s look at some history.
Researchers studied Korean women who dive for seafood in the cold waters off Jeju Island. These women dove into water between 50 and 70 degrees. When they were studied, scientists found their basal metabolic rate, the minimum number of calories you require to function, was significantly higher in the winter than the summer.
Another review found that briefly plunging into cold water that was less than 59 degrees does increase the metabolism.
How does this Work?
Your body is made up of two fats, brown and white fat. The latter is your body’s primary fat and acts as an energy reservoir. When we eat, this is where the excess calories are stored. Brown fat burns energy to create warmth. It can even use the calories taking up space in white fat to generate heat.
So when you take that cold plunge and your body reacts to the sudden dive in temperatures, the white fat turns into brown fat. This gives your body a great ability to turn up the heat by burning those calories. So, when you start your plunge, the brown fat gets to work to heat up your body and then white fat becomes brown fat to keep up the heat. This results in more calories getting burned.
How can I Make the Most of My Session?
You may schedule your appointments around your busy schedule, but for men starting the day with a cold plunge is more effective when activating brown fat heat production. But for women, so far, studies have not shown whether a morning, afternoon, or evening plunge will make a difference.
For both men and women, Dr. Søberg found that 57 minutes in a sauna and 11 minutes in a cold plunge are the best ways to get maximum benefits from contrast therapy. That breaks down to about three sessions a week.
What is the Fat Loss Protocol?
Use this protocol recommended by Dr. Andrew Huberman to activate shivering, which activates brown fat thermogenesis. The goal is to not adapt to the cold so you can make the most of the fat-loss effects from shivering.
Submerge up to your shoulders. Don’t fight shivering. Once you do begin shivering, stay submerged for one to two minutes.
Once you’ve reached one to two minutes, step out of the tub. Don’t dry off or cross your arms just yet. Shiver outside of the tub for another one to two minutes.
Once your shivering slows down, return to the cold plunge and repeat step 1.
Once you have been shivering in the plunge for one to two minutes, exit the tub again. Do not dry off or cross your arms for another one to two minutes.
Repeat two to five sets of cold plunge/shiver and exit/shiver. Each plunge and then exit counts as one set.Take the plunge and see the benefits for yourself! Contrast therapy can help more than just your metabolism. For more information, click here.