The latest studies suggest that cold water showers can not only help you to lose man boobs, but they can also help you to lose weight and grow muscle. They also come with a host of other benefits, including a stronger immune system, improved circulation, protection for a vast array of different diseases, delayed aging, and better mood.
In a recent study in the Thrombosis Research Institute, men who took regular cold showers were found to have higher levels of the hormone testosterone. Since man boobs are caused by a high estrogen to testosterone ration, increasing your testosterone levels is a powerful way to flatten out that chest.
If you’ve got man boobs, you’ll also notice an awesome immediate benefit of taking a cold shower. As soon as you step in, the body immediately starts to divert blood away from the surface of your body, in an attempt to conserve heat. It does this by constricting the blood vessels that supply your skin. As a result, your man boobs and your nipples will literally shrink before your eyes.
This effect can last a good few hours after the shower, so if you’ve got a party or some other get-together to attend, and you don’t have a compression vest, then you might consider taking a cold plunge ;).
High testosterone will also help you to lose weight and grow muscle. There are also other mechanisms via which cold showers help you to lose weight and grow muscle.
Numerous other studies have confirmed the increase in muscle growth and fat loss resulting from cold water exposure. You would think that your body would adapt to the cold by increasing your layers of subcutaneous fat. Though subcutaneous fat does indeed help to insulate your body against the cold, for whatever reason, the human body simply does not adapt to the cold in this way.
Instead, the human body prefers to increase its ability to PRODUCE heat. It does this by increasing the number of brown fat cells in your body.
Cold Exposure Turns On Brown Fat Cells
Brown fat cells are good fats, while white fat cells are the ordinary fat you and I are trying to get rid of. Brown fat is very closely related to muscle tissue. Where muscle burns calories from fat and sugar to produce movement, brown fat cells specialize in burning mostly fat, to produce heat.
When you are exposed to cold water, the body uses two different mechanisms to produce more heat. These include shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis. Heat generation via brown fat cell metabolism is the main method of non-shivering thermogenesis.
If your body isn’t acclimatized to the cold, and you step into a cold shower, or the freezing cold outdoors, then your body will respond by shivering. Though shivering does burn a lot of calories, what you REALLY want to be focusing on is non-shivering thermogenesis, which makes use of those brown fat cells.
See, brown fat cells are not only activated during cold exposure, they are also made to proliferate by the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. As a result, your ability to generate more heat during cold exposure goes up, so you lose even more calories as you become more and more adapted to the cold.
Other studies have also found that regular cold exposure increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Ama divers in Korea for example, are found to have a higher BMR during winter months, when the water is a lot cooler.
Another interesting finding, is that cold water immersion helps you to recover faster after exercise. Also, if you expose yourself to the cold DURING a workout, say a quick cold-water dip before your last set of squats, it helps you to do more reps than you normally could.
This is thought to be due to the temperature-sensitive enzyme, muscle pyruvate kinase (MPK). Muscles need MPK to generate chemical energy, and studies have found that MPK becomes deactivated as temperatures in the muscle reach 40°C (104°F). So by cooling your muscles down, you allow MPK to remain active, so your muscles can do more work.
Now the good news is you don’t need hours and hours of cold exposure for your body to become cold-acclimatized. All you need is a few minutes a day. To find out how you can use cold showers in a way that maximizes weight loss, I suggest you go check out this article.