Have you got buddies that enjoy dipping into the ocean on Boxing Day for a pleasant (or more accurately, chilling) dip? Or are you yourself one of those people? You might be onto something after all: a new research suggests that taking a cold shower can help men lose body fat and lower their chance of developing diseases like diabetes.
Swimming and taking cold-water baths have grown in popularity recently. This rise in popularity is accompanied by a number of anecdotal advantages reported by those who engage in this activity, including improved health and libido.
Researchers have looked over 104 studies that mentioned any consequences of swimming in cold water. The team didn’t include research where individuals wore wet suits, the water temperature was higher than 20 °C (68 °F), or accidental cold-water immersion occurred. Studies on a variety of subjects, including the immune system, oxidative stress, adipose tissue, inflammation, and blood circulation, were included.
The human body typically experiences a provoked shock response during the initial immersion in cold water, resulting in an increased heart rate. Diverse research have produced contrasting results regarding the cardiovascular advantages; some claim that hobbyists have less cardiovascular risk factors. While some research suggest that the heart’s workload is still elevated.
Studies have discovered beneficial associations between cold-activated “good” body fat called brown adipose tissue and cold-water swimming, which burns calories to maintain body temperature. This is not the white fat that stores energy. According to certain research, being exposed to cold can boost adiponectin synthesis in adipose tissue. This protein aids in preventing conditions including diabetes, insulin resistance, and other illnesses. The review discovered that swimming during the winter months can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin levels in both experienced and beginner swimmers.
In terms of the overall health advantages, the review was determined to be inconclusive. This is due to the fact that the studies included frequently only utilized one gender, a wide range of swimming experience, or diverse methods of using cold-water immersion (for example as a hobby or as a post-exercise treatment). The salt composition and water temperature were two additional water-related variables. The research also failed to determine whether people who routinely swam had more naturally healthy bodies than people who did not.
Lead author James Mercer stated in a statement, “From this review, it is obvious that there is increasing scientific support that voluntarily exposure to cold water may have some favorable health consequences.”
“Numerous investigations showed considerable impacts of immersion in cold water on a range of physiological and biochemical markers. But it might be challenging to determine whether these are good for your health or not.
Many of the health advantages of frequent exposure to cold temperatures may not be causal, according to the review’s findings. Instead, they might be explained by several elements like a healthy lifestyle, practiced stress management, social contacts, and a happy outlook.
Without additional conclusive research, the issue will remain up for discussion.
Please be advised that if you choose to take a chilly dip this winter, you should familiarize yourself with hypothermia and other problems that could arise from the shock of the cold.