Can cold water immersion help with weight loss?

According to health influencers, the effects of cold exposure can boost your calorie-burning capacity. But is there any truth to this claim?

Although more research is needed to determine whether cold water therapy can help with weight loss, some studies have shown that immersion in cold water can speed up your metabolic rate. This is the rate at which your body uses energy and burns calories.

Take the historical example of Korean women who, for generations, have earned their living by diving for seafood in the chill waters off Jeju island. Until the recent transition to modern wetsuits, these women dove into water between 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 25°C) wearing only thin cotton bathing suits.

When researchersTrusted Source studied these women, they found that their basal metabolic rate was significantly higher during their winter diving months than during summer dives.

But does that mean you’ll drop more weight if you take cold baths or showers? The science doesn’t go that far.

A 2009 research review concluded that brief immersions (5 minutes) in water less than 59°F (15°C) did increase metabolism. But there haven’t been any large studies proving that repeated icy plunges result in significant weight loss.

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