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What is Winter Swimming and Can You Use it to Lose Weight?

winter swimming for weight lossEven if you really love swimming, you might not think of doing it in the winter when the water is frigid. That said, could winter swimming be good for you by helping you lose weight? Check out the information below to learn about some interesting new research.

What Happens to Your Body in Cold Conditions?

According to Futurity, experts wanted to discover if they could imitate, pharmacologically, the effects of smoking and winter swimming.

Being exposed to cold temperatures can use up more energy, and cold receptors in the body can even activate brown fat, which also burns more energy and can lead to weight loss.

Where does smoking come in? Well, when your body is exposed to nicotine, like when you smoke cigarettes, there is also a decrease in appetite, which can be helpful when you are trying to lose weight.

Getting Answers

The researchers focused on finding molecular mechanisms involved in cold exposure and its influence on energy consumption. They discovered TRPM8, which is a cold receptor, along with icilin, which is the substance that activates the receptor. This receptor, however, isn’t found on the body’s brown fat, so the experts figured out that this cold receptor, which is on the skin, can send a message to your brain to activate brown fat.

Changing the energy turnover of the body, however, is not going to do enough to achieve weight loss results. An individual also needs to consume less food to slim down. Therefore, researchers took a look at the nicotinic receptor. They found that DMPP can suppress appetite and positively impact glucose metabolism.

It’s the Combination That Works

In the end, the experts realized that each strategy alone doesn’t work as well as the combination—like winter swimming and smoking. Better weight loss results were achieved when tests were conducted on mice using a combination of DMPP and icilin. Basically, metabolism improves, while glucose intolerance goes away.

More studies need to be conducted to really figure out if the effects on the mice will also be seen in humans who give this weight loss combination a try. In the meantime, you might consider giving winter swimming a try, but we wouldn’t recommend taking up smoking.

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