Do cold baths use more calories ...

... than hot baths?

1 to 20 of 37 messages
16/11/2006 at 22:51
Seriously, is that the real reason why so many people on here are so keen on immersing themselves in icy water?

My impression, based on a loose awareness of thermodynamics and concepts like shivering thermogenesis, is that the answer is "yes, but not enough to justify the discomfort involved" - but I've never seen any figures or equations to back this up. Can anyone here enlighten me?
16/11/2006 at 22:58
i thought cold baths were better for your muscles or something like that? less achy?
16/11/2006 at 23:00
I thought cold baths were for when the bromide wore off.
16/11/2006 at 23:00
just had a thought tipsy said she had a cold bath after the Dublin marathon and felt alot beter walking around day after compared to London when she wasnt feelin as good after.
16/11/2006 at 23:03
So it prevents stiffness? Isn't that what I said?
16/11/2006 at 23:07
looking at a pic of me first thing would do that and you dont have to get cold
16/11/2006 at 23:07
The speculation about achy muscles has been done to the death. I'm asking a completely different question :o) One that should have a quantifiable answer.
16/11/2006 at 23:08
>Friendly sort of reptilian slap for DB, just because he's there<
16/11/2006 at 23:09
16/11/2006 at 23:11
about the cold I read that if you eat a chocolate bar in a freezer it burns more calories than sitting and eating it at room temperature. so I suppose it could burn more calories
16/11/2006 at 23:14
Surely that's because it is more difficult to eat so you use more energy.

(Psst, V-rap, I'm trying to be sensible now - I'm not sure how long I can hold on though).
16/11/2006 at 23:18
if you are sitting in a freezer as well I suppose your body works harder to maintain your core temp
Duck Girl    pirate
16/11/2006 at 23:36
age 14 & anorexic, i thought it did. i also thought drinking cold water was good, for much the same reason.

the below was stuck on the wall of the physics dept. at college:

Beer and Ice Cream Diet

As we all know, it takes 1 calorie to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree centigrade. Translated into meaningful terms, this means that if you eat a very cold dessert (generally consisting of water in large part), the natural processes which raise the consumed dessert to body temperature during the digestive cycle literally sucks the calories out of the only available source, your body fat.

For example, a dessert served and eaten at near 0 degrees C (32.2 deg.F) will in a short time be raised to the normal body temperature of 37 degrees C (98.6 deg. F). For each gram of dessert eaten, that process takes approximately 37 calories as stated above. The average dessert portion is 6 oz, or 168 grams. Therefore, by operation of thermodynamic law, 6,216 calories (1 cal./gm/deg. x 37 deg. x 168 gms) are extracted from body fat as the dessert's temperature is normalized.

Allowing for the 1,200 latent calories in the dessert, the net calorie loss is approximately 5,000 calories. Obviously, the more cold dessert you eat,the better off you are and the faster you will lose weight, if that is your goal.

This process works equally well when drinking very cold beer in frosted glasses. Each ounce of beer contains 16 latent calories, but extracts 1,036 calories (6,216 cal. per 6 oz. portion) in the temperature normalizing process. Thus the net calorie loss per ounce of beer is 1,020 calories. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate that 12, 240 calories (12 oz. x 1,020 cal./oz.) are extracted from the body in the process of drinking a can of beer.

Frozen desserts, e.g., ice cream, are even more beneficial, since it takes 83 cal./gm to melt them (i.e., raise them to 0 deg. C) and an additional 37 cal./gm to further raise them to body temperature. The results here are really remarkable, and it beats running hands down.

Unfortunately, for those who eat pizza as an excuse to drink beer, pizza (loaded with latent calories and served above body temperature) induces an opposite effect. But, thankfully, as the astute reader should have already reasoned, the obvious solution is to drink a lot of beer with pizza and follow up immediately with large bowls of ice cream.

We could all be thin if we were to adhere religiously to a pizza, beer, and ice cream diet.

Happy eating!
cougie    pirate
16/11/2006 at 23:59
My theory about this is that exercise heats you up.

The quicker you can get yourself cool, then the less effort your body needs to make to get it back to normal.

Therefore cool baths are good.

And hot baths arent as you feel really woozy coming out of them, and then need to go for a lie down. But its quite good fun.
17/11/2006 at 06:58
I like it, DG!

I do actually know someone who only managed to lose the last couple of pounds on her diet after switching jobs from bakery to deli counter in Morrisons. She attributed it to the change in temperature rather than the greater distance between her and the donuts.
17/11/2006 at 07:50
it's occurred to me too that it would probably require more energy to keep yourself warm, but I can't back it up with any equations. Not that I'd ever do such a thing ;o)
17/11/2006 at 09:01
Ironwolf, I got into medical school despite, rather than because of, my maths and physics grades, and was hoping that someone like Bear or Heebie would KNOW the answer.

I use hot showers to prevent and relieve muscle aches, but dinosaurs are different ;o)
Kryten    pirate
17/11/2006 at 09:08
The was an article in New Scientist recently that listed lots of reasons why people are more overweight now than they were 50 years ago. One of them was that we now generally all live in centrally heated houses. Before when peoples houses were much colder they had to expend more calories generating body heat to stay warm.

So I think the cold bath thing would use more calories, assuming that your body had time to adjust and start generating more body heat.(?)

Personally I will give it a miss!

17/11/2006 at 09:08
If it's an equation you're after then how about E=ma^2?

No, that doesn't work, how about E=mb^2...

Nope, nothing there, let's try E=mc^2, hmmmmm, now we are getting somewhere.
17/11/2006 at 09:12
Well, FWIW - you'd presumably lose weat as the surrounding temp was lower (the cold water), and I'd guess that the body would try to compensate for this (homeostasis 8-), so it would have to get the heat energy from soemwhere. I do vaguely remember seeign somethign on one of the Royal Society Xmas lectures where they did an experiment like this

where's it going to get the heat from? It's a biological thing but I'd guess as a by-product of cellular respiration - i.e. burning whatever fuel was around
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