Cryosauna and Calorie Burn: A 4-Part Series
Part 1: Brown fat and its link to weight loss through cryotherapy
Cryotherapy’s recent boom in popularity has made it a “hot” topic in the health and wellness realm, and its rising reputation stems from the numerous benefits it can provide. Cryotherapy, in essence, is the use of cold/freezing temperatures (between -90 to -184 degrees) to illicit a shivering response, in recent studies this reaction has shown to potentially increase weight loss, and more.
In this four part series I’m going to explain the science between whole body cyrotherapy and losing weight. As you’ll learn, burning calories with cold is not a myth!
It all starts with brown fat
We all know our bodies have fat. But did you know there are two kinds of fat? White fat (which stores calories)—and recently discovered brown fat that is filled with mitochondria and can actually produce heat to burn calories.
Scientists once believed only babies had brown fat, but less than ten years ago researchers discovered brown fat in adults—especially ones who had lower Body Mass Index (BMI). A connection was soon made—the more brown fat you have, the more calories you can potentially burn. The trick is getting this brown fat activated.
If brown fat is good, how does somebody make more?
That’s where cryotherapy comes into play. Like exercising, shivering may hold the key to both activating and potentially increasing brown fat production. By producing the hormone irisin and the protein FGF21 (a precursor to irisin.) These two actually work together to activate that sleeping brown fat, which in turn can increase calorie burn.
Learn more on the role of irisin and FGF21 in Part 2.