Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

Ken K. Liu, a principal at a hedge fund in Los Angeles, has been wearing the vest under his suit jacket on and off for about a year. He told me that some people’s first reaction to the unwieldy getup is “What the hell are you doing?” As soon as Liu explains the concept, though, many of them say it sounds like a good idea. Others still think it’s “stupid”—as did my colleagues, when I wore one—but Liu has not been deterred. Each morning while his coffee is brewing, he takes his vest out of the freezer and dons it without shame. Liu was never “fat,” by his estimation, but he says he did carry a few extra pounds that he had trouble dropping, despite exercise and attention to diet. The Cold Shoulder closed that gap.

Hayes’s ice vest was inspired by the work of Ray Cronise, a former materials scientist at NASA who now devotes himself to researching the benefits of cold exposure. During the swimmer Michael Phelps’s 2008 Olympic gold-medal streak, Cronise heard the widely circulated claim that Phelps was eating 12,000 calories a day. Having been fastidiously trying to lose weight, he was incredulous. Phelps’s intake was more than five times what the average American eats daily, and many thousands of calories more than what most elite athletes in training need. Running a marathon burns only about 2,500 calories. Phelps would have to be aggressively swimming during every waking hour to keep from gaining weight. But then Cronise—who knows enough about heat transfer to have been employed keeping astronauts alive in the sub-zero depths of space—figured it out: Phelps must be burning extra calories simply by being immersed in cool water.

Source: The Benefits of Being Cold

Couple of things to consider:

  • The article is talking about 19-24 degrees Celsius
  • Thailand doesn’t have a lot obese people. It’s hot. Very hot…

While I’m not Phelps, and high profile athletes have notorious diets leading up to events, I have encountered the need for more [and better] food.  I’ve been woken in the middle of the night with hunger pains.  The tricky part about dealing with these moments is the nutrition in what I’m eating.  Fueling between activities can also be really tricky – time to make food is the immediate problem, but also time to digest.  Ah, the fun of trying to do something at a reasonable pace when food is occupying your stomach…