# Training & Nutrition - Ice Water burns calories?

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View Full Version : Ice Water burns calories?

mwchandler21
03-10-10, 06:29 AM
I normally drink about 2 L of ice water at work. Someone brought this up to me and looking at the simple math it seems that it could be true.

1 Cal = 1000 cal
1 cal = 1 degree C/g of water
1 L water = 1 kg = 1000 g
Ice water is approx 0 C
Body temp is approx 37 C

So doing the math of warming 1000 grams of water 37 degrees
1000*37 = 37000 cal = 37 Cal. Then again is it possible that your body doesn't heat it all the way and just passes the cold water?

Admitedly that isn't a whole lot but over the course of a year I guess it would add up somewhat.

coasting
03-10-10, 07:02 AM
seems like a desperate attempt to avoid dieting.

valygrl
03-10-10, 07:26 AM
I wonder if this relates to the Ice Cream for Recovery thread.....

You could probably test your theory by measuring the temperature of your pee.....

.... carry on.

TurboTurtle
03-10-10, 07:30 AM
Your body is constantly dumping heat since about 75% of your food energy goes to waste heat. You will just need to dump a little less. - TF

UmneyDurak
03-10-10, 07:38 AM
seems like a desperate attempt to avoid eating healthy.

Fixed.

mwchandler21
03-10-10, 07:54 AM
I wasn't really trying to advocate it as a diet, I was just wondering if it really would work the way my friend was saying. I suspect it probably doesn't, as TurboTurtle suggested the 37 extra calories would be absorbed by the much larger amount of heat that your body radiates to your surroundings.

coasting
03-10-10, 08:18 AM
well if the idea is to get the body to burn stored energy to produce heat, then eating really hot spicy food may work. just a thought.

Metzinger
03-10-10, 08:25 AM
Ice water will burn calories if you are already borderline hypothermic. Then you'll burn them through shivering. Sounds fun.

03-10-10, 08:34 AM
Drinking tobasco burns more calories than ice water.
5 drops = ~2 calories
Jumping up and down for five minutes = ~50 cal
See?

Sixty Fiver
03-10-10, 08:39 AM
Eating any frozen food will cause your body to divert blood to your digestive system to warm that food / drink to body temperature and the resulting shivering will burn a few more calories.

paulclaude
03-10-10, 08:58 AM
Haha, what next!

Taking a dump also burns calories :D

03-10-10, 10:56 AM
Taking a dump is the quickest way to a swimsuit body!

Pat
03-10-10, 11:14 AM
It depends. I tend to run hot for some reason and my body is usually working at venting heat. Ice water probably causes me to expend fewer calories. As said above, if you are running on the cool side, then maybe drinking ice water will cause some calorie burn. But 37 calories is not a big deal in any event. Lets at 3500 calories per lb of fat and lets say 35 calorie per liter (to make it easy). It takes 100 liters or 25 gallons of ice water to burn a lb of fat. I think I will find another way.

seawind161
03-10-10, 11:19 AM
Hey, cut the OP some slack! He didn't say you were going to get skinny that way, but his basic physics is sound.

Of course, you're going to have to drink a LOT of ice water to burn off the 3500 cal in a pound of fat...

Metzinger
03-11-10, 01:23 AM
Hey, cut the OP some slack! He didn't say you were going to get skinny that way, but his basic physics is sound...
not really

seawind161
03-11-10, 09:18 AM
not really

Care to elaborate?

Warming water to body temperature requires an input of heat. The body makes heat by burning calories.

Did you ever swallow an ice cube? Did you then crap that ice cube?

If not, by what process do you suppose it was melted?

Metzinger
03-11-10, 10:20 AM
Care to elaborate?
Sure. Your body is warm already. It's typically creating a thermal balance between a warm inside and a cooler outside. It sends blood here or there to radiate or conserve heat. On a hot day, it's burning lots of calories trying to cool itself off. On a frigid one, calories to warm itself up.
That doesn't mean that a fresh gust of wind is going to turbocharge your metabolism any more than 2 liters of ice water will, unless you're already hypothermic.
If you're even slightly warm, cold water will help you conserve energy.
Get it?

seawind161
03-11-10, 11:31 AM
Sure. Your body is warm already. It's typically creating a thermal balance between a warm inside and a cooler outside. It sends blood here or there to radiate or conserve heat. On a hot day, it's burning lots of calories trying to cool itself off. On a frigid one, calories to warm itself up.
That doesn't mean that a fresh gust of wind is going to turbocharge your metabolism any more than 2 liters of ice water will, unless you're already hypothermic.
If you're even slightly warm, cold water will help you conserve energy.
Get it?

Ummm, yes. Burning calories, i.e. adding thermal energy to the system, in one instance warms that system. Got it.

But in another instance, burning calories, i.e. adding thermal energy to the system, cools that system. Having a little trouble with that one.

As a side note, your initial premise is faulty. Your body is not "warm already" unless ambient temperatures are 98.6F or above. A large part of basal metabolism goes to maintaining body temperature, and exercise increases caloric consumption and therefore heat input into the system. You cool the system by dumping heat into the environment, by sweating/evaporation, not by burning more calories. To argue otherwise is to argue that the best way to cool your home in the summertime is to turn up the furnace.

No one said anything, as far as I can tell, about turbocharging your metabolism. The OP calculated the energy consumption at about 37 calories, a small but non-zero amount. The ice water helps maintain temperature equilibrium by absorbing (as it is warmed to body temperature) those 37 calories, which would otherwise have to somehow (evaporation, conduction, radiation) be transferred to the environment. In other words, it helps reduce the temperature of the system (your body) and that is how it helps conserve energy.

TurboTurtle summed it up nicely in Post #4: "Your body is constantly dumping heat since about 75% of your food energy goes to waste heat. You will just need to dump a little less."

BTW, ice water is NOT recommended in cases of hypothermia.

chuckb
03-11-10, 07:26 PM
I ice my knees after a long ride to burn more calories :)

electrik
03-11-10, 08:35 PM
This is an old engineering/physics joke. The claim is that you should always be drinking COLD beer otherwise you will gain weight. You must drink a lot COLD of beer also.

Obviously all those guys drinking cold beer with a beer gut have been doing it wrong...

I think part of the problem with your calculations - you have done calculations? Is thermal inertia of a warm body. You should just dip yourself into a vat of ice-water instead, now there is thought.. ice cold showers! :p

frymaster
03-11-10, 09:40 PM
you all realize that when we say "calgories" we mean "kilo calories", right?

1 cal to raise one ml of water 1 degree c. the 100 calories in a slice of bread, though, are kilocalories. ie, 100,000 calories.

Metzinger
03-12-10, 01:11 AM
Thanks elektrik, well put.

Seawind, I mistakenly thought you were submitting that a person under typical circumstances would burn more calories by drinking ice water than if they didn't. I see now that you meant that the amount of heat lost to the water equals the extra heat not released through the skin and through respiration. Solid.

I'd also like to note that hyperthermia (just like hypothermia) does have a high metabolic cost. Being overheated burns calories (http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a713776274). It's why mammals become exhausted after prolonged overheating. This cost can be reduced by cooling oneself off.