Embrace the Chill: How Cold Exposure Can Boost Metabolism


For those looking to boost their fat metabolism, taking the chill out of your day could be key. Research recently conducted on healthy males shows that exposure for two hours or less to cold temperatures unlocks free fatty acids. It lowers triacylglycerols – all while reshaping different lipid varieties.

Cold exposure has been gaining traction as a potential health booster. This study(1) takes it further by investigating the effects on human lipid metabolism. In mice, cold temperatures trigger nonshivering thermogenesis—the release of fatty acids from storage which are then taken up and used for heat production in brown adipose tissue. But until now, there’s been little research into how these changes manifest in humans.

The study and the “cold” results

Ten young men (average age of 23) participated in a study to investigate how thermoneutral and cold temperature exposures would affect circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) and triacylglycerols. During the cold exposure, participants were exposed to gradually reduced temperatures until their shivering commenced. It was maintained for 120 minutes. Blood samples collected every 30 minutes demonstrated that FFA levels increased over time during the cold exposure while TAGs decreased before returning back down again at the baseline level.

A significant increase in circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) was observed after 120 minutes of thermoneutral temperature control, whereas triglyceride levels remained unchanged. This suggests that the rise in FFAs likely stemmed from extended fasting duration rather than a direct result of exposure to cold temperatures.

Embrace that chill

Cold exposure may offer a unique solution for bettering metabolic health. While more rigorous research is needed to fully understand its implications, it’s an option worth considering if you’re looking to boost your metabolism. So instead of reaching for the nearest sweater – why not embrace that chill and see what kind of wellness benefits it has?


Straat ME, Jurado-Fasoli L, Ying Z, Nahon KJ, Janssen LGM, Boon MR, Grabner GF, Kooijman S, Zimmermann R, Giera M, Rensen PCN, Martinez-Tellez B. Cold exposure induces dynamic changes in circulating triacylglycerol species, which is dependent on intracellular lipolysis: A randomized cross-over trial. EBioMedicine. 2022 Dec;86:104349. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104349. Epub 2022 Nov 11. PMID: 36371986; PMCID: PMC9663865.

Bruno Tavares
Bruno Tavareshttps://lastguyonearth.blog
My goal is to provide my readers with valuable information and insights that they can use to make the most of their lives.