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We examined the acute effect of cold-water temperature on post-exercise energy intake (EI) for 1 h. In a randomized, crossover design, 11 men (25.6 ± 5 y) exercised for 45 min on a submersed cycle ergometer at 60 ± 2% VO2max in 33°C (neutral) and 20° (cold) water temperatures, and also rested for 45 min (control). Energy expenditure (EE) was determined using indirect calorimetry before, during, and after each condition. Following exercise or rest, subjects had free access to a standard assortment of food items of known caloric value. EE was similar for the cold and neutral water conditions, averaging 505 ± 22 (± standard deviation) and 517 ± 42 kcal, respectively (P = NS). EI after the cold condition averaged 877 ± 457 kcal, 44% and 41% higher (P < 0.05) than for the neutral and resting conditions, respectively. Cold-water temperature thus stimulated post-exercise EI. Water temperature warrants consideration in aquatic programs designed for weight loss.
White, Holland, McCoy, and Ferguson are with the Dept of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8206. Dressendorfer is with Rocklin Physical Therapy, Rocklin, CA 95765.