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More Calories burned in cold or hot weather????(8 posts)

More Calories burned in cold or hot weather????abicirider
Oct 31, 2002 5:33 PM
Thought I read somewhere the body actually burns more calories in cold conditions compaired to hot conditions?
Just wondering assuming you were doing the same 2hr ride in condition (A) where temp is 40 degress and condition (B) where temp is 85-90 degress, in which condition will your body burn more calories I know there are a lot of variables but for argument sake lets say in both conditions the wind speed is the same the route is the same and it is clear no clouds rain etc. I know you have the fluid intake variable but would be interesting to see anyone and everyones thoughts on this topic.
Thank you
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
There's slightly more air resistance in cold weather ...Humma Hah
Oct 31, 2002 7:01 PM
... because the air is denser when cold. If the average temperature is +27C in the summer (300K) and 0C in the winter (273K) then the air density is 300/273 greater in the winter, roughly a 10% increase.

When cycling, you'll generally make plenty of excess heat to keep your body warm. In less strenuous outdoor activity, you might use extra calories shivering, etc, trying to stay warm.
Oct 31, 2002 7:13 PM
I suppose the thinking is that when it is cold, your body burns calories staying warm, but when it is warm, you also raise your temp above average body temp anyway. I know that I can exert myself more when I'm not freezing. One might also argue that the denser air "holds more oxygen" hence you can "burn more calories" when it is cold... but I'll still stick with my subjective opinion that prefers warm.
re: More Calories burned in cold or hot weather????DINOSAUR
Oct 31, 2002 9:16 PM
I've read that your body burns more calories during cold weather in order to regulate body heat. On the other hand, we tend to ride less during increment weather so we ride less and don't burn off as many there is a trade also sweat more than you think when it is cold and you need to remember to drink more fluids or you can dehydrate and crash and burn.....
re: More Calories burned in cold or hot weather????Scot_Gore
Nov 1, 2002 4:58 AM
Found this here:
Do I burn off more calories exercising in the cold?
Cold weather itself does not increase calorie needs. (And remember: the weather can actually be tropical inside your ski outfit or running suit!) Your body does use a considerable amount of energy to warm and humidify the air you breathe when you exercise in the cold. (For example, if you were to burn 600 calories while cross-country skiing for an hour in 0 degree weather, you may use an estimated 23 percent of those calories to warm the inspired air.) But you use the heat you generate with exercise to warm the air you breathe and prevent your lungs from getting chilled. Hence, you might not sweat as much. But, you don't burn extra calories--unless your body temperature drops and you start to shiver. In the summer, you would have dissipated this heat via sweat.
You may, however, burn off a few more calories to carry extra clothing. Athletes who lug around heavy clothing and sports equipment--skis and ski boots, heavy parkas, snow shoes--do burn more calories. For example, the Army allows 10% more calories for the heavily clad troops who exercise in the cold. But winter runners or race walkers generally wear minimal heavy clothing...
&nbps; If you are too scantily clad (or have little body fat) and your body becomes chilled, you will need more calories to stay warm. For example, scantily clad research subjects who exercised in the cold (14 degrees F) burned 13% more calories than when they performed the same exercise at room temperature--about 450 vs 400 calsories per hour.

Sounds like you'll only burn more calories by excercising in your summer clothes.

What about that feeling...VertAddict
Nov 1, 2002 8:18 AM
What about the way higher heat/humidity levels seem to just suck the energy right out of you? Doesn't your body have to work harder sweating at higher ambient temperatures just to try to keep your core temperature at a normal level?

I just remember in my running days when we were on vacation in northeast Australia, and I was trying to run intervals at about 10:00 in the morning. The heat just kicked the crap out of me, I couldn't believe how sluggish I was. (Being from Canada, I wasn't exactly used to those temperatures - but I was accustomed to a high level of exertion)
dunno, but I gain weight every wintertarwheel
Nov 1, 2002 5:36 AM
I usually start gaining weight about now and continue gaining right through the holidays, even if I don't scale back my riding. I am sure the weight gain is from eating all the extra sweets, etc., this time of year, but I sure don't seem to be burning extra calories when I ride. I will say this, however -- I think the air is denser in cold weather and it is harder to maintain higher speeds. It seems like the average speeds of my solo and group rides start declining once the weather gets colder, and I think part of the reason is due to denser air.
dunno, but I gain weight every winterjim gravity
Nov 1, 2002 6:35 AM
I feel the activities you do in the cold take more energy than the same amount of effort in the warm, but I think what you do off the bike is really important too.

I always thought if I dressed to be slightly chilled that I'd burn more calories...but I always gained weight. Then it occured to me that the body might sense danger when you are cold, and although you might burn more calories while you are in the cold, maybe it lowers the bmr so the rest of the time you have less energy available to do things (feeling tired and lazy), and are even burning less energy at rest. I tried to keep a little warmer last year and I felt I had more energy...I ran all winter, and commuted, and rarely would feel the overwhelming urge to nap after work.