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Does a bath help you burn calories? © Getty Images

Does a bath help you burn calories?

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Grab the rubber duck, don the shower cap and pass the soap, it’s time to soak in a hot bubble bath and burn a few extra calories than you would sitting down.

Asked by: Daisy Joy, Brecon


A 2017 study at Loughborough University did indeed find that a hot bath increases your metabolic rate slightly. As your core temperature rises, your heart has to pump harder to send warm blood to your skin in an attempt to stay cool, and your body also uses energy manufacturing special ‘heat-shock’ proteins that try to reduce damage
to your cells from the higher temperatures.

It’s a pretty slow way to shed the pounds, though. An hour in a hot bath burns an extra 61kcal compared with just sitting down. That’s less than the calories in one digestive biscuit. If you spend that hour doing anything remotely active, you’ll burn more calories. Go for a walk, and you’ll burn the same amount in 15 minutes.

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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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