A Surprising Trick to Burn Fat

Get-Fit Guy discovers a new way to boost your fat-burning and improve your hormone levels. (Hint: It takes place in the pool!)

Ben Greenfield
2-minute read

When it comes to fat-burning hormones, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is one extremely important hormone.  DHEA is the most common hormone in our bodies and is often called "the mother of all hormones," since it is the precursor to over 50 other hormones in the body!

Unfortunately, natural levels of DHEA hit their peak around age 20 and then decrease in the years after that. Because of this, by age 80 our levels of DHEA are only 10% - 20% of the DHEA we had at 20! Many researchers believe that decreasing levels of DHEA contribute to symptoms normally associated with aging, as well as many degenerative conditions such as atherosclerosis.

What's more, because of its many roles, DHEA can also help with fat-burning and weight loss. For example, DHEA blocks G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate-dehyrogenase), which is a major enzyme responsible for the production of fat tissue.

But you don’t have to take DHEA supplements. Activities such as sprinting and weight training can increase DHEA. And there's one other fat-burning hormone trick I discovered this week: hypoxic swimming.

That’s right: holding your breath for long periods of time when you swim can actually increase DHEA! This is noted in a recent study entitled "Acute apnea swimming: metabolic responses and performance."

So how can you practically use this fat-burning trick?

If your gym has a pool, then the next time you workout, finish up your workout with a shower, then jump in the pool and do 10-20 sets of underwater swimming while holding your breath as long as you can. Of course, you’ll also get the benefits of the added calorie burn and the cold thermogenesis you usually get with swimming.

Do you have more questions about how to balance your hormones or increase your DHEA? Leave your thoughts over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.