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The Science Behind Shivering
Published 4/6/2022


Learn how Shivering is used by animals and people, can actually help you replace a cup of coffee in the morning, and just the general benefits it can provide you.



Antelope out on the big planes and the Safari. Antelopes being chased by a lion and about to be eaten are experiencing a lot of stress. If they escape, their emotional wellbeing is wrecked from the increase of stress and nerves. However, the antelopes are able to return their stress levels to the baseline by shivering. This releases all of the pent up frustration, anger, fear, or anxiety, and then they go on with life as normal.



Cortisol is the built-in biological reaction to dealing with stress. Fastercise’s Shivering exercises help to release cortisol which is what the body creates when going through a stressful situation. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is created by the adrenal glands. It's so important that if you didn't have cortisol, we wouldn't be able to even survive the stress of day to day lives. But by just doing a little bit of shivering you can release some cortisol helping you deal with stress.


As humans and antelopes are both mammals, we can experience similar results. Shivering helps antelopes reduce their stress after an anxiety-ridden experience and it can help us to feel better as well.



One other example from the animal kingdom is bees. During the winter, bees instinctively shiver to keep warm and survive. By huddling together and flexing their wings they are able to generate heat and keep themselves warm.



While shivering, your body releases epinephrine, growth hormone, cortisol, and glucagon. These four hormones are counter-regulatory to insulin and they take energy from the glycogen and fat stores in your body. They mobilize that energy and start chemical reactions that cause the breakdown of those energy stores, giving you plenty of energy. And in the case of animals, this gives enough energy to be able to run away, fight, or do whatever they have to do to survive.


Humans are like animals. There are many ways that humans manifest and use shivering when energy is needed. For example, when people get scared watching a horror movie, or nervous speaking in front of a large crowd, they will tremble out of fear. Or sometimes people will shake with anger. Another instance is when people get grossed out, they tremble or shiver in response. Humans shake and start breathing faster in response to these emotions because the body knows that there is an urgent situation that it needs to respond to and it starts preparing. It's intuitive, natural, and it happens, but it's remarkable how just a few seconds  will release a tremendous amount of energy. By shivering on your own, you can use all of these natural functions to burn fat and push off hunger.



REPLACING HUNGER: The process of shivering releases so much energy that your appetite goes away. If you haven't tried it yet, next time you're hungry, do a little Shivering to get winded and watch your appetite go away. You can see for yourself that this works, releases energy, and you won't be hungry for probably an hour or two.

REPLACING COFFEE: If you shiver for one minute it’s more effective in waking the body up and gives more energy than drinking a cup of coffee. Replacing caffeine or coffee with a bout of Shivering is not only a healthy substitute, but it's even better at achieving your goal than drinking a cup of coffee to get a wake up call. So instead of sugar that comes from a sugar cube, or your cup of coffee, you can use the sugar that comes from glucose in your glycogen stores. Snack on your fat and get your body back. Rather than drinking a calorically dense coffee, the body can get plenty of energy by drawing from fat stores, causing you to lose weight in the process. 


Another thing that shivering enables is the generation of lactate, which is a pre-digested energized form of glucose. It involves breaking apart glucose and then energizing it.


Try shivering in the morning, enough to get yourself winded, and no matter how groggy you are when you wake up, you will be wide awake afterwards.


Shivering also releases growth hormone, which tightens your skin, helps you kill germs, and heal more quickly.


The application of these principles and practicing them in your daily life could not be more simple. Shiver for one minute whenever you’re hungry to push off hunger anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. When hunger is diminished after shivering, it is a good indicator that fat is being burned and that you’re more likely to lose weight.



Shivering may seem like an interesting concept that is a little out there. But what’s more natural: lifting weights and running around aimlessly or shivering? How many examples of running just for the sake of running exist in nature? Unless the animals are migrating or trying to get away from something, animals don’t run down the road for a couple miles to get in shape. That's just something that people have created for ourselves. Animals, however, use what their bodies were naturally created to do to get in shape. It is possible for people to get in incredible shape using natural instincts as opposed to man made or manufactured forms of exercise.

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