Taking a cold shower comes with amazing health benefits which include, increasing alertness, boosting immunity, promoting weight loss, promoting muscle recovery, reducing stress, improving mood and fighting depression, enhancing skin and hair condition, increasing testosterone level, and aiding sleep.
When is the last time somebody willingly took a cold shower? Chances are not recently, as it is often one of the most dreaded types of showers one can dream of. Why wouldn’t you prefer a nice warm bath over pouring ice cold water over your body? There’s nothing better than having a nice warm bath after a hard day’s work, so it seems only logical.
However, there are scientific benefits of taking cold showers, especially in the mornings to jumpstart your day. While we are not advocating that you use ice cold water baths every single time, well placed cold showers a few times a week can really do wonders for your overall health and productivity.
Not sure what it can do for you? Then turn down that water temperature and read the rest of this article; you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
9 Amazing Benefits of Cold Shower
1. Increases Alertness
Taking a cold shower in the morning will help to get your adrenaline running, even though it may sound like torture. However, deep breathing responses help the body to overcome the initial shock of cold water on the skin and helps to ensure that levels of hormones and neurotransmitters are elevated in the process.
In addition to this, your heart rate also increases significantly causing improved blood circulation and enhanced nutrient and oxygen delivery, helping you fire on all cylinders!
2. Boosts Immunity
Owing to the ability of cold water to improve circulation, many other organ systems and processes are accelerated in the process. Among these is the immune system since improved blood circulation is shown to stimulate immune factors. Cold also helps to promote the efficient destruction of foreign pathogens that may cause infection, and also promotes healing of wounds.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Struggling to lose weight? One of the simplest things you can do is to take advantage of the power of cold showers. But what does this do? When Cold water touches the skin the body must compensate by calling into play mechanisms which help to maintain body temperature.
The result is a massive increase in calorie burning which happens if you take cold showers first thing in the morning. Studies conducted show that as much as a 1500% increase in calorie burning occur from taking cold showers in the morning, which can equate to as much as nine pounds lost over the course of a year, without doing any additional work. All this from just a short five minute cold shower session in the morning, so why not?
4. Promotes Muscle Recovery
If you’ve ever studied the recovery practices of professional athletes you will see that following their training or workout sessions, they soak themselves in an ice bath. While cold showers are also fine, ice is superior in helping to relieve pain the day after training, referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness.
This is a classic symptom of muscle breakdown and is usually accompanied by significant pain and inflammation to the affected areas. In turn, this impairs your ability to work out for a day or two afterward, time you may not have to spare if you are a competitive professional.
Studies have found that people who take cold showers as short as 24 minutes per session were able to significantly reduce inflammation and pain, while also recovering much faster as well. However, many of these professional athletes may opt for cryotherapy, techniques not easily accessible to the general public.
5. Reduces Stress
Stress causes harm to various organ systems, often without you even realizing what is going on. Cold showers help actively decrease cortisol secretion and also increases levels of beneficial brain chemicals known as endorphins. In addition to this, powerful antioxidants such as glutathione are increased along with other accessory compounds which help to buffer the effects of excess stress caused by high cortisol secretion. Repeated use of cold showers further improves your resistance to oxidative stress and overtime, can help modulate the production of cortisol by your body.
6. Improves Mood And Fights Depression
As previously mentioned above, cortisol, which is frequently associated with stress is a major contributor to depressive illness. Cold showers appear to stimulate the sensitivity of nerves, whose signals are then transmitted to the brain.
In fact, this increased sensitivity improves production of the endorphins dopamine and serotonin among others, improving your mood when you’re feeling down.
Cold water hydrotherapy can also be used as a natural management technique for depressive illness and does not appear to have any adverse effects.
Sessions can be as short as 3-5 minutes in duration, but its effects on your mental well-being are still significant.
7. Improves Condition of Your Skin And Hair
By now you’ve seen the physical and mental benefits cold showers can have on your health, but what about beauty? If it still wasn’t enough to motivate you to get using them, you’re in luck as it can also improve the natural beauty of your hair and skin.
Warm water removes much more of the natural oils that our skin and hair produces, leaving them listless and dry when compared to cold water showers.
In addition to this, hair that is washed regularly with cold water has been shown to have stronger follicles, and are less likely to experience dandruff. Of course, cold water showers also stimulates blood flow to the scalp which may make it an attractive option for many considering techniques to combat hair loss.
8. Increases Testosterone Levels
If you are a man, you will be particularly interested to know that cold showers can increase testosterone levels. While it may not be well known as yet, conducted studies have found that testosterone increases as a result of exposure to the cold, as the increase in body temperature causes DNA and protein synthesis rates to increase.
This is the reason why your testes hang lower than your body, testosterone production and spermatogenesis is inhibited by high heat; so to compensate, your testes hang away from your body which equates to a lower temperature. Cold water enhances production of testosterone by the testes and can explain one of the techniques used by professional weightlifters before a competition; soaking in ice baths. This is believed to translate to increased power generation.
9. It Helps You Sleep
Yes, why warm showers help you get to sleep and cold showers have been shown to week you up, at least in the morning, but when used at night can have the same beneficial effect on your sleep patterns.
This effect appears to be due to the stimulation of melatonin, an important hormone that regulates our natural circadian rhythm, and whose levels increase as the sun sets. Try it out; have a cold shower a few times weekly before you go to bed and notice the difference!
Cold showers are so easy to implement, that you can take advantage of it wherever you live. If you live in a cold area, even better! Many of the most influential and successful people on the planet swear by cold showers, so that should mean that there is something to them.
Start gradually; use them once or twice a week and gauge your response. The results will speak to the efficacy of the technique.