How can there possibly be any benefits of cold showers?
There is an age-old saying that goes something like, “If you hate it then it’s probably good for you.”
This philosophy may not apply well to things like drinking bleach or stabbing yourself with a spoon, but how does it fare with drenching yourself with cold water?
Are cold showers good for you and is there any point to freezing your ass off besides keeping the mirror from fogging up?
Oddly enough, turning the handle to blue can provide you with some extraordinary health benefits in a very short period of time!
Let’s look at 15 awesome cold shower benefits that might change the way you think about the temperature of your next shower!
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1. Burns Fat
The first awesome benefit of bathing in cold water is fat loss! Coldwater on the body can achieve this in some cool ways!
It’s not very well known, but the human body actually consists of two different types of fat – white fat and brown fat.
White fat (white adipose tissue) is the stuff that hangs around your waist or below your neck that you hate, despise, and work tirelessly to get rid of! It’s considered a dangerous type of fat that creates a higher risk of ailments such as diabetes or heart disease. We’ll just call it bad fat.
Brown fat (brown adipose tissue) is a different animal that is consumed by the body to provide heat. However, when when the body burns brown fat, it also burns calories!
When taking a cold shower, your body activates this brown fat to help protect you from the cold and in the process burns extra calories.
As a matter of fact, according to Dr. Aaron Cypess of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, just three ounces of brown fat is enough to burn 400 – 500 extra calories a day! It was also found that exposure to cold temperatures caused a “15-fold increase in the metabolic rate of brown fat” which could result in losing 9 extra pounds a year!
How cool is that?
On top of this, regular cold showers can also increase your metabolic rate helping you burn more calories at every point in the day – including sitting in front of the TV!
So if you are looking for some help to shred a few extra pounds, cold showers are nice little addition to throw into your routine!
2. Fights Stress & Increases Emotion Resilience
If you are easily frustrated or anxious this is one of the benefits of cold showers that should single-handedly make you want to jump into an ice bath!
The fact is, cold water REALLY sucks and when it touches your body it is extremely stressful. However, by placing yourself in this stressful situation your brain begins to learn how to deal with that stress. You begin to adapt to this stress and build a tolerance to it.
This tolerance is called emotional resilience and basically determines how reactive you are in stressful situations.
In addition to this mental rewiring, cold showers also help lower the levels of uric acid and boost glutathione in the blood—which also helps reduce overall stress!
So if you are looking to be a more stoic and emotionally grounded individual, consider throwing a cold shower in your daily toolbox!
3. Increases Willpower
Imagine how much different your life would be if you completed 1% more every day than you do now? It would be significantly different in a very short period of time.
The fact is, every day we fight the same old fight between the things we need to do and the urge not to do them. Our willpower is typically the telling factor of how that battle goes.
I’m sure you have heard the saying that willpower is a muscle and like any muscle, it is only as strong as you make it.
The more that you do things that you don’t want to do, the easier it becomes to do them. Furthermore, when you make a habit of doing things that you absolutely HATE, it can become a very strong force that can have rippling effects throughout your life!
So if you are looking to build up your mental strength and discipline, start your morning with a cold shower!
4. Helps Fight Depression
If you are dealing with some things in your life or have any degree of depression, taking a cold shower may be able to help give you a little relief.
Besides taking you out of your head and being meditative, exposure to cold water activates the sympathetic nervous system — also known as the fight or flight system – and increases noradrenaline in the blood and to the brain. Noradrenaline is a hormone and neurotransmitter that has anti-depressional properties!
In addition, when the cold hits your skin, your nerve endings send electrical impulses to your brain that can have a “feel good” effect and help reduce the effect of depression!
So if you are feeling a little down in the dumps, turn the handle from red to blue!
5. Reduces Inflammation
One of the cooler – no pun intended – benefits of cold showers is its life-prolonging effects!
In recent years, medical science has been finding that inflammation is one of the major players in a vast amount of diseases including heart disease, 2 diabetes, depression, and even cancer!
While cold showers have for many years helped athletes reduce muscle inflammation, cold water can also help reduce other types of bodily inflammation that can have more serious health effects.
So if your goal is to live forever, a cold shower is a must!
6. Softer Skin & Hair
In addition to helping you live longer, cold showers can also help you look younger!
The cold water helps your skin and hair stay soft, supple, and hydrated because it doesn’t strip away as many of the natural oils that warm water does!
In addition, cold showers can help your hair stay strong and healthy by increasing the grip each hair follicle has on your scalp.
So if you suffer from dandruff, dry skin, acne, or even hair-loss, this awesome benefit is for you!
7. Fall Asleep Faster & Sleep Better
One of the greater benefits of cold showers is their ability to regulate your body temperature in a way that is conducive to sleep.
It’s been found that body temperature is directly correlated with our circadian rhythm and as night approaches our brain sends neural signals to the body telling it to lower its core temperature.
However, we can trick our brain into the same result with a simple cold shower before bed!
In addition, a cold shower before bed can also help keep you fall asleep by reducing inflammation, cortisol, and stress that typically play a role in restfulness!
So take a cold shower and get some good sleep! With all that extra sleep you may as well learn how to lucid dream!
8. Wake Up Faster
It’s likely no surprise, but taking a cold shower in the morning will wake your ass up faster than a slap to the groin.
So if you’re not a morning person or just need that extra push that caffeine just can’t provide, crank that temperature down and give yourself the start you need to conquer the day!
9. Deep Meditative Breathing
The single greatest benefit of cold showers is that it forces you to take very deep and rapid breaths that are in many ways meditative and packed full of benefits!
The first thing that you naturally do when jumping into a cold shower is to take a huge breath, which is then followed by more deep breaths.
Deep breathing has a host of benefits such as:
- Decreasing stress
- Improving mental clarity
- Relieving pain
- Detoxifying the body
- Improving immunity
- Increasing energy
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving digestions
- Improving posture
Simply put, the benefit of taking a cold shower is you are forced to put more oxygen into your body and mind. Not a bad deal!
10. Improves Circulation
Who doesn’t want to have better blood circulation? It keeps your fingers warms, plus helps your little jr. come out to play!
A cool little benefit of cold showers is that it helps overall cardiovascular health. When your body gets cold, blood rushes to your organs to keep them warm.
Furthermore, warm water pulls blood to your skin, so if you alternate between hot and cold water you’ll have a double whammy benefiting your cardiovascular health.
11. Faster Muscle Recovery
Whether you’re an athlete or someone who did something “too athletic” for their current physical abilities, cold showers are a great way to help your muscles recover fast!
According to a 2009 study, cold showers help your body recover by reducing the lactic acid build-up, improving circulation to the muscles, and decreasing inflammation!
You can amplify the effects by alternating between hot and cold water to really get the blood moving.
Cold showers — as we’ll see in a moment — also increase testosterone which also aids in muscle recovery!
By throwing cold showers into your life you might never fear leg day again!
12. Increased Immunity
Unless you’re 12 years old looking for an excuse to stay home from school, getting sick sucks!
However, you can kick your immune system into overdrive by taking regular cold showers!
According to a 1993 study by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England, individuals who took regular cold showers saw an increase in white blood cell count. It is believed that the increase in metabolic rate causes the body to create more white blood cells.
So if you get sick more often than you like or just want to keep your immune system one step ahead of the game, cold showers are the only medicine you need!
13. Boosts Testosterone
If you are a guy one of the absolute best benefits of taking a cold shower is that it increases your overall testosterone! This by itself has a host of other amazing benefits such as decreasing fat, increasing muscle, stronger bones, better libido, improved mood, and better mental capacity.
As a matter of fact, the male testicles hang on the outside of the body just so they can stay cool.
So if you are a guy looking for a little edge, a cold shower will literally put that manly hair on your chest!
14. Increased Fertility
In addition to increasing testosterone and circulation, cold showers have another awesome benefit to male sexual health.
It increases sperm count and fertility!
The University of California at San Francisco did a study where men were exposed to hot water in the form of showers and baths for 30 minutes a day spanning one week. After stopping the long exposure to hot water their sperm count spiked 491%!
Another study done in the 1950s found that if men took a 30-minute hot bath every other day for 3 weeks they would become completely infertile!
While it’s not truly known if cold water helps fertility, it is very known that warm water decreases it! So if at the moment fertility matters to you, stick to cold water!
15. Helps the Lymphatic System
The last of our cold shower benefits is the effect it has on our lymphatic system!
The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system whose purpose is to protect us from infections and diseases by disposing of toxins and wastes with a fluid called lymph fluid.
Just like blood, lymph fluid travels through vessels, however, unlike blood, this fluid is pumped through the body by muscle contractions and not the heart.
This means that if you aren’t using your muscles, this fluid isn’t flowing and can become stagnant.
However, by alternating between hot and cold water these lymph vessels contract and relax causing them to pump the lymph fluid without muscle movement.
So if you want to diminish the chance of ever picking up an infection or disease, along with rocking a bomb ass immune system, alternate between cold and hot water!
So as we can see, there are a ton of benefits of bathing with cold water. From your physical health to your mental toughness – a cold shower can truly play a transformational role in your life.
Besides a little discomfort and perhaps some strange looks when you tell your friends, there really aren’t any disadvantages of cold showers!
So what are you waiting for? Go jump in the shower, throw the handle to the blue side, and teach yourself how to take a cold shower! You won’t regret it!