Are Cold Showers Good For You? The Many Cold Shower Benefits
If you're like most people, the thought of taking a cold shower probably doesn't fill you with a lot of excitement. In fact, it might even make you a little bit uncomfortable!
However, there is growing evidence to suggest that cold showers can have a multitude of benefits for both your physical and mental health. Read on to learn more about the many cold shower benefits that might just change your mind about this polarizing topic!
What Is Classified As A Cold Shower?
While it's common to believe that for a shower to be considered "cold", you need to expose yourself to freezing temperatures, this isn't necessarily the case. In fact, water temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit can still offer many of the same cold shower benefits as water that is truly icy.
Of course, if you're someone who struggles to get through a lukewarm shower, it might be best to start with slightly warmer water and gradually lower the temperature as you become more accustomed to the sensation.
Anything below 70 degrees can help you experience the benefits that cold showers have to offer.
Why Would Anyone Want To Take A Cold Shower?
While the prospect of taking a cold shower might not sound particularly appealing, there is actually a long history of people using this method to improve their health. In fact, many cultures around the world have incorporated cold water therapy into their healing practices for centuries.
From the case of Wim Hof, dubbed the "Iceman" for his ability to withstand extreme cold, to the practice of Hindu holy men taking cold baths in the Ganges River, there are many examples of people using cold water to improve their health.
So, what is it about cold water that seems to have such a positive effect on our health? Let's take a look at some of the science behind cold showers to find out.
The Benefits Of Cold Showers
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests exposure to cold temperatures can have a number of positive effects on our health. Let's take a look at some of the studies that have been done on the topic:
Cold Showers Can Help You Lose Weight
Taking cold showers can help promote weight loss by increasing your metabolism and helping burn more calories throughout the day. One study found that people who took cold showers burned more calories than those who took hot showers—so if you’re looking for a way to boost your weight loss efforts, add cold showers into the mix!
Why does this occur? It's because when you expose yourself to cold temperatures, your body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature. This process, known as thermogenesis, requires the body to burn more calories to warm the body, leading to weight loss over time.
Depression is a serious mental illness that can have a profound effect on every aspect of your life. While there are many different treatment options available, one study found that cold water therapy might be an effective way to fight depression.
The study found that people who took cold showers experienced a significant reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
This is believed to be due to the fact that cold water exposure can stimulate the release of endorphins, which are known to improve mood and alleviate pain.
Cold Showers Are Good For Your Skin And Hair
Hot water can strip away the natural oils that protect your skin and hair, leading to dryness, itchiness, and irritation. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, you may find relief by taking cold showers. Cold water can help to soothe irritation and redness, and it can also help to lock in moisture. This is because cold water constricts blood vessels, which helps to reduce inflammation. To get the most benefit from a cold shower, apply a moisturizer immediately after drying off.
It is also believed that cold water stimulates the skin to produce more collagen, an essential protein that maintains the health of your joints, skin, and hair. You can also get all of these benefits from Radiance Collagen Powder with daily use.
Hot water also strips away natural oils from your scalp, which can lead to dryness, frizz, and breakage. Cold water, on the other hand, can help to seal the cuticle (outer layer) of your hair, which results in shinier, smoother locks. In addition, cold water can also help to boost circulation in the scalp, which promotes hair growth. If you have oily hair, cold showers can also help to reduce oiliness by closing pores and balancing sebum production.
There are a few theories as to why cold water exposure might help to improve immunity. One theory is that the shock of the cold water helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn helps to reduce stress levels and promote a state of relaxation. When the body is in a relaxed state, it is better able to fight off infection and disease.
In addition, studies show that exposure to cold water can help trigger the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are an important part of the immune system as they help fight off infection. In one study, researchers found that exposure to cold water helped increase the activity of natural killer cells. Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cell that helps fight off viruses and cancer cells.
Boosts Mental Alertness
The first thing to understand is that when you take a cold shower, your body goes into shock. This is because the water is very cold and your body is not used to it. When your body is in shock, it releases endorphins. These endorphins are responsible for making you feel good, but also for elevating your mental alertness.
In addition to the release of endorphins, taking cold showers can also help to increase your heart rate. As your heart rate increases, more oxygen will be pumped around your body. This increased oxygenation can help to improve your cognitive function and explains the wakefulness that many people feel after taking a cold shower.
Improved Motivation and Productivity
When we expose ourselves to cold water, our bodies release dopamine and catecholamines in response to the stressor (in this case, the cold water). And while this might sound counterintuitive, research has shown that this can actually help us feel more alert and motivated. In one study, participants who took cold showers reported feeling more energetic and motivated than those who took hot showers.
So next time you're struggling to get out of bed in the morning or feeling low on energy, try taking a quick cold shower followed by Dawn To Dusk and see your productivity soar.
You've probably seen athletes taking a soak in an ice bath after a workout or tough game. Turns out, there's a science to this practice. Studies show that cold water exposure can help to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. It does this by constricting blood vessels and slowing down the activity of cells. This helps to reduce swelling and pain.
In one study, participants who took an ice bath after exercise reported less pain and felt their muscles recovered faster than those who did not take one.
Plus, transient exposure to cold activates heat shock proteins which can help with muscle hypertrophy after a tough training session.
May Increase Lifespan
There is some proof that lower temperatures have been associated with a longer lifespan in some species, but this hasn't necessarily been confirmed for humans- yet. However, there is unmistakable evidence that the cold exerts anti-aging effects on our body.
Combined with favorable genetic traits, and this could easily translate to a longer lifespan in humans as well.
So while we can't say for sure that cold showers will help you live longer, there is certainly some evidence that suggests it could have anti-aging effects.
May Increase Fertility and Testosterone Levels
A little fact that is the testicles hang below the male body for a reason, which is to keep them cooler than the rest of the body.
This is because sperm cells are sensitive to heat and too much exposure can damage them. In fact, studies show that just a 1-2 degree increase in testicular temperature can reduce sperm count by up to 40%.
So by keeping the testes cool, cold water exposure may help to improve sperm quality and quantity. Additionally, it may also help to increase testosterone levels.
Although the exact mechanism is unknown, it's thought that the increased release of catecholamines in response to the cold water may help to stimulate testosterone production.
Are Cold Showers For Everyone?
As good as they are, there is no definitive answer as to whether or not cold showers are good for everyone.
Some people swear by the benefits of cold showers and believe that they improve overall health and well-being, while others find them uncomfortable and inconvenient.
There are also some people who should not take just cold showers on their own, including those with high blood pressure, heart conditions, mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, or a history of seizures. Anyone considering taking a cold shower should speak with a doctor to determine if it is the right choice for them.
If the thought of the cold still feels intimidating, it's acceptable to ease into it. This means that towards the end of your shower, you can gradually decrease the temperature until it's tolerably cold.
Over time, you can lower the temperature a little more bit by bit, until you can even manage to have an invigorating cold shower without gasping for air.
Of course, there are many benefits to hot showers as well, but that's a discussion for another time.
For now, if you're looking to improve your physical and mental health, cold showers may be a great place to start.