If you are like me you hate taking cold showers, especially in the morning! Most people, including myself, love to take hot showers. However, today we are going to be discussing why you might want to potentially include cold showers into your daily routine.
Are Cold Showers Good For You?
What are cold showers?
Cold showers are when the water temperature goes below 70°F. It is recommended that you start your shower warm then switch your shower briefly to cold for about 30 seconds up to 2 minutes.
Some people take 5-10 minute showers and that is all up to you. Personally, I turn my shower to freezing cold for about 10-30 seconds at the end of my shower and I come out feeling more awake than I did going into the shower.
Are cold showers healthy?
Pros for taking cold showers:
- increases alertness
- helps with depression
- helps burn fat
- calms itchy skin
- increases blood flow
- helps reduce muscle recovery post-workout
Cons for taking cold showers:
- doesn’t boost testosterone
- hard to do during winter
- not good when you are sick
Cold showers can make you feel more alert and awake, this is why it is good to take a cold shower in the morning to help give you a little extra boost in the mornings.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine of existing cold water immersion (5-10 minutes), it says that cold showers have many physiological effects on the body, such as:
- increased heart rate
- higher blood pressure
- elevated respiratory rate
The shock of the cold water when it hits your body first thing in the morning, causes you to be more alert and can lead you into being more physically active. Read More
Helps with Depression
Just about 10% of American adults suffer from depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are many different types of drugs and ways to help with depression. One method is called hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy is taking a cold shower for about up to 5 minutes, 2 to 3 times per week. This study was shown to relieve the symptoms of depression.
It is said that cold showers act as gentle electroshock therapy for people suffering from depression. This is caused when the cold water hits your body it sends any electrical impulses to your brain to increase alertness, clarity, and energy levels.
People who have depression suffer from a lack of endorphins which are sometimes called happiness hormones. When doing something that makes you feel happy your brain lets off endorphins creating that happy feeling you get. When taking a cold shower your brain releases the endorphins which can lead you to feel happy and optimistic about life. Read more
Helps Burn Fat
Everyone has 2 types of fat:
- White Fat
- Brown Fat
White fat is the fat that stores your energy. This fat helps to keep you warm. We mostly associate white fat with conditions such as obesity and heart disease.
Brown fat on the other hand is a special type of body fat that burns your white fat when your body temperature gets cold to keep your body warm.
Just taking cold showers alone if your are obese will not be sufficient enough to help you lose weight you still need to change your lifestyle. However, cold showers do help boost your metabolism and can even out certain hormone levels as well as heal the gastrointestinal system. Read more
Calms Itchy Skin
According to Adam Friedman, MD, he says if you have itchy skin taking cold showers can help you overcome the sensation to scratch it.
From a physiological standpoint, it is said that your nerves can’t transmit multiple sensations at the same time. Read more
Increases Blood Flow
As the cold water hits your body, it causes your blood to go deeper in the tissues to circulate at faster rates in order to keep your body at an ideal warm temperature.
According to research, a cold shower can help someone with hypertension or cardiovascular disease since the exposure to cold temperatures reduces inflation and can help to further prevent cardiovascular disease. Read more
Helps Reduce Muscle Recovery Post-Workout
In a 2010 case study of two athletes, they found that cold water immersion helped reduce pain and tenderness of their muscles after an intense exercise. It is also said it may allow athletes to return quicker to athletics activities.
Cold showers have regenerative properties that will help your muscles relax and repair after each workout no matter if it was working out at the gym or going for a run. It can reduce the stress you may feel the next couple of days after intense physical activities.
As for the cons, cold showers will do nothing for your testosterone that a workout at the gym won’t do.
It is extremely hard for people to take cold showers when it is cold outside. However, most people during the winter are not running or working out as much as they would during the summer.
I would also not recommend you take a cold shower when you are feeling ill. Just take a warm shower or bath.
Cold showers are not for everyone, people with the following conditions should avoid them:
- high blood pressure
- heart condition or heart disease
- overheated or feverish (hyperthermia) from an illness or intense exercise
- recently recovered from an illness, such as flu or cold
- immune system disorder or have a compromised immune system from an illness
- feeling over exhausted or stressed, as switching to cold showers can put extra stress on the body
Also if you have depression or a mental health condition, please do not replace your medication with cold shower/cold water therapy. Instead, use it with your medication. And ask a doctor if cold showers are right for you.
Yes, cold showers are healthy for you. But it is not for everyone. I suggest just try and take a quick cold shower at the end of your warm shower and see if you like it and benefit from any of the topics I just talked about in this article.
If you do like it then great, try to use it in your daily routine. If it isn’t for you then that’s fine too. I am not saying cold showers are necessary for everyday life. I just think it has some good benefits for people to try out and test for themselves if it helps them or not.