A cold shower might sound unappealing, but we've 12 shocking benefits that will change your mind about giving them a go! I'm willing to bet you'll be a convert by the end of this article
Training in the heat: Step 1: Drink Better Fuel. Step 2: Jump into a cold shower!
Cold showers have so many benefits you'd be crazy not to try them and we'll be covering the 12 biggest ones which are:
- Boost immune function
- Reduce depression
- Speed up your metabolism
- Increase productivity
- Improve muscle recovery
- Improve blood circulation
- Give you a free energy boost
- Reduce chronic fatigue
- Boost fertility
- Wake you up fast
- Make you more attractive - seriously!
- Help you sleep better
Plus we'll cover the three best ways to make cold showers a winning daily habit, but now let's get into those 12 reasons you need to take a cold shower.
Cold shower benefits #1: Boost immune function
Exposure to cold water triggers anti-inflammatory norepinephrine release while “red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets count increased significantly” according to this study.
Another study found winter swimmers had “an improved adaptation to oxidative stress and better tackled inflammation" [which is at the heart of all chronic diseases].
Another stated “A moderate stress such as cold water swimming can raise the tolerance of the body to potentially injurious events”.
It might sound unappealing but even just a few seconds under the cold tap can bring huge benefits
Cold shower benefits #2: Reduce depression
“Exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system... Additionally, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect”.
That's from a study by the University School of Medicine, Richmond, while another study showed depressive symptoms were relieved in those who took two or three five-minute cold showers per week.
Cold shower benefits #3: Speed up metabolism
People who take a daily cold shower show an increase in metabolism for one main reason - increased activation in brown adipose tissue (good fat) which is used to generate heat and insulate us against the cold. It’s the type of fat we want and kicking it into action boosts metabolism.
Take a cold soaking and boost your metabolism. For free!
Cold shower benefits #4: Increased productivity
A study in the Netherlands involving 3,000 participants found those who finished their daily shower with a 30-90 second blast of cold water were 29% less absent than their colleagues after just 30-days of the trial.
It speaks volumes that two-thirds of those who completed the study continued with their daily cold shower ritual once the trial ended.
Cold shower benefits #5: Improved muscle recovery
Cold water immersion for sports performance is well documented and widely practiced by high performance athletes who need rapid recovery.
Athletes typically sit in an ice bath for 7-14 minutes to reduce inflammation and accelerate recovery. Don't worry, you don't have to go to those extremes, your cold shower will do the trick just fine!
Want to get ripped? Here's the recipe: train hard, take cold showers and eat well with plenty of quality protein
Cold shower benefits #6: Improved blood circulation
When you take a cold shower your body naturally increases blood flow which is seriously good for you.
Cold shower benefits #7: A free energy boost
Cold showers stimulate our sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for our 'fight-or-flight' response to danger. This triggers a hormone release which is felt as an adrenaline rush and that's why cold showers leave you buzzing every time.
Take a cold shower to put instant pep in your step
Cold shower benefits #8: Beat chronic fatigue
There appears to be a strong link between chronic fatigue and insufficient hypothalamus function, which cold water exposure has been shown to reverse.
Cold shower benefits #9: Boost male fertility
There’s evidence showing high water temperature exposure – like baths, jacuzzis and hot showers – can reduce male fertility. Testicles need cool environment to operate optimally and a cold shower delivers exactly that.
Cold shower benefits #10: Wakes you up - fast!
Of all effects, this is the one we most readily feel. Regardless of the countless health benefits, there's no doubt a cold shower makes you more alert at the start of the day.
After a night sleeping, your body often needs a kick to start firing on all cylinders - a cold shower is the perfect prescription.
A cold shower will raise you from your slumber
Cold shower benefits #11: Makes you more attractive. No, really!
Yup, cold showers have been shown to improve your hair and skin. You'll even feel it – in a cold shower your skin becomes more taught, that feeling is your pores contracting.
Furthermore, cold water doesn’t wash away the natural oils on your skin the way the way hot water does,
As Dr Jessica Krant confirms: “excessively hot water will strip healthy natural oils from your skin too quickly”.
Cold shower benefits #12: Better sleep
You’ll enjoy improve sleep after a cold shower too. We know how important sleep is for athletes and the general population and, taken one hour before bed, a cold shower will lower your core temperature and relax your mind.
Cold shower benefits: conclusion
A cold shower is one daily habit that we can totally get on board with and it's as easy as turning the tap the other way. Better still, not only will it boost your life quality and performance at a stroke, it will also save you money on your energy bills and help the planet too because you'll not be burning any fuel to heat your shower water.
Ready for a cold shower? Three tips to make cold showers an easy and enjoyable part of your day:
- Tip #1 - easy does it: Start with a normal shower and reduce the temperature for a minute before reverting to warm. Do this a couple of times during your shower
- Tip #2 - cold finish: Have a normal shower but this time finish with 60–90 seconds under the cool tap
- Tip #3 - total immersion: Dive in and go cold from the off. Psych yourself up and know you’ll feel great afterwards. Remember, it’s only the first 10 seconds that are hard and you'll be reaping the benefits for the rest of the day
Another (slightly warmer) way to boost health, longevity and endurance with a simple daily habit is with our Ultimate Daily Greens. Runner's World Health Product of the Year, these Greens taste amazing. What’s more, they’re 100% natural and are a cost-effective way of increasing your nutrient intake.
Ultimate Daily Greens – another daily habit to improve health and fitness