9 Amazing Benefits of a Cold Shower | What Are the Benefits of Taking a Cold Shower
Have you heard of the benefits of a cold shower? Could this simple preference actually protect and improve your health?
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Are the Benefits of a Cold Shower Worth the Chill?
1. Cold Showers May Wake You Up
A product of evolution, we humans have refined survival instincts that kick off when we face stressful situations.
It is believed that when we get cold, our body goes into fight or flight mode to protect itself. This includes rushing blood to vital organs working hard to warm the body.
In a state of survival mode, you are more alert and most definitely awake.
2. A Cold Shower Could Help You Lose Fat
Cold temperatures might help you lose fat. Or better yet, convert fat.
There are two types of fat in our bodies.
- White fats store energy for later. This type is infamous for leaving you with a double chin or a belly. Exercise and diets target this type of fat, working to burn them.
- Brown fats produce heat and help regulate your body temperature.
Studies show that exposure to the cold may convert white fat to brown fat.
In addition, they found that the subjects had improved insulin sensitivity when the subjects ate under a cold temperature.
However, it's important to note that all the benefits reversed when they were exposed to warmer temperatures.
A healthful diet and vigorous exercise are still better at zapping calories and fat. But a cold shower may be a useful tool to keep in the toolbox.
3. Cold Showers May Be Good for Your Hair
An icy shower may be good for your locks, keeping them strong and shiny.
It is believed that cold water closes your hair cuticles, which may benefit those fresh from a hair color session.
4. Cold Showers May Improve the Appearance of Your Skin
The benefits of a cold shower may lend themselves to your skincare routine.
It is known that washing your face with cold water may help:
- improve the appearance of large pores
- lessen inflammation
- bring down puffiness
- improve the appearance of wrinkles
5. A Cold Shower Could Help You Combat a Cold
The benefits of a cold shower include—ironically—beating a cold.
No, it won't cure your cold. But it could help your body stand up to a cold by reducing its symptoms. And one study found that it could help improve your attendance at work.
A 2016 study points out that a cold shower lead to a 29% drop in sick leaves. Also good to note that, combined with regular exercise, sick leaves declined by 54%.
The researchers aren't sure how this affects your immune system. Instead, they cite that workers still felt ill, but the cold shower energized them and eased some symptoms.
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6. Cold Showers May Help with Quick Muscle Recovery
Ice baths are popular among athletes, known to help with muscle recovery.
A cold shower after exercise might help control blood flow, ease sore muscles and pain, and bring down inflammation.
While heat and cold therapy are both effective in treating sore muscles, the cold is far more effective in strength recovery and easing pain.
However, another study points out that cold water immersion is no better than active recovery in easing inflammation or cellular stress after resistance training.
There's growing research on the benefits of a cold shower or cryotherapy. Word on the street says that an ice bath might actually prevent muscle growth in athletes.
7. A Cold Shower Might Ease Symptoms of Depression
A cold shower might prove to be a great pick-me-up!
A seven-minute soak under a 20°C shower may elevate your blood endorphin and noradrenaline levels. Endorphins and noradrenaline are linked to depression. Additionally, some depression medications affect noradrenaline levels in the body.
The researchers add that the shocking effect of a cold shower might also have an anti-depressive effect.
8. A Cold Shower May Help You Cope with Stress
Feeling hot-headed? Cool off with a cold shower.
The authors also noted that winter swimming helps lower fatigue, tension, and boosted the well-being of swimmers.
9. Cold Showers May Enhance Cancer Immunity
Some studies show that cold stress may help build an immunity to some cancers.
Some hospitals use cryotherapy to kill cancer cells. But this type of treatment is beyond what your shower and thermostat can provide you.
The benefits of a cold shower may include a way to fight cancer. But the research is lacking, and nothing can replace medical treatment.
How Cold Is a Cold Shower?
How chilly does your water need to get before you reap the benefits of a cold shower?
A cold shower falls around 60° F or 15° C. Fortunately, you do not need to stand under the water for too long to reap its cool benefits.
Other studies had subjects in below that 15° C water for five minutes. On the other hand, some studies use 20°C in their methodology.
A three-minute session might be enough to give you the effect you want. And this might be all you can stand anyway.
Are the Benefits of a Cold Shower Worth It?
A cold shower may definitely help up the ante on your health but to a minimal degree.
For each benefit of a cold shower, there are many other ways to achieve the same effect. And they do not involve as much discomfort as an icy cold shower.
Keep in mind that a cold shower benefits healthy people and may not be so good for others. If you are battling hypertension, a bone-chilling, heart-pumping bath might overwork your heart.
Do doctors recommend cold showers? Perhaps not.
Nothing can replace a nutrient pack diet and regular exercise. Whether you cap a power workout with a blast of a cold shower is entirely up to you.
Taking a cold shower costs nothing—except maybe a jolt down your spine.
Are the benefits of taking a cold shower cool to you? Or do you feel lukewarm about it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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