Why A Cold Shower Is Good For You
Whilst most people prefer to start or end their day with a warm shower, studies have shown time after time that taking a cold shower could be beneficial to your physical and mental health.
One study from Virginia Commonwealth University claimed that cold showers can help alleviate low mood symptoms by sending electrical nerve impulses to the brain, resulting in an uplifting effect. Whilst in the Netherlands a studyfound cold showers to increase productivity and reduced sick days.
So it’s crazy to think that just a twist of the temperature dial can have such a huge impact on your life. Here are just some reasons why taking a cold shower is good for you.
They are good for mental health.
A study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses predicted that 2-3 minutes of exposure to cold water can result in an anti-depressive effect over several months. This is down to the cold water activating the brain’s primary source of noradrenaline — a chemical that could help diminish depression.
It can help with weight loss.
Whilst we don’t recommend swapping a healthy diet and daily exercise with a cold shower, taking one could help with weight loss. Coldwater promotes the production of ‘brown fat’ cells in our body which is what keeps us warm and boosts our metabolism.
Cold showers can help improve your mood
When the cold water hits your skin, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system causing a significant increase in endorphins and an anti-depressive effect without any notable side effects. Once you get past the shock you’ll feel good and supercharged for the day ahead.
You’ll take fewer sick days
As we mentioned earlier a study in 2006 found that those who ended their daily hot shower with a quick 30-second blast of cold water took, on average, almost a third fewer sick days from work over a three-month period than did their peers whose showers were hot from start to finish.
It’ll boost your sex drive
A cold shower is usually prescribed for those who want to calm down their libido but that’s not how it works – in fact, it has the complete opposite effect. Thrombosis Research Institute, where researchers found that cold water exposure increases testosterone production in men, presumably as part of our “flight or fight” response to perceived danger.
Cold showers can help with stress.
Another benefit of cold water is that it boosts the glutathione levels in the blood and the cold could help decrease levels of harmful biological by-products superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase. In simple terms, you’ll be able to deal better with environmental stresses.
So to take a cold shower?
The good news is that you don’t have to get in the shower and turn the temperature down straight away. Start off slow by having the water luke-warm and then a cold 10 second blast at the end.
Also make sure that you practice breathing techniques, this will help psyche you up for the cold water and keep your body calm.
You may also want to alternate between hot and cold so 30 seconds hot and then 30 seconds cold whilst building it up.