Have you ever been so relaxed in a nice hot shower, only to be blasted by what feels like a sub zero devil water?
I know, it seems like your world has come to an immediate end.
But next time this happens, don’t be so fast to scream at your GF, and instead embrace the cold. Because this ice cold shower may be exactly what you need.
Cold showers have been proven to have an amazing effect on your well being and health. Something as simple as rotating the temperature gage can really have a big improvement on your life.
So in this article you’ll not only learn the 15 benefits of cold showers, but how to actually grow the balls to take them!
Because it takes balls.
But before we go there, lets check out the 15 benefits of taking cold showers:
1) Cold Showers Build Strong Will Power
Out of all the other articles out there, no one lists this as a positive of taking cold showers, but I personally think it’s the most important.
Cold showers build massive will power.
To a cold shower virgin, the amount of will power it takes to take cold showers may seem like that of a Shaolin Monk, because for the common man it is a pretty big jump.
Doing something you are so resistant to, every single day, right when you wake up, takes a lot of mental strength. And overtime, this mental strength and discipline will become an automated habit that echos into every area of your life. This is why it’s a staple of motivational blogger, Victor Pride’s, 30 Days of Discipline (Which is awesome BTW).
So do it!
2) They Improve Emotional Resilience
Do you get flustered, anxious or pissed off easily?
Cold showers can help. Seriously, cold showers train your nervous system to be more resilient to stress.
As shown in this study, cold showers act as a small form of oxidative stress on your nervous system. And overtime, the body adapts to this. Essentially, you will be a calm, cool, badass dude. The first time you step in that cold shower, you won’t be able to think straight, let alone breath. But after a month, you will be thinking about your day in a Zen like focus as the ice cold water has no effect on your manliness. This will translate into everyday life as you brush off stressful bullshit that would typically ruin your mood.
“This can be viewed as an adaption to repeated oxidative stress, and is postulated as a mechanism for body hardening. Hardening is the exposure to a natural, e.g., thermal stimulus, resulting in an increased tolerance to stress, e.g., diseases.” – Science Direct
Think about James Bond. In the books, James Bond always takes what is known as a Scottish Shower, where he starts off hot and finishes with ice cold water. And he’s the calmest, coolest dude there is!
3) They Reduce Stress
Along with increasing your adaptation to stressful situations, they will lower levels of uric acid, and boost levels of Glutathione in your blood – making you less stressed in general.
4) Cold Showers Increase Alertness
If you’re one of the brave souls that have taken a cold shower already, then you will know that at first it is hard to breath.
But don’t be scared. This extreme deep breathing, at 8AM every morning, is going to dramatically increase your oxygen intake & heart rate, resulting in a natural dose of energy throughout the day.
On top of the icy cold water, this deep breathing will leave you feeling alert, instead of a groggy zombie like your coworkers.
5) They’ll Improve Your Skin & Hair
If your not motivated by feeling better, then be motivated by looking better.
One of the best ways to improve your skin (and hair) is by taking cold showers. Plus it’s free!
According to certified Dermatologist Jessica Krant, ice cold water can help our skin by preventing it from losing too many natural oils. And your hair gets the same benefit.
Along with that, one of the benefits of cold showers is how they will help your hair appear shiny, strong & healthy by keeping the follicles flat and increasing their grip to the scalp. This is great news for any of you guys who are scared of losing your hair!
6) Stimulate Weight Loss
Another way cold showers will make you look better, is by promoting fat loss.
Most people don’t know this, but there are two types of fat in your body. Brown fat & white fat. White fat is bad. It’s the body fat that we all hate so much. Brown fat is good. It’s function is to generate heat and keep your body warm.
When you take a cold shower, brown fat is activated, resulting in an increase in energy and calories burned to keep your body warm. So much so that according to this study, cold temperatures can increase brown fat by 15X the normal amount, which can result in 9 pounds of weight loss per year.
Tim Ferris is also noted in his book, The Four Hour Body, that taking ice baths was an amazing way to promote weight loss. The next level for any cold shower veterans.
7) Cold Showers Increase Testosterone
One of the coolest benefits of cold showers, for men, is that they will cause a rise in testosterone levels.
How much is hard to say, but according to this study, heat (even in small amounts) has an effect on our DNA, RNA & protein synthesis in the male testes. Fun fact: This is why our balls hang outside of our body, to stay cool. This study backs this, showing that just 15 minutes of increased heat in rat testes showed a big drop in testosterone.
All that, and the fact that Russian weightlifters used to sit out in the cold before competitions, leads me to believe there is something to this cold shower and testosterone theory.
8) They Boost Fertility
Another interesting benefit of cold showers is that they will boost your sperm count and increase fertility.
Taking hot baths has been proven to be an effective male contraceptive. Men who took a half hour hot bath every other day for 3 weeks were rendered infertile for the next 6 months!
On top of that, a study at USCF showed that men who stopped taking regular hot baths showed a sperm count increase of up to 491%.
While a hot shower won’t be as devastating on your sperm, it will have an effect. Remember, those testes want to be nice and cool, so if your trying to conceive – do them a favor and opt for cold showers.
9) Cold Showers Improve Circulation
And if you’re not motivated by feeling better, or looking better, then be motivated by being healthier.
Cold showers improve circulation by means of sending blood down to your organs to keep them warm. This stimulation of the circulatory system is great for your overall cardiovascular health.
10) Cold Showers Improve Immunity
One of the most important benefits of cold showers is the fact that they increase your immunity.
A study from England showed that taking regular cold showers increases the amount of disease fighting white blood cells, compared to that of those who take regular hot showers. The hypothesis was that the boys attempted to warm it’s self during the cold shower, resulting in an increase in the metabolic speed rate and activation of the immune system. This then leads to the release of more white blood cells.
On top of that, remember back to point #2 and how the cold water swimmers bodies were more adaptive to oxidative stress. (A.K.A, their bodies can take a hit)
11) And They Drain Your Lymphatic System
An additional, yet crucial, part of the body that is affected by cold showers is the lymphatic system. What the lymphatic system does is help carry out waste from your cells. This is key in defending your body from unwanted infections. And when the lymphatic system is blocked, it will show up in symptoms such as frequent colds, infections and joint pain.
Cold showers, when alternated between hot and cold water will help your lymphatic system, by contracting the lymph vessels when exposed to the cold and relaxing them when exposed to the heat. This essentially pumps the fluid that may have stagnated in your lymph vessels out, resulting in a stronger immune system and healthier you.
12) Cold Showers Speed Up Muscle Recovery
If you’re an athlete than you know that taking an ice bath after intense training is one of the best things you can do to recover faster. (A 2009 study confirms this)
But you don’t need a high tech training facility with cold water submersibles to be able to achieve these benefits. Just take a cold shower.
Although it won’t be as effective as a fully submersed ice bath, it will improve circulation, and help remove some lactic acid. Try alternating between very hot and very cold to let the blood come and go to the surface. Your muscles will thank you.
13) Cold Showers Relieve Depression
One of the most noted benefits of taking cold showers is that they offer relief for symptoms of depression.
Cold showers stimulate what is known as “the blue spot,” which is the brains primary source of noradrenaline – a chemical which plays a role in alleviating depression.
Plus the mild electroshock delivered to the brain by the cold shower (you’ll know exactly what I mean) sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect. There is a high density of cold receptors in the skin, much more than there are for registering warmth.
And according to this study, it’s not all just hearsay.
At the end of every shower, I like to just let that cold water blast me on the top of the head for as long as I can take it. Talk about brain freeze.
14) They Wake You Up
Obviously, an ice cold shower is going to get your ass up in the morning. We already talked about how they will scientifically increase your alertness, but science aside – if you have trouble getting up and pumped for the day, cold showers will change this.
15) And Then They Put You to Sleep
Ironically, while cold showers wake you up in the AM, cold therapy is one of the best ways to get an incredible nights sleep.
Tim Ferris talks about cold therapy in The Four Hour Body, by taking a 10 minute ice bath. And I quote him:
The result: it’s like getting hit with an elephant tranquilizer, even if the melatonin is omitted. Don’t expect it to be pleasant at first.
I agree with Tim’s findings. A cold shower at night puts me straight to bed.
16) Energized Breathing
Step into a cold shower and the first thing you are going to do is take a big deep breath.
After that you will start panting and moving, your breathing will become deep and erratic.
You get a massive boost of energy from that increased breathing that cold shower forces you to do. The boost of energy can be a good alternative for a morning coffee that will kick your physiology into another gear.
You Don’t Have to Start Off Cold!
This is a relief for many. You can start your shower off hot, and enjoy it. But for the last 3 minutes it must be cold! As cold as it goes!
This is still a task.
How to Gain The Courage to Take Cold Showers
Okay, so you know by now that cold showers are awesome. Great.
Now good luck waking up tomorrow morning and taking one (regardless of how amped up you are now).
It’s hard to take the plunge.
So I think some words of encouragement are in order.
First: As Phil Drolet, of TheFeelGoodLifestyle says:
“What would the best version of you do?”
No one else is gonna push you into that shower (unless you have an asshole older brother). You just have to take the plunge. And every time you do it, it will get easier. If you want to be the best version of yourself, you have to step outside your comfort zone.
Second: As Michael Anderson, Author of The Experiment says:
“Turn it into an experiment”
The thought of taking cold showers every day for the rest of your life is daunting. Like making any other lifestyle change that your mind perceives as permanent. But Michael Anderson helps people overcome this daunting feeling, by having his clients turn things like this into an experiment.
So here’s your experiment.
All you have to do, is take a cold shower tomorrow morning, and see how you feel. You can start hot, but end cold, for at least 1 minute. Then see how you feel. If you liked it, then do it again the next day and see how two days in a row made you feel.
It’s just an experiment, not a permanent life change.
– Write down on a whiteboard or pad: Cold Showers
– Now make 30 boxes, one for each day
– Commit now to checking those 30 boxes off
– After the 30 days, you can decide to keep going or not. (I bet you’ll keep going)
But whatever you do, don’t be too serious about it and have fun. If it’s gonna stress you out, then it’s not worth it. This is supposed to improve your life, not scare you to death.
Are you man enough to take a cold shower?! Let us know if you took the plunge, and how it went, in the comment section below!