This article was updated on August 15, 2021.
Most people view cold showers as a negative thing mostly used in the vein of trying to fix something (as in lack of sobriety or being overheated) as they can be rather shocking to the system. However, you may consider taking one at least once a week after you hear this information.
Cold showers can actually help with your metabolism. Basically, when you get in a cold shower, it sets off your cardiovascular system as it tries to keep your body warm despite the cold. As a result of your body temperature lowering, you go into something called non-shivering thermogenesis and this means you are burning more calories.
Can cold showers help with weight loss?
“A brisk cold shower can be very invigorating and give your metabolism a quick boost,” Dr. Aviva Romm, a family medicine doctor, and herbalist, told Well & Good. “One of my daily practices is to end my hot shower with a very brief cool rinse.”
Plus, according to holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman when your body is in cold shower mode it activates healthy brown fat that contributes to eliminating harmful adipose (white) fat. She suggests alternating between 20 seconds of hot water and 20 seconds of cold water.
This does not mean that cold showers will lead to weight loss but a 2009 study that used exposure to cold temperatures that activated those brown fats predicted that people could lose up to nine pounds per year if they participated in this activity regularly.
Not convinced yet? Here are a few other benefits of cold showers (and when it is a super hot day in the summer you have to admit they are quite refreshing.)
They can help fend off infections
According to MSN, cold showers help your lymphatic system by aiding in the process of exiting waste from your cells which helps ward off infections.
They help with stress
A cold shower actually helps you get better at dealing with stress because it helps make your nervous system more resilient. As you start to adapt to this new environment the antioxidant glutathione increases which actually helps reduce stress.
They boost testosterone
Listen up, guys. Hot showers can be lovely but they can have a significant lowering impact on proteins in your testes, according to Healthline. Plus, a cold shower can boost sperm count. A recent study from the University of California at San Francisco found that men who were exposed to 30 minutes of “wet heat” (so showers and baths) per week that they stopped this practice saw their sperm count increase by 491%. If you and your partner are trying to conceive this is pretty important information to keep in mind.
They are good for your skin
Did you know hot showers can actually make pre-existing skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea worse? And they can even lead to acne breakouts. Cold showers, however, are great for your pores.
They can help with depression
Cold water increases the levels of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline which play a big part in depression. “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,” researchers said.
They just make you a happier person
A 2016 report found that even a 30- to 60-second hot-to-cold shower can decrease the number of sick days, help you sleep better, make you more productive and help your self-esteem.