Science-backed health benefits to showering in cold water.
While most of us would shudder at the thought of showering in icy-cold water, these perks of skipping out on a warm, soothing shower might just change your mind.
If you’re not accustomed to bathing in cold temperatures, you can start gradually with 10 seconds in the time you spend in the shower. As your body gets used to it, you can slowly start to bump it up to 20 and then 30 seconds before hitting a full minute. Ideally, your goal is to have five minutes of cold shower time.
However, as such showers can shrink up your blood vessels if you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, do not attempt this before consulting your doctor.
Here’s what you stand to gain.
1 Increased alertness
The first reaction our body has to a cold shower would probably be shock, but that surprisingly builds up warmth with our quickened breathing. Our heart rate will also increase alongside this, releasing a rush of blood through our system. This helps to awaken our senses, giving a boost of energy for the rest of the day.
2 A healthier weight
Our bodies contain two types of fat tissue – white fat and brown fat. White fat occurs when we consume more calories than we actually need and they remain in our body when we don’t burn them for energy. Brown fat is known as the good fat that keeps our bodies warm by generating heat. A study in The New England Journal Of Medicine found that cold temperatures can activate and promote brown-fat activity, which helps to burn white fat at the same time.
3 Cleaner hair and skin
As calming as hot water can be to our bodies, it tends to dry out our skin. On the other hand, cold water tightens our cuticles and pores as it constricts blood flow, which can then prevent them from getting clogged. This is the same, whether for the pores in your scalp or your skin.
4 Better immunity
Cold water improves blood circulation, causing arteries to pump blood more efficiently, benefiting our heart health. This, in turn, can lower blood pressure and help our immune system in the long run.
5 Faster muscle recovery
Just like how professional athletes take ice baths after intense training to soothe muscle soreness, a study was done by The Cochrane Library, which found that cold-water baths were effective in relieving sore muscles after exercises, as it reduces inflammation where the muscles were strained.
6 A happier mood
As intense and horrifying cold showers might seem, they have been known to relieve depression symptoms due to a good amount of electrical impulses caused from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. This instantly boosts one’s mood – especially perfect for the mornings!