7 Benefits of Taking a Cold Shower
We’ve all had that chilling experience of stepping into the shower to find that half way through shampooing your hair, the hot water has run out. And as irritating as this may be at first, fear not! Every cloud really does have a silver lining as cold showers bring with them a plethora of hidden benefits.
1. Speed up muscle recovery
After an intense game of sport or heavy gym session, one of the best things you can do to help speed up muscle recovery is jump in a cold shower. Not only will this cool you down nicely, helping to return your heart rate to normal levels, it is also great for easing those achy muscles. And if you really want to ramp up recovery, top athletes even recommend ice baths!
You may have heard of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Without getting too jargony, this is the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles post exercise. Scientific studies have shown that taking cold showers can assist in reducing inflammation, speeding up the recovery process and thus reducing DOMS.
2. Beneficial for your hair
Finishing a shower with a cold blast can help lock moisture in your hair, while also tightening your hair follicles, meaning reduced hair loss. Additionally, cold water helps to close hair cuticles, which enables the hair to reflect light resulting in a high shine. Dermatologist, Jessica Krant, states that cold water also decreases inflammation around the hair follicles, making hair look healthier and stronger.
3. Cold burns fat
There are 2 types of fat in your body; white fat and brown fat. The latter, also known as BAT (Brown Adipose Tissue) is primarily responsible for generating heat.
Through a combination of vasoconstriction (the process your body goes through to ensure that your vital organs stay warm when exposed to cold), shivering, and activating brown fat cells, heat is generated, energy is expended and fat is reduced.
Brown fat is present in the area below the neck and between the shoulder blades. So stand under the shower, let the cold water trickle down your back and reap the benefits of burning fat, seemingly without even moving a muscle!
4. Healthier skin
Hot water washes away the natural oils on your skin, which can leave you feeling dry. If you often suffer from cracked or flaky skin, cold showers can help to restore natural oils, leaving your skin soft and hydrated. Dr Terrence Keaney states that cold temperature decreases transepidermal water loss, contributing to better skin hydration.
5. Cool motivation
A cold shower sees you start your day headstrong giving you that ‘get up and go’ that you need to start your day. Getting yourself into a motivated and determined mindset can set you up for a successful day ahead.
6. Stress reducing and energy raising
In reaction to a shockingly cold shower, we naturally breathe deeply. Breathing deeply increases your oxygen intake and encourages calmness and reduces stress. Taking a cold shower can also induce a rush of blood throughout your body, meaning you can benefit from higher energy levels throughout the day.
7. Saves water
Having a cold shower can often see you save water. Although beneficial to your health, cold showers can be a shock to the system and can hurry you along, meaning you take shorter showers.
How to take a cold shower
- Ease yourself into the chill by starting off at a warm temperature.
- Gradually reduce the temperature until it just feels uncomfortably cold.
- Embrace the chill for 1 minute.
- Wash as usual, including hair.
We recommend this process first thing in the morning to wake you up, but if you’re a late night showerer, blast yourself with some warm water for 30 seconds before getting out.