Cold Shower Benefit #1
Taking Cold Showers Will Improve Your Body Chemistry
There are two compounds that are dramatically affected by cold showers: uric acid and glutathione.
Glutathione is the king of antioxidants. All the other antioxidants in your body will perform better when glutathione is present, allowing you to process toxins out of your body more efficiently. Cold showers boost your glutathione production.
Uric Acid makes your muscles sore, 1-4 days after you work out. In 2009 the New England Journal of Medicine found that 24 minutes of cold water immersion had a measurable effect in relieving muscle soreness. That’s why athletes soak in ice baths after a hard day of training – they want to be able to walk in a couple of days.
Cold showers also decrease blood lactate concentration, reducing post-workout pain and speeding recovery. If you work out regularly (and come on, Dads, you should) then cold showers will make your post-workout pain bearable.
Cold Shower Benefit #2
Cold Showers Burn Brown Fat
Not all fat is created equal! (Just ask ketogenic dieters.) There are two types of fat in your body: white fat and brown fat. White fat (metabolically docile white adipose tissue) is energy your body stores in case of a famine. Brown fat (metabolically active brown adipose tissue) keeps your body warm and generates heat.
When your body gets cold, what is your natural physical response?
You shake in every tiny muscle, which expends a tremendous amount of energy. So much energy, in fact, that your body will raid its stores of white fat, and convert them to brown fat. Suddenly, keeping you warm is more important to your body than saving up for a famine that may never happen.
“In adults, brown fat is located on the upper back and neck, and upper chest above the clavicle,” says Brett Mckay of the Art of Manliness, “so when you shower, aim cold water so it hits that part of your body.”
He gives a quick overview of the benefits of cold showers in this video:
Cold Shower Health Benefit #3
Cold Showers Improve Your Immunity & Circulation
“On a whole-body scale, immersing yourself in a cold tub of water brings down your heart rate and increases your circulation, minimizing inflammation and helping you recover faster,” says Dr Joseph Mercola. If your body thinks it is freezing, it will slow your heart rate to conserve energy. At the same time, your metabolic rate increases (so you can burn more fat and stay warm) and your immune system is activated. Studies show an increase in white blood cell production, T cells, and lymphocytes.
Alternating between hot and cold water is one of the best ways to activate your lymph system, which processes toxins out of your body. Cold water contracts your lymph vessels, and warm water relaxes them, allowing your lymph system to pump stagnant fluid through your system.
Cold Shower Benefit #4
A Cold Shower Is A Natural Cure For 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,” says Sean Russell. “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.”
This barrage of stimulus to your skin can literally shock you out of depression. (I don’t mean literally as in the newfangled doublespeak meaning, figuratively – I mean, quite literally.) This is an all-natural method of electroshock therapy.
Cold Shower Benefit #5
Cold Showers Improve Your Skin And May Slow Hair Loss
When cold water hits your body, the capillaries near the surface of your skin will dilate. This is meant to warm your skin by bringing blood from deeper levels of tissue to the surface. Conversely, your cuticles and pores will contract, which keeps them from getting clogged. This prevents acne and blemishes.
The big bonus for dads: contracted pores strengthen the roots of your hair, which can slow the effects of hair loss. This guy says cold showers completely stopped his hair loss.