You hear about taking cold showers in various contexts, especially when it comes to cooling down from getting too worked up. But a lot of you don’t actually think cold showers work, huh? Well, according to various resources, cold showers do have a surprising amount of benefits that people don’t realize. Makes them underrated, don’t you think?
So why would people want to take cold showers anyway? And so they really have the so-called health benefits that a lot of people tout? In this article, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of taking cold showers.
The Pros of Taking Cold Showers
Believe it or not, cold showers do have a lot of surprising benefits. From fictional super spies to avid fitness enthusiasts, the cold shower has gained a lot of popularity thanks to its benefits. Let’s learn more about them below.
1. Cold showers help bolster alertness in the morning.
Cold morning showers might sound like a nightmare, but they’re actually a dream for people who value alertness in the morning. Cold morning showers are said to help bolster energy in the morning. The cold shock that many of us feel when bathing in cold water helps increase our oxygen intake, heart rate and gives the body a rush of energy much needed for morning hours.
2. Cold water showers help refine skin and hair.
Cold water is less tough on skin and hair, which helps people better maintain their natural appearance. Hot water is said to dry out skin and hair, while also stripping the skin and hair of its natural oils. Cold water helps tighten the body’s cuticles and pores, mainly through temporarily constricting blood flow as the body reacts to the temperature change.
This prevents dirt and other harmful elements from clogging the pores of the skin and scalp. The temporary shrinkage is also said to help hair look stronger and healthier, since it helps the hair follicles better grip the scalp.
3. Cold water helps improve immunity and blood circulation.
The shock from cold water does a lot to get the body going. Once the water hits the body, it invokes a reaction within the body that makes the heart start pumping blood throughout the body. This action causes blood to freely circulate in all parts of the body, including around the organs, promoting better health. This particular effect is said to help clear clogged arteries over time, potentially lower blood pressure and promote overall better immune health.
4. Cold water showers help bolster weight loss.
Yes, cold water showers help promote weight loss. This mainly works by exposing the body to cold water, which activates the warming properties of the body’s brown fat. Brown fat is considered the ‘good fat’ of the body, apart from white fat, which is what accumulates on the body after consuming too many calories.
Brown fat activates when the body is exposed to very cold conditions, triggering its body warming properties. This effect may contribute to fat burning after taking the cold shower. A 2009 study found that cold temperature exposure did activate brown fat in many of the study’s participants, indicating that this could lead to sustained weight loss over the course of a year.
5. Cold water showers help speed up muscle soreness recovery.
Some athletes swear by ice baths or cold water showers. It’s because cold water have regenerative properties that help soothe muscle soreness after a grueling workout. Cold water baths, according to a 2009 study, were found to be effective in relieving muscle soreness and pain about a few day from exercising.
The Cons of Taking Cold Showers
While cold showers have plenty of benefits, they’re not for everyone. Let’s learn why this type of shower might not be to some people’s preference.
1. Cold water showers aren’t entirely ideal for people with illnesses.
While the shock from cold water does do a lot to promote health in the body, the chill might cause the opposite effect in people who are sick. People who are sick with minor or very moderate illnesses should instead opt for a hot shower or bath, as the warmth provides rejuvenation properties that help the body recover from illness.
2. Cold water showers may not have a long term effect on weight loss.
The fat burning benefits of cold water showers may work well on a short term basis, but there isn’t much supporting its long term effects. While this fat burning practice may facilitate weight loss in some people, it doesn’t exactly do the same for others. Keep that in mind when it comes to any fat burning regime.
3. Some people may find a ‘cold-hot’ recovery regime to be more effective.
Cold water baths don’t work for everyone. While some people swear by the soothing properties of cold water baths, others prefer applying warmth to their muscle pain, such as a hot water bottle or a heating blanket.
Cold showers may do wonders to help literally cool a person down, but they’ve also got plenty of health benefits. They’re not for everyone, but they’re perfectly serviceable in various situations.