Bathe Like a Badass – 10 Health Benefits of Cold Showers

“You have to start each day with acts of courage.”
This badass

Getting out of bed is your first act of courage. Taking a cold shower should be your second act of courage.

There are several health benefits of cold showers and it will be very rewarding for you to add cold showers to your daily (morning, preferably) routine.

For the last 30 days, I’ve added cold showers to my daily routine, and surprisingly, I’ve gotten used to the water temperature. I now look forward to the cold water when I jump into the shower. Not only do I feel great when I get out of the shower, but I’m contributing to my health, well-being, and killer looks.

The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks were amongst the first civilizations to adopt cold water therapy. The Romans were known to jump into ice water after battles. Hippocrates discovered that taking cold water, whether externally or by ingestion, would treat various types of illnesses. Sikhs practice the science of Ishnaan, bathing in cold water, to better their mind, body, and soul.

Am I coming through to you?!

I know some of you cringe at the thought of taking cold showers. You might even deem this as one of the most miserable things you can do. Picture yourself in the middle of winter and your alarm goes off at 6am. You’re cozy, comfortable, and content. The last thing you want to do is take a cold shower.

cold showers jack

But I am challenging you to tuck in your jewels, blast the cold water, and jump in like a badass that doesn’t give a fuck. You’ll eventually laugh at your old self for thinking how difficult taking a cold shower would be.

Take a cold shower daily for the next 30 days. I guarantee you are going to feel a lot better when you get out and your body, mood, and health will thank you for it. You might even look forward to it!

10 Health Benefits of Cold Showers

1. Increases your energy

I definitely saw this one coming. Step into a cold shower at 6am and guess what will happen—you will wake up from your seven-hour coma. You will suddenly feel alert. This surge of energy will last once you get out of the shower and you will be ready to take whatever the day throws at you.

For those looking to reduce their caffeine intake, cold showers are your replacement.

health benefits of cold showers don draper

There’s also a hypothesis that cold showers can help treat fatigue and chronic fatigue.

2. You’ll look better

Sorry, it won’t fix the way your face looks, but it will help your skin and hair. Hot showers dry your skin and hair by opening your pores and hair cuticles. Opening your pores and hair cuticles increases the risk for acne and other blemishes. Keeping your hair cuticles closed may strengthen the bond to your head, preventing hair loss. Cold showers will prevent your cuticles and pores from opening as well as maintain some of the good natural oils your body produces.

Source: HowStuffWorks

3. Boosts immune system

Cold showers immediately tell the body’s immune system to get to work. Constant exposure to this type of environment will cause the body to adapt, resulting in higher level of antibodies.

Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

4. Fights depression

“Exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline and to increase synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain as well. 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.”

Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

5. Fat loss

When your body is cold, it has to process more energy to keep you warm. This means it has to burn more fat than normal. Your body will also make good use of a “good fat” called brown fat. The cold temperature can activate the brown fat which will activate our metabolism and burn calories.

Source: WebMD
Source: Joslin Diabetes Center

6. Sex

Throw away those testosterone pills. Taking a cold shower is a natural way to increase your testosterone levels. They’re also good for your little soldiers. Hot water is detrimental for sperm count so if breeding is on your horizon then improve your chances of reproduction by turning down the hot water knob.

Source: Midwest Men’s Clinic

7. Improve circulation

Healthy blood circulation is good for your organs and cardiovascular health. Cold temperatures causes blood to move to your organs and extremities to keep them warm, aiding in good blood circulation. Hot water has the opposite impact by moving the blood towards the surface of your skin.

8. Lower stress levels

Do you get anxious or stressed easily? If so, being exposed to cold temperatures may reduce your cortisol levels to keep you calm when shit hits the fan.

Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

9. Aids in muscle recovery

There’s a reason why athletes take ice baths after a game or training session. The cold temperature helps their muscles recover after taking a beating. I’m not LeBron James nor Tom Brady so I’ll settle for the cold shower.

Source:US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

10. Mental toughness

I would say this is one of the biggest health benefits of cold showers. Waking up to a cold shower is one of the most daunting things you can do. In fact, there’s a chance it will be the toughest thing you’ll do all day. Pushing through this will help you push through other challenging tasks thrown at you. I assure you that sales call will not taunt you like that steam-less stream of running water. If anything, once you take that cold shower, you’ll be waiting to crush that sales call.

Cold Shower Action Plan

30-Day Challenge

Start small if jumping into a cold shower sounds terrifying. Begin with a hot shower and end with the water on full-blast cold. Follow this week-by-week practice to handle cold showers like a boss.

Week 1: 20 seconds
Week 2: 30 seconds
Week 3: 1 minute
Week 4: Entire shower

Naturally, you’ll become extremely efficient with your shower time.

The first time you crank up the cold water, you will freak out. You may want to consult your physician if you have a heart or other medical condition since this could shock your body.

Take long, slow, deep breaths, completely inflating and deflating your lungs. Think of this as a mini-meditation session.

If you are completely against the thought of taking only cold showers then at the very least, end your showers on cold for 30 seconds.

When you’re done, let out a Rick Flair “Woooooo” and start your day off like a badass.

Comment or “Woooooo” below to let us know how things went.


Comments

  1. WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! IT FEELS AMAZING!

  2. Love it! For me, it’s not that much about the health benefits but the overall feeling of empowerment and not falling into the trap of getting too comfortable. After taking cold showers every morning for half a year I must say I’ve never felt better. Gets me up and keeps me going.

  3. I’ve been trying cold showers for over 5 months now. In fact, I haven’t taken any hot shower this year. Sometimes I wake up with little willpower but then I realize that all the times that I had a cold shower I felt better after it. The main thing I think during cold showers is “I will stay under this shower until I no longer feel cold”. And it happens all the time and it is awesome when I finish.
    However it is not a big of a deal because I live in a tropical country (Brazil) where there is no such thing as “too much cold”. Do you guys have advices on how I take this practice to the next level?

    • You could turn this into a meditation practice. Perhaps a mindful meditation practice where you are in tune will all your senses and being fully present during the shower; focusing on your breathing, and being aware of all the sensations your body is experiencing at the moment.

      Try this practice first in a quiet, comfortable place, then take it to the shower.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whY8iT0g15M

      I hope this helps!

  4. cooking dad Says: July 30, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Del – for your readers who sometimes drink a bit too much alcohol, note that a hot shower finished off by flipping it to full-on cold water (and then staying under the spray for 3 or 4 minutes, until it no longer feels so cold) is an excellent hangover cure. I don’t know why it works but suspect your comment at #4 (increased endorphins) may have something to do with it.

    • Funny that you mentioned that! I had to wake up early after a long night and thought a cold shower would help. Although it didn’t rid my hangover, it did help in waking me up. That was the inception of this article.

  5. Lev Kozlodoev Says: September 8, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Can you please point me to some literature that translates these ancient texts that you referred to:
    “The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks were amongst the first civilizations to adopt cold water therapy. The Romans were known to jump into ice water after battles. Hippocrates discovered that taking cold water, whether externally or by ingestion, would treat various types of illnesses. Sikhs practice the science of Ishnaan, bathing in cold water, to better their mind, body, and soul.”

    • Thanks for the comment. I don’t have access to the original literature that has this information. There is a lot of information on Google that may help you but again, I don’t have the original literature.

      • Lev Kozlodoev Says: September 30, 2016 at 5:36 pm

        Yeah I’ll definitely find this stuff.
        I started taking cold showers 1.5 months ago. It really helped pump me up with energy at first but now it’s getting a bit evanescent. I still do it every morning though.
        But I read above and it looks like I need to move on on to “Week 4: Entire shower”, hopefully this will be much more intense than starting with a hot shower.

  6. Troy Fullerton Says: October 27, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I just completed my third 30-day cold shower challenge. I decided that I needed to do this one more time, so I started the fourth challenge. I’m not certain about all of the physical benefits–they may be true. But the mental toughness and personal growth factor are undeniable. By taking a daily cold shower, you are practicing making yourself do something uncomfortable every day. Since I started doing this, I have a MUCH easier time when I have other things to do that I would normally just neglect or procrastinate on—now I usually just get after it, and I’m developing a reputation with myself for being someone who just goes ahead and does what needs to be done. I am noticing “big-time” changes in my personality–and even my wife is noticing. I don’t know of a better “man-up” activity for personal self-discipline and growth. I downloaded the Cold Shower Therapy app from Joel Runyon. It times you for five minutes and keeps track of your streak. Honestly, it’s uncomfortable (though not as bad a it sounds)–but “Cold Shower Therapy” really is therapeutic.

    • Nice, Troy! It really is a pain in the ass getting started, but once you’re in your routine, it becomes normal. Four 30-day challenges is badass though.

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