Remember the ice bucket challenge?
A few years ago, an awareness campaign went viral. The challenge was to pour an ice bucket over yourself to raise awareness about ALS. The idea was to get a feel for the “slowly dying neurons” of an ALS patient.
For non-ALS patients, this is a bit of a stretch. Immersing your body in cold water does have some positive effects, though. All the way from having a ‘chilly’ refreshing effect, to the infamous cryotherapy that’s famously used by athletics to relieve muscle strain.
This benefits using cold water on your body have been established ever since Greek civilization. Ancient warriors used to think that cold water strengthened their bodies and prepared them for the battles they had ahead of them. Were they right?
Today, we’ll be answering the question, ”What does cold water do to your body?”
Benefits of Cold Water for Your Body
It seems like the old greek warriors were right after all, as cold showers have numerous health benefits.
1. Cold Water Helps Beat Depression
Some studies suggest that cold water can help people suffering from depression because it sends electric impulses to the brain, which in turn alerts your system, leading to an increase in your energy levels and clarity.
In one of the experiments that tested the effects of cold showers on people, specifically those who were suffering from depression, participants were asked to try a daily 3-minute cold shower for a couple of weeks.
To avoid the shock of cold water, they were advised to reduce the temperature of the water in the shower gradually until it reaches 20C. Later on, a large portion of them said they felt refreshed and were in a good mood for a few hours after that cold shower.
Similar results were reported by professional swimmers who disciplined themselves for a morning swim in winter for four months. No surprise that Tony Robbins, a self-help guru, and motivational speaker, swears by it!
2. Cold Water Gives You Radiant Skin and Shiny Hair
Heat is not your hair’s best friend. This does not apply to blowdryers only, but also to hot water showers!
Rinsing your hair with cold water results in less frizz. The reason is that cold water removes the excess hair products’ build up on your scalp without stripping the hair away from its moisture.
Additionally, it closes the hair follicles, locking the moisture inside the hair strands. As a result, your hair looks softer and shinier.
Cold showers improve the blood flow inside the body too, which reflects on the skin, improving both its appearance and texture. Who doesn’t want glowing skin?
When we talk about aging, skin imperfections, and scars cold water showers play an essential role, as they help speed up the skin cells’ repair process. Subsequently, your skin heals faster with less visible scarring.
This beats down the widespread belief that hot water is beneficial to your skin. Well, to be transparent, it might be an efficient pore-opener. But when it comes to skin elasticity and regeneration, cold water is the real deal.
3. Cold Water Improves Blood Circulation
When you shower with cold water, a sudden drop in your natural body temperature takes place. Blood will rush to your organs to try to maintain the temperature difference, leaving no other option for your heart but to pump more blood. Hence, enhancing blood circulation.
Improved circulation helps deliver oxygen to your organs, resulting in an overall boost of energy and refreshment to your body. Done on a regular basis, your body will thank you later. Believe me!
Cold showers are usually recommended for people with diabetes and blood pressure problems since they enhance cardiovascular health. The aftereffects of cold showers can be similar to those of caffeine.
On top of that, cold water showers are known to speed up muscle recovery, because cold water helps reduce their inflammation.
4. Cold Water Boosts Metabolism
Metabolism is the process by which your body transforms food and drinks into energy. Several factors affect your metabolic rate, starting from your diet to your sleep habits and mental health.
Taking a cold shower gives your body the urge to warm up. As a result, your metabolism starts to increase gradually while showering, with the intent of keeping your organs warm.
When your metabolic rate increases, your body burns more calories and brown fat to maintain the heat. This does not only help you shed off some pounds, but it also makes you feel more energized.
5. Cold Water Showers Mean Fewer ‘Sick Days’
Remember the ‘brown fat’ that we were happy to burn in the previous section?
Well, it turns out that losing weight isn’t the only desired result of burning brown fat. Regulating your body temperature and its energy through metabolism is another byproduct of this process.
This, coupled with an improved lymphatic system, leads to an overall stronger immunity system.
The idea behind the lymphatic system thing is that it drains your body of liquids, bacteria, and wastes in general. This happens through muscle contractions, and what triggers a muscle contraction better than the cold temperature?
As you’ve seen above, cold water can do wonders for your body. Well, wonders might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it does help improve your overall wellbeing. Given that it’s used regularly, of course.
Apart from that, cold water has substantial mental benefits. Do you know how much courage, discipline, and mental toughness it takes to drag yourself out of bed every morning into a cold shower and get through with your day?