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7 Reasons to Take Cold Showers and 1 That Really Matters

Today, I could not turn the shower faucet to the right any further. Victory.

My first experience with cold showers was excited but short lived. Joel Runyon had a blog post and YouTube video discussing cold showers and how to begin. I was pumped and I gave it a try. I tried it, I yelped, I nearly peed myself, and then I stopped for a while.

It was too uncomfortable. I didn’t want to replace hot, enjoyable showers with frigid, painful experiences. Despite all of the health benefits, I now know that being uncomfortable is exactly what cold showers are all about.

If health isn’t high on your priority list, getting used to discomfort on a daily basis should be. By subjecting myself to discomfort now, I increase the likelihood I can stay the course in other areas of my life that are more important. Best of all, there are plenty of health benefits associated with cold shower therapy.

Living a Meaningful Life

Anyone who leads a meaningful life will attest to a few truths. In order to achieve anything, discomfort is going to play a massive role. Whether you are uncomfortably broke and have to borrow money to put gas in your car or if you experience discomfort asking the most beautiful woman on a date, purpose and meaning come with sacrifice.In many cases, the sacrifice is living with discomfort.

Conditioning your brain to accept, survive, and embrace discomfort is one of the practices that can greatly impact the rest of your life. Entrepreneurs, athletes and other professionals may consider cold shower therapy trivial when pursuing their goals, but don’t miss out on the big picture. It isn’t about the cold water. It’s about the discomfort associated with cold showers, which you can overcome every day towards a greater goal in life.

This kid is uncomfortable

This kid is uncomfortable

No Way That is Healthy

If you have heard your parents’ conventional wisdom growing up, you’re probably not too fond of the cold. Supposedly, it can make you sick, but plenty of studies have showed this to be a myth. The truth, is that cold shower therapy is one of the healthiest modes for your body to regulate your internal temperature and it actually strengthens your immune system. It is considered a hormetic stressor, meaning that exposure to low level toxins can improve your health.

Improved blood circulation – showering with cold water is in going to improve your blood circulation between organs and skin considerably. With cold temperatures, blood flows to your organs for protection to keep them the warmest. Warm water sends the blood rushing to the skin so alternating between cold and hot (as I will detail later) can be a great way of improving your blood circulation. If you are just beginning, it might be best to stick to a cold shower only.

Improved mood – it is hard to quantify mood and indeed it is altered by many things. As my Unbalanced Brain series indicates, there are scientific reasons for many mood disorders. Cold showers can stimulate noradrenaline secretion in the brain, which is associated with improving mood disorders like depression.

Increased immune strength – unlike what your mother told you, spending time in the cold can actually increase your immune strength. Those who take cold showers typically exhibit higher white blood cell counts as well as higher concentrations of plasma, T helper cells, and lymphocytes.

Increased testosterone levels – I’m always looking for healthy and natural ways of increasing my testosterone levels. It’s a boon in the gym, it makes me feel more motivated in general, and manipulating it naturally is the safest long term method I can think of. When I heard that cold showers can vastly increase testosterone production, I was even more thrilled. Not only is testosterone elevated during the shower, but throughout the day as well.

Metabolic advantages – from a body composition perspective, cold showers are also incredibly useful. The cold water induces an increased metabolic rate. The cold temperatures force your body to re-regulate the body temperature continually, which utilizes many calories. Mark mentions that an evolutionarily retained adaptation to cold water exposure is a layer of protective fat. Therefore, get your cold shower short and sweet and then get out. Longer exposure to cold therapy is not necessarily better.

Better breathing – you may hyperventilate as soon as you get in a cold shower, which is a pretty natural response. However, the panic will only make the experience worse so it is in your best interest to breathe calmly and deeply. Few people breathe deeply so you may need cold showers to help you do so.

Make Your Life Easier

One of my favorite things to do is give actionable tips to get started. In this case, making it easier to take cold showers may be against the principle of increasing your acceptance of discomfort, but I’m going to give you some tips and practices anyway.

Big goals require discomfort to achieve – as soon as you make the realization that the goals you want to achieve most in your life are subject to discomfort, it should be an easy sell. The difference between making a good impression, standing your ground, and being successful could be altered by getting used to discomfort.

Joel’s TEDx talk compares his decision to strike out as an entrepreneur to the experiences felt during a cold shower. It isn’t going to be fun, it might be a bit scary, to many it seems stupid, but it’s all a matter of discomfort.

It starts with day 1 – when I first considered cold showers one of my biggest fears was “for how long?” Do I need to take cold showers for the rest of my life? If you think about it, you will never get there. Just take it a day at a time. Get in the cold shower one day for a few minutes, get out, and you will be fine. Then do it the next day. It will get easier and easier so long as you can maintain the practice.

Don’t try it gradually – unless you have health problems, I would not try to go from hot to cold over the course of your shower. In my experience, I forgot to get cold a lot of the times, in the hot water it is easy to talk yourself out of a cold shower, and partial immersion into cold shower therapy just doesn’t seem to work. It might work for you, but based on my experience it is not an effective method.

Work up a sweat first – I have the advantage of living in Austin, Texas so cold showers can be actually quite nice after the scorching heat of the southern United States. Nonetheless, you can even do this in colder climates by doing rigorous exercise or working up some sweat before you get in. It’s a great way to cool off and it can also help prevent muscle soreness and fatigue after heavy weight lifting sessions.

Focus on your breath – you’re going to get panicked, but it will only make things worse. Taking a cold shower is like quicksand. The faster you can accept what is happening and embrace it, the faster you can recover from the shock. This is one of the reasons I find cold shower therapy to be incredibly meditative. With maximum stimulation all around you, it is your job to maintain a steady focus and calmness with your breath and your focus. It helps to show how much you can actually block out with your mental capabilities. Now think about using this in an uncomfortable setting outside of the shower. Pretty helpful, huh?

My friend breathing deeply under a glacier waterfall. Intense cold shower therapy!

My friend breathing deeply under a glacier waterfall. Intense cold shower therapy!

What Are You Waiting For?

If you are dedicated to your aspirations and goals, taking a cold shower has profound tangible and mental benefits. Not only do you increase your physical health by taking cold showers, but you will build mental toughness in the face of extreme discomfort. By building discomfort resistance over many years, you will be ready when you need to be. Whether you are an athlete or an entrepreneur or anything that requires you to face and conquer fear, a cold shower is an easy win in the right direction.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and report back to me if you have tried it! Use something else to make you uncomfortable?

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by Mans Denton

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my article. I'm Austin, TX based and I love the Paleo diet, meditation, proper fitness, and entrepreneurship. If you want to know more, check out the About THM Page

105 comments… add one

  1. “purpose and meaning come with sacrifice.”

    Your premise is flawed, which means your conclusion is probably flawed.

    I’ll probably try the cold shower just to see if I think the health benefits that are alleged here without any reference to scientific studies might actually be possible.

    Seems like a lot of “common sense” in here, which can be quite deadly.

    Reply
    1. Hey Will, thanks for your opinion! The way I see it, few things worthwhile will come easy. There will be discomfort, there will be pain, but being able to condition your brain is helpful. In this case, sacrificing a hot shower for mental toughness could be helpful.

      Indeed there is only one linked study, but I hope it works for you nonetheless! Let me know some of your progress with the practice.

      Reply
      1. can cold shower be taken at morning just after one gets up in the winter?

        Reply
        1. Hi there, I think it is even more powerful when you wake up in the morning during winter. That’s when you don’t want to do it the most, but it can really help. It can also make it so that the weather outside does not feel so cold. My experiences thus far prove that!

          Reply
  2. I’ve got a degree in health fitness and I know external factors like cold can cause your body to re-shunt bloodflow to various systems. (When you’re really cold, your body will move much of your bloodflow away from your extremities and to your organs) That’s a defense mechanism because your body can handle losing a finger/toe/arm etc to hypothermia whereas it’s more vital to protect your organs.

    All that being said though I find no basis of reasoning behind why this would improve circulation. All it does it temporarily alter it for the momentarily condition.

    Consider the fact that I could stand on my head for 10 minutes, effectively causing much of my blood to be re-distributed throughout my body (pooling in my head/upper extremities). I stand back up, and my blood-flow re-regulates back to normal conditions. Using their logic I could say that this improves my circulation and is thus healthy. /facepalm

    Reply
    1. Interesting perspective! Thanks for providing your experiences from the health fitness degree of yours.

      Reply
  3. I switched to cooler showers, and end with the water completely on the “cold” setting (which is more like room temperature since I live in the goddamn desert), and it has improved my mood significantly, as well as waking me up in the morning. The cooler showers make me feel cleaner, I guess you could say.

    I don’t know about all this other mumbo jumbo that is stated, but it does make me feel better to shower with colder water. But, again, I live do in the desert.

    Reply
    1. Actually, there are numerous studies that show increased mood with the use of cold showers. Everyone has to figure it out for themselves, but glad that you have!

      Reply
      1. I also heard hot water vaporises the chlorine in the water even more and you breathe it in, and it absorbs into your open pores,, but with cold it vaporizes less and cannot get into the skin as easy

        I went to a church retreat onetime and our hot water was out, i came back and continued cold showers for months after cause i felt so great after,,about to start again

        Reply
        1. Hey Taylor, that’s an interesting tidbit. I never knew that and will try to complete some research on the topic.

          Sometimes those accidental times can be really changing! Glad you recognized the benefits of it.

          Reply
    2. Any depressed person reading this will
      find the recommendations ridiculous
      and will immediately think of ten reasons
      why lasting improved mood cannot happen.
      They will imagine that just thinking about
      taking a cold shower will bring instant
      terribleness and death. It works.

      Reply
  4. I surf, and this applies to getting in cold ocean water as well.

    Everything the author states, I have found to be true.

    Also for reference, Mammalian Diving Reflex
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammalian_diving_reflex

    Reply
    1. Great! Thanks for the information on the diving reflex. Happy surfing!

      Reply
  5. This is the best I could find, I have no opinion on the position that cold showers improve health, but it appears that at least SOME research has investigated cold hydrotherapy for non-acute interventions (i.e., excluding use of induced hypothermia in critical care situations).

    mood (hypothesis w limited pilot data): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770700566X

    psychotic symptoms (hypothesis): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987707003763

    cortisol, insulin, glucagon: http://journals.sfu.ca/coaction/index.php/ijch/article/download/17474/19822

    psoriasis: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2000.03829.x/full

    Reply
    1. Hey there, thanks for the links! They prove valuable for both me and the readers. I too found the value to mood, but decided to leave it out.

      Reply
  6. It does do these things but I doubt it does it significantly enough for me to change to cold showers.

    Reply
    1. To each his own! Whatever keeps you going. :)

      Reply
  7. I don’t know know about you guys but I’m pretty happy after taking a nice hot shower. I find it relaxing. It also helps soothes my muscles after I exercise.

    Reply
    1. Definitely feels great and after intense muscle strain, I couldn’t agree more. Nonetheless, I’d give it a try. What do you have to lose but comfort for a few minutes?

      Reply
  8. I’ve never bought into the benefits of cold showers. I can’t offer up any evidence to the contrary, but my gut tells me no, this will not provide noticeable benefit.

    Then again, I live in Vermont and the idea of taking a cold shower in the dead of winter when it’s -35F sounds like pure fucking hell. And stupid to boot.

    But I do like cooler showers when the weather’s hot and muggy. Who knows? Anything’s possible.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Haha, man I feel you on the -35F sounding bad. Living in Austin, TX is a LOT easier from that perspective. However, even if you take out the health benefits (noticing my lack of citations, which is fair) I think the 1 reason that really matters is important. It’s hard to deny the truth that getting comfortable with discomfort is a good thing.

      That being said, I don’t slap myself all day. It’s give and take I guess. At the very least it helps me save time (who wants to sit there forever?!) and it makes me feel far more energized and alive. Thanks for your thoughts, Trevor.

      Reply
      1. I’m confused; if I wake up and take a cold shower (quick in and out) how am I going to wash my hair, condition my hair, shave my legs, wash, rinse, etc in such a short time. My showers aren’t long but I do need 10 – 15 minutes. That seems like a very long cold shower??

        Reply
        1. It might be best for you to take a warm shower to do all the things you need and then take a quick cold one!

          Reply
  9. You make a great point about big goals requiring discomfort. That’s so hugely important to understand. Any big accomplishment means putting up with a lot of obstacles and hard work that make it so uncomfortable to do.

    Of course, the opposite is also true. Comfort doesn’t bring much accomplishment. Just imagine sitting on a couch watching TV. You might be comfortable, but you’re probably not accomplishing much.

    Personally, I’ve tried taking cold showers for weeks. It was pretty good while it lasted, but I didn’t see how it was helping. Perhaps I could have done it for longer. Maybe I’ll try again for a month and see how that goes.

    Reply
    1. Hey Steve, thanks so much for the reply! Great points and that exactly what I was trying to portray. There are plenty of health benefits, but getting used to discomfort is the big one for me.

      Interesting that it didn’t help much. I had the same issue when I first started, but internal reflection told me I was just finding a way out of it. The brain has strange ways of moving towards comfort!

      Reply
  10. Dear Mans,

    Does just being cold do the same thing? I’m in Maine right now and it gets freezing. Can I just not put a sweatshirt on and get the same effects that cold water would give me?

    Sincerely and lovingly,
    Kyle

    Reply
    1. Dear Kyle,

      Indeed, there are tremendous benefits with walking without a sweatshirt. Still there are some different impacts of cold water, but it is a GREAT start.

      Equally lovingly,
      Mans

      Reply
  11. Great I will try the therapy seems like a wonderfully easy way to good mental n physical wellbeing in the long run

    Reply
    1. At the very least it is worth a try! :)

      Reply
  12. You and I think alike, Mans. One thing about cold water, you never really get used to it.

    Reply
    1. Absolutely Adam! Great observation man. Every time I jump in there I feel the same shock. These days the water never gets that cold as I’m in Texas, but definitely true :)

      Reply
  13. I live in London UK and I am having cold showers everyday.
    I started 2 years ago.
    I wanted to do that to build nerve force in the body.
    I will never stop having them everyday.
    The most amazing result is the hard skin under my feet disappeared within 3 moths .
    Also I had very flaky skin all over my body and now this is completely gone.
    I do not need foot scrapers or moisturizer or anything.
    I also stopped using soap but just very little once in a while.
    Amazing science behind all this and I particularly like overcoming the discomfort.
    It makes you strong.It builds character
    This is an old tradition I reed long time ago in one of the books describing Gurdjieff Armenian father insisted to have him taking as a child cold showers first thing in the morning.
    He said at his memoirs that he was grateful to his father for this practice as it helped him overcome many difficulties in his adventurous life
    I started my 10 years old daughter this summer explained the benefits before hand and she really enjoys it !!!

    Reply
    1. Hi Dina! Thanks so much for your story. I have never heard of how helpful it can be for your feet, but it looks like you have just showed me! It definitely makes you a lot stronger. The Spartans used to take cold showers only for exactly that reason (even though they may have had fewer choices!) Glad to hear your daughter enjoys it!

      Reply
  14. Just started last week. Easy and rewarding now… we’ll see how I do when it’s -15C in Seoul. The major benefit for me of cold showers is it helps avoid making my very dry skin even drier, which of course is even more of a problem in winter… so I hope I can keep it up.

    Reply
    1. Wow, -15C in Seoul might make it tougher! Glad to see it is rewarding, Nick!

      Reply
  15. Hello Mans, interesting reading. I recently started with cold showers, and a trick that works for me is to first let all the cold water touch your head and forehead, then after a while enter the shower with the whole body. It’s like this way you’re telling the body that cold water is arriving, and the shock won’t be as big.

    I just… I don’t know.. about the facts… it feels great man, that’s all.

    I also saw you’re into paleo diet, great! Ever since I got introduced with the “theory” that we’re still born as Stone Age men, I’ve progressively changed my lifestyle. From a lazy computer gamer to a non-sugar eating, barefoot running, wild meat consuming, cold water showering guy.

    Regards,
    Amos

    Reply
    1. Dude Amos, this is great! I’m so glad you found the theory and practice of Paleolithic eating habits. If it feels good, that’s the best thing. I definitely feel the best after cold showers. Even emotionally I can go from sad/upset to extremely happy.

      Science or not, if cold showers feel good – do it!

      Reply
  16. Soap works horribly in cold water. What sort of new age garbage are you trying to push?

    Come up to a northern state and go jump in a frozen lake if you want to shock your senses. Perhaps take up cold water diving if that’s not enough for you.

    Yeah it was fun to go from the sauna/hot-tub to the -60F outdoors lake on a dare, but it’s not some health thing.

    I think your brain is broken. Stop being a pussy and use a shower to get clean and then move on with your life and get stuff done.

    Next you’ll be writing crap on how to put out cigarettes on your tongue.

    Reply
    1. Frozen lake. Now THAT sounds intense. Very cool, dare or not!

      Is it okay to take cold showers if I take more of them? Should help with the soap issue. :-)

      Reply
  17. I’ve been taking 5 minute freezing cold showers every morning for a while now. The benefits are real, I’ve never felt better. People are just afraid of discomfort so they will discredit them to make themselves feel better.

    Reply
    1. Hey Matt, thanks for your comment. I think you are absolutely right about the discomfort part.

      Glad you are enjoying the freezing cold showers. As it gets into winter, things are getting interesting! :)

      Reply
  18. I’m worried about the increase in testosterone levels… I have problems with hirsutism, one of the causes of hirsutism is to much testosterone, so will the cold showers affect my hirsutism in anyway? Thank you and hope it wasn’t to much info…

    Reply
  19. hii your right i appreciate your thoughts because your spiritual at mind and practical at approach.. its not that you only explained about cold water but a step ahead for reaching your goals and aspiration.. your critical thinking is what the youth should have for a constructive goal and world

    Reply
    1. Hi Srinivas, yes! Thanks for your kind words.

      Reply
  20. Hey Mans, I’m Adam. I have a question about Cold showers, should I rinse up for 2 minutes with warm water to open the pores , then soap up …then rinse off with cold water….or could I just take complete cold showers with the same benefits without using hot water. They say you clean your skin better with hot water because the pores open up, not necessarily a good thing lol.

    Reply
    1. Hi Adam, this is a great idea, but only with ONE caveat. You must make sure that you actually change to cold water for a long enough period. Half of the battle with cold showers is going from dry to freezing in a matter of seconds. There are actually benefits of warm showers (such as higher dopamine production to kickstart creative centers in your brain) so it is definitely okay to use them.

      Test it out and see how you feel too. It may not make you feel as invigorated (for me going from hot to cold doesn’t have the same affect). Everyone is different, though!

      Reply
  21. Hi Mans,

    Just curious, have you ever tried outdoor winter swimming? I’m trying it for the very first time this year and I have to say after 2 sessions I’m already loving it.
    As everybody does I get the old cold shock response when I first get in but will be trying cold showers everyday to help me acclimatise. Is it possible do you think to get to the point where you just step in and don’t even think about it? maybe after a few years…decades?

    Reply
    1. Hey Jennie, great question! Outdoor swimming is a lot of fun. I’ve tried it before and I do enjoy it. There is something even stronger about jumping into a full body of cold water (vs. slowly getting in a cold shower). Because the shock response is such a deep part of our evolutionary physiology, I find it hard to believe we would EVER lose the response. It might be dulled, but with decades of meditation practice it could be possible :)

      Reply
  22. Outstanding research Mans Denton!! I definitely agree with you on the benefits of cold showers. What I like best about cold showers is mentally mastering the panic associated with your body’s immediate response to the cold showers vs. your mind.

    Reply
    1. Hey Steve, that’s my favorite part too! Thanks for the kind words. Now that winter is starting, we’re going to have a lot of fun ;)

      Reply
  23. Hello :)
    This article is very interesting! I’m in a colder part of Australia, and I HATE, I mean HATE the hot weather. My stomach and mental state just does not agree with it lol

    Anyway, I wanted to ask…is the idea of having the cold showers purer to get over the shock?
    My family and I go camping near a river and I love jumping in, more than likely it’s not a comfortabl temperature but still. I love it.

    My real question is; is it pointless having a cold shower then warming up by the heater/fire? Does that completely destroy the purpose of this ordeal? Haha
    Thanks :)

    Reply
    1. Hey Grace, I wouldn’t say that is a problem at all. The purpose is to exist in the moment. I wouldn’t recommend spending a long time recovering from the cold shower, but warming up a bit is no big problem. The shock is one of the major factors so jumping in the cold river is perfectly fine. In fact, check the picture I have in this post – it’s a small body of glacier water :)

      Reply
  24. Hi Mans!

    I just googled cold showers and ended up here. Nice article! I just tried a cold shower now and I liked it. I was sceptical because I was feeling a bit cold before going in, but I am warmer now than before.

    I have to remarks:
    One: Do you know how cold showers compare to hot showers in terms of hygiene? I have the impression that hot water gets dirt off faster (works when doing the dishes).
    Two: Add a side-benefit on your list – cold showers are way better for the environment, especially if it becomes the norm rather than something you do only after exercise!

    Thanks!
    Peter

    Reply
    1. Hi Peter, as for your first point, you may be right. I’ve heard it also opens up your pores so you can become cleaner as well. I would suggest (especially in the winter) that you start warm to wash off and then get cold for the last half. However, make sure you do it (it can be harder when you are using warm to start) for a longer period. Don’t just get some cold water on you – stay for a while so you can get the true benefit!

      Love the second point. Definitely a great environmentally friendly benefit! Thanks Peter

      Reply
  25. I recently started doing cold water therapy. The hardest part is convincing yourself to get in the cold water. Feels great afterwards. You can read about my experiences here. http://www.allisonest.com/indrid-cold/

    Reply
    1. Very cool Laura! That is definitely the hardest part, but definitely the most important!

      Reply
  26. We’ve taken our. Hot water tank out. And been like this for three yrs. Have. 4 kids. It makes u tough. But we get clean. U just take. A short intervial showers. Wet lather rinse . We are 45. 25.18.9.7.5 three boys three girls

    Reply
    1. Wow Lisa, that is amazing! I can’t imagine going three years without a hot water tank. Most likely you are all very tough when it comes to the cold these days!

      Reply
  27. Obviously cold showers are easier in the summer, where they are more refreshing and when there is warm air after the shower. I notice that at the beginning of fall I begin to get more acne, which is the same point that I begin taking hot showers instead of cold showers. Your first attempts will be painful and you might not be able to breath, after maybe a week of this I found that I had become completely adjusted, and could take a freezing cold bath comfortably. Also, this might be weird but I bring my speakers in and listen to music, don’t worry about your speakers because there is no humidity!

    Reply
  28. I love me a good cold shower and didnt even know it was healthy for me!

    Reply
    1. Definitely gets the energy going :)

      Reply
  29. Cool :) Never thought about that, I think i’ll be trying this tonight :)

    Reply
  30. Ive been studying sikhism and alot of devotees take cold showers.I wanted to try it, but I don’t like the cold being from Dallas (I just moved back from Austin, actually) I’m used to the heat. So I decided to google “get used to cold showers” for advice and found your article. I found it very useful and will be applying it to my trial run and *fingers crossed* new daily practice. I don’t understand all the negative reviews, but I really like your responses. Thank you for posting this wonderful information!

    Reply
    1. The SIKHISM teaches “sipirtual bath” rather than that we take with water,though taken with colder one is excellent for our body,as many orthodex sikhs prefer it to make it a 365 day habit before morning tea.

      Reply
  31. Carry on Bro! and Hook ‘em \m/!!!!

    Reply
    1. Heck yeah, Rehan! \m/

      Reply
  32. Hey, it’s been a while since someone’s commented but i have some questions regarding cold showers

    First off, I’m a competitive swimmer, and sometimes the water can get pretty cold and all I want after practice is relaxing warm shower. Do you still recommend the Same for me to take cold showers? Also I had a headache and body discomfort and I took a hot shower. It felt pretty good but does cold shower provide a better remedy?
    I’ve tried a few cold showers in the summer and I say they were all perfect days.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Hi Will, it hasn’t been that long – the comment system is screwed up :)

      Anyway, I would say a warm shower after swimming in the cold water can be a GREAT thing. It helps to relax your muscles after a long bout of “cold shower therapy” that you get within the pool. You will get the same benefits so there is no reason to over-do it. Cold water exposure is about a hormetic stressor rather than getting cold as much as possible.

      Definitely do it warm if you need to!

      Reply
  33. Is the picture from Hamilton Pool?

    Thanks for the article. I’ve been on cold showers for a while and can attest to all of the benefits you listed. Cold showers may be tough during winter, but I actually feel warmer once I get out of the shower than I did taking warm/hot showers.

    Reply
    1. Hey Darion, actually that image is in Switzerland in some below freezing glacier water. :)

      They are definitely tough during the winter and I noticed that walking outside in the cold is so much easier after doing cold shower therapy.

      Reply
  34. I used to shower cold shower. But I got weird skin problems. So I quit.

    Reply
    1. Ah that is a shame. Maybe try it again, but do warm water with cold at the end?

      Reply
  35. I’ve been taking cold showers for about a year now, and I’ve found a) it’s easier to go from a warm comfortable shower to a freezing cold one) and b) experiment with the length of the cold shower until you experience excessive coldness in your hands and feet for a long time afterwards. Find the maximum length (which will vary based on your water supplies temperature and your personal ability to generate warmth) and shoot for that. I live in the northeast us, and for me the cold shower lasts 3 to 4 mins, and is exhilirating. Maximum benefit is closest to that point.

    Reply
    1. Wow, Casey! Very good biohacking work. I’ve been waiting until the rest of my body becomes cold and remains so even after I get out. That’s definitely a key indicator.

      Reply
  36. I was raised telling hot water bath helps getting rid of dirt and germs..but trust when i grew up and started gymming cold water shower was something that i started with it..it worked wonders no muscle soreness , mood was fresh and good , my complexion was intact and immunity was great …so please do try

    Reply
  37. can a cold shower regulate female hormones??? answer plse

    Reply
    1. Hi siham, yes! Cold showers can help better regulate female hormones as well.

      Reply
  38. I don’t know about health benefits but if you want be a tough decision maker and be like army boy who don’t care about weather condition and do what orders are given then this cold water shower is great practice for first step to success/

    Reply
    1. Good attitude! Indeed it is as much about the mind as the body.

      Reply
  39. When you take hot showers, you do sweat.

    Reply
  40. Hey, just wanted to stop by and post my opinion this really works! I use to be depressed a lot and lacked motivation and overall happieness. One morning I decided to take a cold shower and it really lifted my spirits. And my life has been improving at a wonderful rate. I was so happy with my idea I looked it up on the internet to see if anyone else knew about this and how it helps them. Well this was one of the first one I found and I’m glad to tell everyone that this really works. And to all those negative people, just try it once that’s all it takes. I start my cold shower by turning it on hot and slowly turning it down till its ice cold! I hope many more people read this article really helps with depression!

    Reply
    1. Hey Jordan, I’m so glad it has helped you! Great :)

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  41. I grew up with my mom telling me if I took cold showers I’d get really sick but I’m really glad I found this great article. I’m actually starting tonight!

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    1. Awesome! Good luck, Josh

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  42. I am going to try this right now.

    I have always agreed with your statement. Achieving great things take sacrifice and great discomfort. I can think of numerous examples of this being true in my life. In addition the whole Christina religion is based off of that idea. Jesus sacrificed his life to save the world from sin.

    If taking a cold shower promotes all the benefits you listed I am definitely willing to forgo the hot showers.

    Also a few other benefits that people might experience are:
    1) Skin that is less dry. Hot water significantly dries out skin.
    2) Healthier mucus membranes/body from reduced chlorine inhalation. Hot water increase the amount of water that turns to steam. Water that is then breath in. This significantly increases the amount of chlorine (which is in the water) a person absorbs.

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    1. Great points, Nick! Keep up the open mind!

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  43. How cold should the shower be? I’ve been taking cold ones for a 2 weeks or so, but with the heating off the water is ice cold. I’m just concerned about causing damage eg. if blood leaves my extremities etc. So what is the coldest that is safe in degrees??

    Reply
    1. That’s a great question. I’m not entirely sure and I think it depends on the person. The point is to be uncomfortable rather than freezing. There are ice bath therapies people utilize for that purpose, but I shy away as it is too much stress for my liking.

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  44. Last Monday I went cold turkey on caffeine, sugar, gluten, and dairy. Talk about discomfort! The first day was the worst. Each following was a bit better. Now I am definitely feeling better and I am surprised how rapidly the weight is coming off. I may give this cold shower thing a try. Sure would save on the gas bill. Katherine Hepburn to a cold swim every morning. He father insisted that the whole family practice and she found it refreshing and invigorating. She kept it up all of her life. :)

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  45. I was talking to a friend who was telling me about a friend of her fathers who lived high in the Kandian hills, 6,199 feet above sea level in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). The chap was a former professor of history at the University of Columbo.
    At the back of his bungalow, he constructed a cold-water shower. Very morning and every night, he showered. HE LIVED TO BE 97! He did not die, he committed suicide because he was tired of living. This interested me. I made my own cold shower and started to use it. I discovered that afterwards, when I went downstairs and relaxed, I began to experience a strange but immensely pleasant glow. A glow that came from deep within, spreading to the surface of my body. I now look forward to my showers. When other people boast about their electric-heated ‘power showers’ I mock them. Here in Great Britain, it is the lads who went to public schools that have cold showers. Those who went to grotty state comprehensives have them hot as they know nothing different. Public schools use cold showers as it is character building.

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    1. Interesting, David! Thanks

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  46. Seriously guys its common sense, now what did our great ancestors do without boilers heaters solar heating etc? Other than keeping a a large bucket out in the sun all day which means cold water again in the morning and at night. Were in the 21st century stop with the ignorance and start with the questioning, the open mindness…

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  47. After more than three months of taking cold shower twice a day, today was the first day I took two warm showers because the vigor and energy boost that I enjoyed on the first day of cold shower, which was the main motivator for me to continue cold shower, has waned away as time passes with regular cold showers. I have started to wonder whether some benefits of cold shower (improved immune system, metabolism, testosterone, etc.) claimed in many different articles are valid, although I believe from my experience that cold shower is in fact healthier for the skin and hair. At the same time, resistance to cold shower increased gradually. The thought of taking cold shower has slowed me down before I get in the shower. For example, rather than getting up immediately in the morning to take cold shower, I snoozed some. If anyone can assure me the benefits of cold shower to justify continuing cold showers, I would appreciate it.

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  48. Wow, I read your article and other articles on cold shower therapy. It’s a miracle! It really works for me. I was trying hot and cold showers together but there was something wrong with that. One day I woke up with insect bites all over my skin. I think it’s because of how the hot water dries the skin. That’s when I started taking just cold showers. Soon the bites disappeared and some cuts I had seemed to heal quicker, too. Probably the most significant thing for me is how I don’t have cold hands anymore. It was embarrassing for me…for years, as far back as I can remember (and I am 59 years old)…cold hands with my wife in bed, holding hands saying prayers with people (at church) and shaking hands with people. I used to get comments all the time about how my hands were so cold. Now they are no longer cold. Not only that, I can breathe better and that was getting to be a concern for me, especially at night. Also, my mood is better and I have more energy now. Additionally, it is helping me to overcome my fears. I am a singer and a member of Toastmasters (a public speaking organization). The other day I sang on a stage before about 300 people and didn’t experience the same fear that I had been used to feeling. At a recent Toastmasters meeting I felt more comfortable than I ever have been. As a result, I have more confidence now. I don’t need any more proof that cold shower therapy works for me. I’m sure it can work for anyone else, too. Thank you so much for helping to turn my life around. I believe I will be able to achieve my goals, now…fear had stopped me before. Cold showers has stopped the fear. I couldn’t have done it without you. May God bless you in any way you need it!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Blake. Glad it worked for you!

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  49. Research about cold showers seems to be way too ambiguous on the internet. There is no concrete research done to prove it’s benefits. However, I will give you props for this post as I could totally relate with you. Cold showers have definitely helped me stay energetic throughout the day. I moved to Wisconsin 4 months ago and at times the temperature drops to -25 C. I have taken excruciating cold showers and this has actually helped me to adapt to cold weather conditions. When i moved here, the temperature went record low due to the north american cold wave. The first week, I had to sleep without the air conditioner. But I was mentally prepared to endure the cold before I moved here. So I had no problem whatsover with the cold, funny that the local people here stayed home when I was getting enthusiastic about snowboarding and enjoying weather. I continued with cold showers, and to my surprise by body worked in my favor regulating it even in severe cold. Cheers for the message. I vouch for you as this definitely helps. I am thankful to God I am not dependent on weather for a good mood. Humans have the ability to adapt. We have the ability to internally create better mood for ourselves without relying on external weather conditions. I am going to end here as I don’t want to rant on people who are so externally dependent on weather condition for uplifting their state of mind.
    P.S I lived in Saudi Arabia – So I have felt scorching heat on my skin as well 55 C
    Thumbs up for COLD SHOWERS! no research only life experience ;)

    Reply
    1. Live experience is all you need sometimes!

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    2. Hi Bayg! I forgot to say thank you for the nice post in response to my previous message. Life has been great lately! I am so happy! Thumbs up for cold showers!!!! Take care, my friend!

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  50. Here’s an update on my Cold Water Therapy. I found it too hard to just take cold showers. My muscles were tightening up and I realized I needed the hot/warm showers for their benefits (especially for relaxing the muscles). God knows I don’t like vascilating from one way to the other. However, I am convinced that water therapy can change one’s mood and one’s life for the better. The trial and experimentation road that I seemed destined to travel is very hard. However, I won’t give up. I will still take cold showers for improved circulation, better breathing and an increased toughness to better deal with stressful situations. I am now trying hot/warm showers and end with a brisk cold shower again. I have read that this is even better for the circulation and I can also still develop the toughness I need to handle stress. The insect bites I mentioned before may have been from the hot baths I was taking (in a cramped bath) and then ending with a cold shower. And that’s the path I am on now. Today has been a good day, if you know what I mean. Forgive me please if I sound wishy-washy (so to speak). I think writing this down will help me and can also solicit your wisdom in this matter (negative or positive).

    Reply
    1. The tightness is part of starting out. It isn’t easy, though – I understand. All of the side effects are natural, but it is because you are not yet adapted to the cold environment. That will come from time – but only if you stick with it!

      If that is too much for you, try a cold ice pack on your back 20 – 30 minutes a night. It can help to adapt you better.

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  51. Hi Mans! Thank you for your response. I appreciate it. What about the hot/cold showers and having the benefits of both? Have you tried them?

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    1. Hi Mans! I am back to taking just cold showers. I had a good night’s sleep last night and I feel great today…on top of the world. This really has to be the way. The hot/cold showers began to give me heart palpitations. So much for them.

      Reply
  52. Interesting article, but I am wondering why I would want to increase my testosterone level. I sincerely don’t mean this in a snide way, but several places on your site, you seem to forget that more than half of us are female. Otherwise, I find your site very interesting.

    Reply
    1. Hey Rebekah, thanks for the advice. Actually, testosterone is very important for women. The conversion to estrogen is adequate to prevent women from getting highly muscular etc., but women can improve testosterone for brain function enhancement. The great thing about these natural lifestyle changes is that they rarely will change your hormone balance enough to cause problems (like synthetic solutions can).

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  53. Greetings.

    I’ve something to ask: It’s ”kind of hard” for me to get apart from my ”morning clothes” because of the weather (let’s say, sort of cold). And, I’ve never had a shower in the morning, by some few fears of mine, like: What could happen if I took a cold shower with my hot body? and all that stuff.

    Now, here it comes: Should I REALLY take a shower in the morning?

    Reply

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