This Is the Real Reason You Should Be Taking Cold Showers
The benefits of cold showers go well beyond taming your libido.
Nothing feels better than a hot shower at the end of a long day—so much so that the thought of voluntarily taking a cold one seems completely insane. Cold showers are for when the hot water runs out at home or, more famously, when you want to get yourself out of a certain state of excitement in an inopportune time. The reality, however, is that there is much more to be gained from taking cold showers than you probably ever imagined. From pain relief to brain benefits, here's why you should actually be taking cold showers. And while we are on the subject, This Is How Often You Should Really Be Showering, Doctors Say.
If you really want to wake up in the morning, forget the coffee, a cold shower is where it's at. According to an oft-referenced study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, "immersion in cold water stimulates release of norepinephrine from the sympathetic nervous system." Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that activates your brain, boosts energy, makes you more alert, and enhances focus. And if you're looking for a jolt first thing, find out How You Can Have More Energy in the Morning.
In addition to boosting your energy and making you more alert, the norepinephrine released when you take a cold shower also has a positive effect on your mood. A 2008 study published in Medical Hypotheses found evidence that exposure to cold water can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
"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," the study authors wrote. And for more helpful information delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Relief from pain and inflammation
According to a 2014 study in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, cold water therapy has been proven to effectively reduce pain and inflammation, as well as shorten the amount of time necessary for the body to recover from physical activity. In fact, the researchers found that regular winter swimming in cold temperatures "relieved pain [in those] who suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma; and improved general well-being in swimmers." And for another way to find relief when you're hurt, check out This One Simple Trick Can Help Ease Your Pain in Seconds, Study Says
Stronger immune system
When have we ever needed a strong immune system more than we do right now? Well, cold showers can help with that too. According to a 2016 study in the journal PLoS One, people who take cold showers are 29 percent less likely to call in sick for work or school. And for another way to stay healthy, check out This One Surprising Thing Makes Your Immune System 50 Percent Stronger.