Cold Shower Benefits: Is Shivering in the Shower Really Better For You?

The thought of jumping into a freezing cold shower makes me, well, not want to shower. I love the feeling of hot water running down my back, loosening my muscles and blanketing me with warmth. A hot shower literally warms me both physically and mentally.

Sure, I know it can dry out my skin – but that’s what I have Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion for, right?!

To be honest, I always thought dry skin was the only negative of a scalding shower and, lucky for me, as a beauty expert I knew just how to heal dry skin in more ways than one. (To see how to eat for more hydrated skin, click here!)

A few weeks ago, though, I was having a green juice with my friend Nick Reece and he mentioned that he’s been taking cold – and I mean COLD – showers for the health benefits.

A million questions later – how cold are we talking? (50 degrees.) every shower? (yes.) the whole shower or just a “refreshing” burst? (whole thing.) – I finally got to the why…

A 5 to 30 minute cold shower can jumpstart your metabolism – and, oh so much more.

Here’s how: when you subject your body to arctic-like temperatures (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but standing naked under a stream of 50 degree water feels pretty arctic-like!), you activate your body’s brown fat, the fat-burning tissue in your body that burns energy to keep your body temperature up. The result is (apparently) a faster metabolism, higher energy levels and even a better mood (when you get out of this freezing shower, clearly).

And, no, it’s not just my friend Nick who believes this :)

Tim Ferris (author of The 4-Hour Body) and even Dr. Oz say freezing cold showers can increase your metabolism, boost your energy levels, bolster your immune system, throw your sex drive into high gear and, yes, even lead to healthier skin and hair.

Always up for a challenge – and intrigued about the potential benefits – I tried it.

For 5 days.

But when I found myself trying to figure out how to avoid washing my hair for just. one. more. day. I knew it wasn’t for me.

If you do want to try it, though, here’s a tip: start with 2 minutes of a warm (not hot) shower to get used to it before dropping the temperature. It makes the experience slightly less torturous.

Have you tried it before? Will you?! Tell me about your experience :)

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