- Why do guys take cold showers?
- Other benefits of cold showers
- The science behind cold showers benefits
- How to take cold showers – guide
As guys, we’re all familiar with the idea of having a cold shower – especially, when we’re aroused and are unable to do anything about it – but what are the other benefits of cold showers? Can cold showers really improve your health or is this another myth?
During this article, we shall answer the age-old question: ‘do cold showers increase testosterone’, as well as examine the perks it can bring to your health…
Unless you’re channeling your inner James Bond/Scottish roots; for most guys, we turn to cold showers when we’re trying to get rid of a boner.
The idea is – as this cold water hits our system, it will cause blood to disperse from your penis and go rushing back to the rest of your organs, leaving you feeling awake and rejuvenated.
Yet, this isn’t the most prominent reason for men taking cold showers…
According to studies, cold water therapy has been used for centuries to help invigorate and enhance a person’s overall well-being – both mentally and physically. True, this treatment differs from having a cold shower, as you are meant to immerse yourself in a bath filled with ice. However, in principle cold showers can help to reduce inflammation, muscle damage and sore muscle development (after exercise), as well as can improve your recovery times, mood and energy levels.
In fact, research suggests having a cold shower before a run can prevent the development of heat stroke, as you’ll start it with a lower-body temp. Likewise, once the run is over, it can offer you relief from soreness and inflammation, as it will help to rapidly cool your body – which is great for speeding up recovery times.
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COLD SHOWERS Ice baths have been widely used in sports and the fitness world for many years for quicker recovery, lessened muscle soreness, reduced swelling, and to flush blood of waste products following an intense workout. Seen as mostly for athletes or those who workout regularly, there is another approach to cold immersion that is PRACTICAL for EVERYONE. COLD SHOWERS Much research has provided the benefits of cold showers as: •Benefits• Energy levels Stress/anxiety Inflammation (arthritis/muscle soreness) Immune system Sleep Willpower Fat loss I believe most of us take at least one shower each day. And that’s all it takes. Start with a warm shower 🧼 Finish with a cold shower Taking controlled, quick but powerful breaths You will build your tolerance over time, starting at only 15 seconds the first week, to 30 seconds, 45 seconds and longer. BREATHE. Benefits of a cold shower are due in part to the quick, powerful breathes you take. Remember how it feels! Take note of how hard it is to stand there that first, second, third time. Notice any differences you may feel following the shower. I’ve been doing this for over a month and can say I’ve seen many changes. My energy levels are so much better, mental clarity through out the day is great, and the shower itself has gotten easier (which transfers over to cold tolerance in the winter 👌🏻). #WimHofMethod #coldshowers #justdoit #coldimmersion #recovery #breathe
We touched on a couple of reasons why do guys take cold showers in the section above; however, their perks are not just limited to bolstering recovery times. In truth, they can do a lot to improve your health and vitality:
We’ve all felt that sudden jolt of awareness when cold water hits our skin, but what you probably don’t realize is that it will also increase your heart and respiratory rates, causing you to feel more awake, aware and alert.
Boost your metabolism
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine cold water can stimulate your metabolism, forcing your body to work harder as it tries to maintain a stable temperature. In turn, this can contribute to feelings of alertness and a desire to be more physically active.
Improved immune system
A study published in PLoS One revealed that those who take cold showers are 29% less likely to phone in sick. Now, this doesn’t mean participants didn’t get ill. What this study on 3,018 men revealed was – of the group who had a hot shower followed by 30-90 seconds of cold water – they suffered less severely from illnesses than those who just had a hot shower; to the point where they were able to continue with their day-to-day activities without needing to call in sick.
A separate study performed by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England (1993) also noted a rise in the number of virus-fighting white blood cells in those who took cold showers. Researchers believe this boost in immunity came about as a result of their metabolic rates rising. As they rose, this activated their immune systems and triggered an increase in white blood cells.
Researchers believe that cold showers have also got the power to elevate your mood. In an article published in Medical Hypotheses, they theorized how cold showers can activate your sympathetic nervous system, leading to a rise in available neurotransmitters (in particular norepinephrine and endorphins). As a result, they saw drops in depressive symptoms amongst patients.
Cold water therapy has got an impressive history amongst athletes due to its ability to help you cool down quicker and recover faster. At the same time, the application of cold showers after a workout can relieve inflammation and exertional hyperthermia (heat exertion).
Admittedly, having a cold shower is nowhere near as effective as a dip in a tub of ice; however, in theory, it should be able to provide you with some relief, especially when it comes to muscle soreness, aches and pains.
When you exercise in hot weather, your blood is shared by your skin (in a bid to keep you cool), muscles (to enable you to exercise) and your heart (for cardiac output). Using water to cool your skin, will encourage blood to be sent back to other important parts of your body i.e. your stomach/intestines; enabling you to handle hydration better as well as efficiently distribute nutrients. At the same time, you’ll feel less fatigued at the end of the day.
Improved heart health
Another perk of having a cold shower is vasoconstriction – where your blood vessels narrow and cause your heart to work harder in order to move blood.
Now, while on the outside this might sound like a bad thing; done right this can actually help to strengthen your heart and blood vessels, as 1) it will remove metabolic waste (caused from exercise) and 2) in the long term it will improve your circulatory system, performance and recovery time.
When cold water hits your skin, this causes blood to rush to your organs i.e. your heart, to help keep it warm and functioning. In doing so, you will see improvements in circulation.
Cold showers can trigger something known as a hormetic response in the brain. For instance, by exposing your body to low doses of something – in this case, cold water – it will trigger controlled stressors that will cause hormones and neurotransmitters to jump into action and boost your physiological and mental resilience.
The key to getting it right is to keep these cold showers short – up to 5 minutes – and to only do them 2-3 times a week. In doing so, it will alleviate symptoms of depression, as it will: stimulate your brain’s blue spot (the source of noradrenaline which is known to prevent depression); lower the release of cortisol and will elevate serotonin production.
At the same time, you will experience an adrenaline rush that will boost norepinephrine release – which is known to increase energy, focus and performance.
Faster physical recovery
Linking to some of the other perks we’ve listed above, research into the benefits of cold showers for men has found that it can enhance your recovery rate. In fact, a comparison of 23 peered articles revealed that this type of therapy can help you combat fatigue and stay alert.
Studies suggest bathing in cold water can create an effect similar to local anesthetic (when it comes to pain relief). This is due to it causing blood vessels to constrict, thus reducing swelling and edema (that causes pain).
Cold water can also reduce nerve signal responses to discomfort in your brain, which can help to lower your perception of pain.
Increased energy levels
According to researchers, sudden jolts of cold water to your system will not only help to wake you up – as your heart pumps harder – it can also create a rush of norepinephrine, a hormone that is known to boost energy levels and endurance. In turn, this ‘energy rush’ can trigger elevations in concentration and productivity.
This cold blast will also encourage you to breathe harder and deeper, which again can help to invigorate your body and leave you feeling energized.
Healthy skin and hair
Hot showers are well-known for drying out your skin; making it itchy, and leaving your hair looking dull. Switching to a cold shower will instantly make your mane look shinier and your skin brighter, as it will close up your follicles, cuticles and pores.
If you’ve ever wondered ‘do cold showers increase testosterone?’ then studies suggest it can help – especially with revitalizing your fertility.
The thing is, your testes aren’t made for heat – that is why they hang on the outside of your body. They need to stay cool. Cold showers can help increase your sperm counts and their motility, while a hot bath will essentially act as its own contraceptive.
During a 1950s study, when participants took 30-minute hot baths every other day (over a 3 week period), they were infertile for the following 6 months. Likewise, a study by the University of California found that when they reduced participants’ exposure to wet heat (30-minute hot baths every week), their sperm counts rose by 491%.
Similarly, too much heat can hinder testosterone production. As a result, you should try to alternate between having a hot and a cold shower, as this will boost your natural testosterone levels, as well as will ensure that your sexual health remains in tip-top form.
Cold showers may traditionally be used to jumpstart your body; however, they can also be used to improve your sleep patterns.
When your body is exposed to the cold, it instantly tries to warm you up. In doing so, you will see an increase in the amount of brown fat that is used to fuel your body and give you energy. And as this fat burns, so will the pounds melt away.
After reading the section above, you’ve probably already got a fair idea about the mechanics behind cold showers and why they are so beneficial. However, if we had to summarise then some of the key reasons why it is so successful at stimulating positive health responses, is because of the impact it has on your circulatory system and hormones.
In fact, many of the above perks are tied to improved blood flows and increased production of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.
- Circulation – as the cold water hits your skin, this encourages blood to rush to your organs to help keep them warm. In other words, it jumpstarts your heart and gets it working harder. As a result, you are left feeling energized, alert, focussed and equipped to deliver plenty of blood/oxygen/nutrients to your heart, organs, and dick.
At the same time, this cold water will cause your blood vessels to constrict leading to reductions in pain, muscle soreness and inflammation/swelling (which can enhance your recovery time).
- Hormone response – cold showers will not only help to protect you from testosterone decline and fertility issues; it is also responsible for:
- Producing serotonin and dopamine – both are feel-good hormones that can help you to combat stress, depression and anxiety, as well as prevent performance anxiety in the sack.
- Hinder cortisol release – a stress hormone that can heighten depression if left unchecked.
- Energy levels – as your heart pumps harder to ensure your organs stay warm, this triggers the release of norepinephrine which is known to boost energy levels.
- Metabolic rate – again this jolt to your system will get your heart pumping and your metabolic rate rising. As it does so, this will cause brown fat to be burned (boosting weight loss) and your immunity to increase (as it prompts the production of more white blood cells).
Now that you know the mechanics of nofap cold showers and why they are good for your health; you’re probably wondering how to put it into practice. For instance, taking 5 minute cold showers isn’t something you’ll master overnight. If anything, you’ll first need to learn how to get used to cold showers so you don’t chicken out.
In the following guide, we’ll show you how to build up your staying power, so you can then take these rules on how to take cold showers, and put them into practice:
- Too much too soon – as we mentioned before, you can’t jump straight into this. Instead, you need to start off slow and build up your tolerance by gradually decreasing the temp of the water. This will give your body time to adjust to the new temp.
Likewise, on your first try, you should only stay under the cold water for 30 seconds. With practice, you can start adding on another 10-20 seconds until you can handle 5 minutes straight.
- Know your health – if you’ve got heart issues, high blood pressure or are overheated/feverish, then you should avoid cold showers as they will cause a shock to your system. This paired with it causing your blood vessels to constrict will make it harder for you to pump blood, leading to increased risks of you having a stroke.
- Create a set routine – for optimal results, start off with hot water and wash your hair. Once you’ve rinsed off, turn the water down to cold (gradually) and spend a few minutes underneath it (once you’ve built up your tolerance levels).
- Find the right temp – multiple studies suggest setting your cold temp to 20°C. However, the temp you opt for should be based on your own personal preferences. For instance, what may feel really cold to you, might only be slightly cold to someone else. For this reason, look to your body’s own reactions to cold temps.
- Judge the duration – while 5-10 minutes is considered the goal; you can still see positive results by sticking to 30 seconds to 2-minute stints in cold showers.
There is something to be said about the benefits of cold showers. While they are not as substantial as cold water therapy; research does suggest that it can encourage increased testosterone production, immunity, circulation, alertness, memory and energy levels.
Our only recommendation is – don’t rely on cold showers alone to improve your mental and physical health. Instead, if your goal is to revitalize your libido and sex life, consider incorporating a proven libido booster such as Male Extra into the mix. Combined they can support your body from the inside out.