Why We Should All Be Taking Cold Showers

This isn't a cruel prank — promise!



I always thought taking a cold shower was kind of like putting on a fur coat to take your dog for a walk in the middle of August: weird, incredibly uncomfortable, and beneficial to no one — until today.

Today, I came across a piece on Fast Company, headlined “The Scientific Case for Cold Showers,” which dispelled my misconceptions about, well, cold showers. I thought, So there’s actually a reason to take cold showers? People who willingly step under a faucet spewing ice-cold water first thing in the morning aren’t simply insane? How intriguing. 

The piece is a first-person account of a guy’s struggle to become a cold-shower convert in order to reap the benefits, touted in scientific studies: increased energy, soothed sore muscles, improvements in memory, and even a treatment for depression.

The bone-chilling (har har) fear of taking a cold shower keeps the author from diving in for a while, but eventually he gets up the nerve up to turn down the heat (he actually starts off warm then gradually lowers the water temperature until it’s cold), and it’s official: After one cold shower, he’s a cold-shower convert! He says cold showers make him feel more energetic, alert and happy. I was convinced he was lying, because how on Earth could a cold shower make someone happy? But then I scrolled down to the comments section. 

The first comment reads, “I absolutely love cold showers! It’s the best way to get glowing skin …” Then, “I started a couple of months ago … I definitely feel more alert, more focused and energized.” Next one: “I’ve been taking cold showers for 13 months now … I agree on the benefits: It wakes me up like nothing else (I wake up between 4:30a and 5:30a — by choice), gives me a shot of energy, and puts me in a great mood.” And I’ll list one more for good measure: “I have been taking hot/cold showers for years. No coffee and no workout needed.” Say whaaat?

I never thought I would consider taking a cold shower. After all, I don’t live in the tropics (sadly), and I’m not insane. But I am willing to give anything that will reduce my Starbucks debt a try, and I could always use a little mood boost. Who couldn’t?

So I’m curious: Are you a cold shower-er? Or at least, are you willing to give it a shot? Share in the comments.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: