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Cold showers, ice baths and cryotherapy.

cold exposure

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#1 Now

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:55 PM


Does anyone else take cold showers or ice baths regularly? Cold water exposure has a lot of benefits. It may increase increase glutathione levels, it can help with weight loss and skin problems, it can alleviate depression (increases beta-endorphin and noradrenaline levels) and more.

You can find a lot of information and studies on this website: http://www.cold-showers.com/

I am taking cold and/or contrast showers (until +- 20 degrees) for months now and I really like it. I can feel and see a significant beneficial effect on my mood, sleep and skin.

I'm going to try an ice/cold bath very soon. I have already bought a bath thermometer and I have some ice cubes (24 normal cubes and 6 x 200ml cubes) in the freezer. But I think that I will try it without ice first. (18-20 degrees)

Please share studies and experiences in this topic.
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#2 platypus

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:10 PM

Does anyone else take cold showers or ice baths regularly? Cold water exposure has a lot of benefits. It may increase increase glutathione levels, it can help with weight loss and skin problems, it can alleviate depression (increases beta-endorphin and noradrenaline levels) and more.

You can find a lot of information and studies on this website: http://www.cold-showers.com/

I am taking cold and/or contrast showers (until +- 20 degrees) for months now and I really like it. I can feel and see a significant beneficial effect on my mood, sleep and skin.

I'm going to try an ice/cold bath very soon. I have already bought a bath thermometer and I have some ice cubes (24 normal cubes and 6 x 200ml cubes) in the freezer. But I think that I will try it without ice first. (18-20 degrees)

Please share studies and experiences in this topic.

People practise this in Finland a lot, i.e. they swim in frozen lakes and the sea, with water temperatures around 0C. Old people claim that it works wonders for their muscle and joint pains. Also, according to some studies cold exposure increases the amount of the good "brown fat" in the body.

BTW I once took a cryotherapy-session, i.e. standing almost naked for three minutes in a room chilled to -110C...that felt pretty cold I'm telling you! :)

#3 sapentia

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:39 PM

Does anyone else take cold showers or ice baths regularly? Cold water exposure has a lot of benefits. It may increase increase glutathione levels, it can help with weight loss and skin problems, it can alleviate depression (increases beta-endorphin and noradrenaline levels) and more.

You can find a lot of information and studies on this website: http://www.cold-showers.com/

I am taking cold and/or contrast showers (until +- 20 degrees) for months now and I really like it. I can feel and see a significant beneficial effect on my mood, sleep and skin.

I'm going to try an ice/cold bath very soon. I have already bought a bath thermometer and I have some ice cubes (24 normal cubes and 6 x 200ml cubes) in the freezer. But I think that I will try it without ice first. (18-20 degrees)

Please share studies and experiences in this topic.


I used take them alot more, but only do it occassionaly now. The primary benefit is the release of norepinephrine and the activation of the "blue spot" in the brain or the locus coeruleus. This activates the nerves associated with norepi. and can have a significant impact on depression on other conditions. I always feel more refreshed after taking a cold shower, but that first few seconds is a real bitch!

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#4 APBT

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:39 PM

Here's a thread on the topic: http://www.longecity...-thermogenesis/

#5 Shepard

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 03:58 AM

I take ice/cold baths all the time. I usually start my day with one when it's cold enough in Alabama for my outside tub to be worthwhile. So, basically one day a year. I find that the mood effects are entirely dependent on cooling of the head. I'll feel more refreshed with a cold shower than a much colder bath if I don't submerge my head.

I'm a bit saddened to see Kruse held in such high esteem in that other thread. Guess I just don't eat enough chocolate to activate my ancient pathways. I was less than impressed by his PaleoFX talks.

#6 vtrader

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:18 AM

I tried to take a cold shower a few days ago, but I felt violently ill, my heart felt like it was about to explode and I was about to pass out, this was only in about 20 seconds in the shower. I was fine after about 10 minutes, but the shock was to much.

Why did I feel this bad?

#7 natro

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:40 AM

I've been trying them out for a while. I can't say anything special about them but it definitely made me a LOT more resistant against winter cold. Basically I'm the last one in town to be wearing short sleeved shirts when it was getting colder for winter. And now everyone is starting to wear coats and I'm fine with a long sleeved shirt. It basically made me very resistant to cold.

#8 platypus

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:37 AM

I guess the tolerance to cold goes up quite rapidly, so one just needs to keep practising. Here's an article about the Finnish sauna plus the effect of swimming in ice-cold water (more than 100000 Finns practise this every winter):

http://www.saunatime...nd-it-is-legal/

#9 vtrader

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:40 PM

So is it safe for me to continue to try cold showers even though I feel ill and about to pass out?

#10 Mind

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:33 PM

So is it safe for me to continue to try cold showers even though I feel ill and about to pass out?


Perhaps ease yourself into it. Start at luke-warm and gradually build up your tolerance.\

During the Summer when it is hot, I take a cool (not cold) shower before bed - because we don't have AC in our house.

While camping every year I jump into many cold lakes to wash up. It is not easy. Quite an immediate shock. I always feel like 100 bucks when I am done!

In my recent podcast with Dave Apsrey he mentioned how he is doing the cold thing right now. He used to just put an ice pack on his back. Apparently some people rationalize this is enough to build brown adipose tissue.

#11 Ghostdog23

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:02 PM

Hi All, Long time lurker, first time poster.

Here's a link about some Stanford researchers who've created a 'glove' to rapid cool core temperature, leading to improve recovery from exercise etc. A little hyperbolic, but interesting none the less.

"Stanford researchers' cooling glove 'better than steroids' – and helps solve physiological mystery, too

The temperature-regulation research of Stanford biologists H. Craig Heller and Dennis Grahn has led to a device that rapidly cools body temperature, greatly improves exercise recovery, and could help explain why muscles get tired."

http://news.stanford...ch-082912.html

#12 sapentia

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:24 PM

Hi All, Long time lurker, first time poster.

Here's a link about some Stanford researchers who've created a 'glove' to rapid cool core temperature, leading to improve recovery from exercise etc. A little hyperbolic, but interesting none the less.

"Stanford researchers' cooling glove 'better than steroids' – and helps solve physiological mystery, too

The temperature-regulation research of Stanford biologists H. Craig Heller and Dennis Grahn has led to a device that rapidly cools body temperature, greatly improves exercise recovery, and could help explain why muscles get tired."

http://news.stanford...ch-082912.html


I want one!!!! I would definitely buy one of these if they were available; that is a fairly exciting breakthrough.

#13 RJ100

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:38 PM

I routinely induce shivering by drinking 16oz of ice water. Does lowering your body temp this way achieve the same result?

The primary benefit is the release of norepinephrine


If you already have elevated norepinephrine would you still want to do this?

#14 sapentia

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

I routinely induce shivering by drinking 16oz of ice water. Does lowering your body temp this way achieve the same result?

The primary benefit is the release of norepinephrine


If you already have elevated norepinephrine would you still want to do this?


I don't know to be honest; it would be easy enough to run a trial cold shower and see if the physciological and psychological effects were positive or negative and proceed accordingly. For me, the results are positive, and the majority of anecdotal reports that I have read are positive.

#15 shp5

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:28 PM

I am a big fan of what in middle Europe is called Kneippen (basically repeated 30sec cold baths for your feet).

From my subjective experiences, my health and resistance to respiratory infections increases in early summer, when I start to go barefoot and in sandals again. I get cold feet for a week, then I can bear to walk barefoot again without getting cold, even on colder surfaces. I get more sick in Fall, when I start again to wear socks around the day.

( I am aware of the research that shows that outside temperature does not directly influence the susceptibility to respiratory diseases... is there a thread concerning this on longecity?)

#16 sapentia

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 05:30 PM

I am a big fan of what in middle Europe is called Kneippen (basically repeated 30sec cold baths for your feet).

From my subjective experiences, my health and resistance to respiratory infections increases in early summer, when I start to go barefoot and in sandals again. I get cold feet for a week, then I can bear to walk barefoot again without getting cold, even on colder surfaces. I get more sick in Fall, when I start again to wear socks around the day.

( I am aware of the research that shows that outside temperature does not directly influence the susceptibility to respiratory diseases... is there a thread concerning this on longecity?)


My subjective opinion is that susceptability is more a function of less exposure to daylight and the corresponding lower Vitamin D levels this systemically induces in the body. This is a non-issue with me since I supplement 4,000 IU of D3/day; I never get sick either.

#17 shp5

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:37 PM

I supplement 2000 iu/day in winter too, but never had a clearly discernable effect on my health. Only thing I can really "feel" is when my feet don't get cold (this is conditionable with cold showers, barefoot walking etc.), I don't get cold, and I am impervious to wind and other bad conditions that normally get me sick.
As Kneipp, I think you should not feel cold before doing any cold baths etc.


The only other thing that clearly works on my immune system is Cordyceps. Great stuff.



p.s. just some more anecdotal evidence, of course.

Edited by shp5, 16 October 2012 - 07:52 PM.


#18 vtrader

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:02 PM

Read this http://artofmanlines...h-and-vitality/

then this comment:

Richard Rivers June 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

As an aspiring physician, I have to say I’ve been pretty disappointed with the quasi-scientific claims that find their way into a lot of articles here at AoM. This article was so terrible that I had to comment. It takes the cake, definitely.
“Cold water causes your blood to move to your organs to keep them warm.”
No. Cold water acts as a cutaneous vasoconstrictor, causing the skin to get less blood flow. This doesn’t translate into blood “moving to your organs”. Blood follows the same vessels either way. The difference is really that your blood pressure will be higher after exposure to cold water, an effect which is generally considered unhealthy.
“Cold shower proponents argue that stimulating the circulatory system in this way keeps them healthier and younger looking than their hot water-loving counterparts.”
Nonsense. There is no such thing as “stimulating the circulatory system” just as there is no such thing as “boosting the immune system”. What you’re actually doing is stressing your body by lowering your core temperature, forcing the body to expend calories to maintain thermal homeostasis. By the way, if your core temperature drops below around 95 F, you’re hypothermic, and that’s a medical emergency. The first sign is usually uncontrollable shivering, followed by tachycardia — rapid heartbeat — and an immediate urge to urinate. Such conditions are also absolutely terrible for the liver, and doing it regularly might eventually trigger type 2 diabetes.
“Research at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine indicates that short cold showers may stimulate the brain’s “blue spot”- the brain’s primary source of noradrenaline — a chemical that could help mitigate depression.”
Nikolai Shevchuk is basically a charlatan. The study you cite was done by him, and it flies in the face of basic science. While the locus caeruleus is being studied in relation to such things as depression and panic disorder, there’s absolutely no physiologic reason to believe cold water on the skin has any particular effect upon it, or that it ever could.
“Hot water dries out skin and hair. If you want to avoid an irritating itch and ashy elbows, turn down the temperature of your showers.”
This is an argument for warm showers as opposed to hot. Not an argument for cold showers at all.
“Also, cold water can make your manly mane look shinier and your skin look healthier by closing up your cuticles and pores.”
This is merely cosmetic. To “look healthier” is culture-bound, and not necessarily the same thing as actually being healthier. There is no particular health benefit associated with “closing up your cuticles and pores”. Cuticles don’t open or close, and pores don’t open or close so much that it has any great effect on one’s dermatology either way. One can still get blackheads with “closed pores”, and one will still sweat the same amount. What other possible benefit could this produce?
It also seems that I need to remind the group that neither hair nor the outermost layer of skin are actually alive. Hair was never alive. It’s a proteinaceous waste product of the body, conceptually similar to feces, though thankfully not chemically similar. And, all humans are covered with a good bit of dead skin, which protects the more sensitive living skin underneath. The human epidermis is divided into five layers, the first two of which are dead (the strata cornerum & lucidum). The next layer, the stratum granulosum, is in the process of dying. This is perfectly normal.
“According to a study done in 1993 by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England, individuals who took daily cold showers saw an increase in the number of virus fighting white blood cells compared to individuals who took hot showers. Researchers believe that the increased metabolic rate, which results from the body’s attempt to warm itself up, activates the immune system and releases more white blood cells in response.”
Absolute nonsense. There is no such thing as “activating the immune system”. It is always on if you have a working one. Some people don’t. Even if the study you mention actually supports such a conclusion and was rigorously done (which I can’t determine because you don’t provide enough information to identify it), this is a mere correlation. To jump from a correlation to a particular causal relationship is fallacious without more substantial evidence.
“The same study by the Thrombosis Research Institute cited above showed that cold water showers actually increase testosterone production in men.”
Still being unable to identify the study, I can’t rebut in detail. Nevertheless, the mere fact that the same study sought to test both immune response and testosterone levels of men after different types of showers suggests to me that there’s some pathological science going on here, and a detailed examination of the methods would expose flaws in the experiment. I’d bet money on it.
“Trying to become a dad? Cold showers are good for your little swimmers. Your testes aren’t meant to get too hot; that’s why they hang outside your body. Sperm counts decrease when the temperature of a man’s testes increases. Experiments done in the 1950s showed that hot baths were an effective contraceptive. Men who took a 30 minute hot bath every other day for 3 weeks were infertile for the next six months.”
Okay, this is just stupid. You’re relying on the vague usage of the word “hot” to imply that the hot showers an average person takes could do this, which is flatly false. One would have to take a literally scalding hot shower — burning the skin — to have any chance of inducing invirility (funfact: the word “fertility” only applies to females, the male equivalent is “virility”). A standard hot shower at around 100 F is not going to reduce sperm count, particularly if you don’t spend several hours per day in such water. A shower at 130 F might, but then you’re going to be covered in first degree burns as well. Your hot water tank shouldn’t be set to exceed 120 F to begin with.
Also, there’s a fallacy involved in the idea that, because a scalding hot shower causes invirility, therefore a cold shower causes excessive virility. It’s non sequitur. It doesn’t follow logically. It could also be the case, for all YOU know, that both extremes of heat and cold cause invirility. You didn’t bother checking, did you? Looking only for confirming evidence and remaining intentionally ignorant of disconfirming evidence is how things like homeopathy and chiropractic neck manipulation get invented.
“While switching from a hot to cold shower may not have as dramatic an effect, if you’re trying to create some progeny, it surely won’t hurt.”
Neither will not bathing at all, on that front. So what? Pointless aside masquerading as an argument. “Do it because it won’t hurt” isn’t very persuasive. For the most part, licking a dog’s ass won’t hurt you: they’re usually cleaner than human hands. Nevertheless, I’m not going to be doing that any time soon.
“Every time I end a shower with cold water, I leave feeling invigorated and energized. Your heart starts pumping, and the rush of blood through your body helps shake off the lethargy of the previous night’s sleep. For me, the spike in energy lasts several hours. It’s almost like drinking a can of Diet Mountain Dew, minus the aspartame. And while it hasn’t been studied, many people swear that cold showers are a surefire stress reducer. I’m a believer.”
Perhaps that’s the basic problem here. You’re a “believer” rather than an “investigator”. This is apparently akin to a religious conviction for you, and so you’re more interested in a presentation which persuades by dint of rhetorical misdirection than by dint of real evidence.
As I already mentioned, your heart “starts pumping” due to borderline hypothermia, which induces tachycardia, which is absolutely NOT a good thing to repeatedly induce. Likewise, far from reducing stress, it causes it. Vasoconstriction -> hypertension -> stress. Regular bouts of hypertension also cause damage to internal organs, particularly the kidneys.
So the only real incontestable point you’ve made for the entire article is that a cold shower produces, for you at least, a subjective feeling of vigor. Not exactly impressive or convincing.


Talk about killing the mood

#19 Ghostdog23

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:39 AM

Another sport related study

Pre-cooling and sports performance: a meta-analytical review.



"In summary, pre-cooling can effectively enhance endurance performance, particularly in hot environments, whereas sprint exercise is barely affected. In particular, well trained athletes may benefit in a typical competition setting with practical and relevant effects. With respect to feasibility, cold drinks, cooling packs and cooling vests can be regarded as best-practice methods."



http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22642829







#20 sapentia

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:12 PM

Read this http://artofmanlines...h-and-vitality/

then this comment:

Richard Rivers June 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

As an aspiring physician, I have to say I’ve been pretty disappointed with the quasi-scientific claims that find their way into a lot of articles here at AoM. This article was so terrible that I had to comment. It takes the cake, definitely.
“Cold water causes your blood to move to your organs to keep them warm.”
No. Cold water acts as a cutaneous vasoconstrictor, causing the skin to get less blood flow. This doesn’t translate into blood “moving to your organs”. Blood follows the same vessels either way. The difference is really that your blood pressure will be higher after exposure to cold water, an effect which is generally considered unhealthy.
“Cold shower proponents argue that stimulating the circulatory system in this way keeps them healthier and younger looking than their hot water-loving counterparts.”
Nonsense. There is no such thing as “stimulating the circulatory system” just as there is no such thing as “boosting the immune system”. What you’re actually doing is stressing your body by lowering your core temperature, forcing the body to expend calories to maintain thermal homeostasis. By the way, if your core temperature drops below around 95 F, you’re hypothermic, and that’s a medical emergency. The first sign is usually uncontrollable shivering, followed by tachycardia — rapid heartbeat — and an immediate urge to urinate. Such conditions are also absolutely terrible for the liver, and doing it regularly might eventually trigger type 2 diabetes.
“Research at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine indicates that short cold showers may stimulate the brain’s “blue spot”- the brain’s primary source of noradrenaline — a chemical that could help mitigate depression.”
Nikolai Shevchuk is basically a charlatan. The study you cite was done by him, and it flies in the face of basic science. While the locus caeruleus is being studied in relation to such things as depression and panic disorder, there’s absolutely no physiologic reason to believe cold water on the skin has any particular effect upon it, or that it ever could.
“Hot water dries out skin and hair. If you want to avoid an irritating itch and ashy elbows, turn down the temperature of your showers.”
This is an argument for warm showers as opposed to hot. Not an argument for cold showers at all.
“Also, cold water can make your manly mane look shinier and your skin look healthier by closing up your cuticles and pores.”
This is merely cosmetic. To “look healthier” is culture-bound, and not necessarily the same thing as actually being healthier. There is no particular health benefit associated with “closing up your cuticles and pores”. Cuticles don’t open or close, and pores don’t open or close so much that it has any great effect on one’s dermatology either way. One can still get blackheads with “closed pores”, and one will still sweat the same amount. What other possible benefit could this produce?
It also seems that I need to remind the group that neither hair nor the outermost layer of skin are actually alive. Hair was never alive. It’s a proteinaceous waste product of the body, conceptually similar to feces, though thankfully not chemically similar. And, all humans are covered with a good bit of dead skin, which protects the more sensitive living skin underneath. The human epidermis is divided into five layers, the first two of which are dead (the strata cornerum & lucidum). The next layer, the stratum granulosum, is in the process of dying. This is perfectly normal.
“According to a study done in 1993 by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England, individuals who took daily cold showers saw an increase in the number of virus fighting white blood cells compared to individuals who took hot showers. Researchers believe that the increased metabolic rate, which results from the body’s attempt to warm itself up, activates the immune system and releases more white blood cells in response.”
Absolute nonsense. There is no such thing as “activating the immune system”. It is always on if you have a working one. Some people don’t. Even if the study you mention actually supports such a conclusion and was rigorously done (which I can’t determine because you don’t provide enough information to identify it), this is a mere correlation. To jump from a correlation to a particular causal relationship is fallacious without more substantial evidence.
“The same study by the Thrombosis Research Institute cited above showed that cold water showers actually increase testosterone production in men.”
Still being unable to identify the study, I can’t rebut in detail. Nevertheless, the mere fact that the same study sought to test both immune response and testosterone levels of men after different types of showers suggests to me that there’s some pathological science going on here, and a detailed examination of the methods would expose flaws in the experiment. I’d bet money on it.
“Trying to become a dad? Cold showers are good for your little swimmers. Your testes aren’t meant to get too hot; that’s why they hang outside your body. Sperm counts decrease when the temperature of a man’s testes increases. Experiments done in the 1950s showed that hot baths were an effective contraceptive. Men who took a 30 minute hot bath every other day for 3 weeks were infertile for the next six months.”
Okay, this is just stupid. You’re relying on the vague usage of the word “hot” to imply that the hot showers an average person takes could do this, which is flatly false. One would have to take a literally scalding hot shower — burning the skin — to have any chance of inducing invirility (funfact: the word “fertility” only applies to females, the male equivalent is “virility”). A standard hot shower at around 100 F is not going to reduce sperm count, particularly if you don’t spend several hours per day in such water. A shower at 130 F might, but then you’re going to be covered in first degree burns as well. Your hot water tank shouldn’t be set to exceed 120 F to begin with.
Also, there’s a fallacy involved in the idea that, because a scalding hot shower causes invirility, therefore a cold shower causes excessive virility. It’s non sequitur. It doesn’t follow logically. It could also be the case, for all YOU know, that both extremes of heat and cold cause invirility. You didn’t bother checking, did you? Looking only for confirming evidence and remaining intentionally ignorant of disconfirming evidence is how things like homeopathy and chiropractic neck manipulation get invented.
“While switching from a hot to cold shower may not have as dramatic an effect, if you’re trying to create some progeny, it surely won’t hurt.”
Neither will not bathing at all, on that front. So what? Pointless aside masquerading as an argument. “Do it because it won’t hurt” isn’t very persuasive. For the most part, licking a dog’s ass won’t hurt you: they’re usually cleaner than human hands. Nevertheless, I’m not going to be doing that any time soon.
“Every time I end a shower with cold water, I leave feeling invigorated and energized. Your heart starts pumping, and the rush of blood through your body helps shake off the lethargy of the previous night’s sleep. For me, the spike in energy lasts several hours. It’s almost like drinking a can of Diet Mountain Dew, minus the aspartame. And while it hasn’t been studied, many people swear that cold showers are a surefire stress reducer. I’m a believer.”
Perhaps that’s the basic problem here. You’re a “believer” rather than an “investigator”. This is apparently akin to a religious conviction for you, and so you’re more interested in a presentation which persuades by dint of rhetorical misdirection than by dint of real evidence.
As I already mentioned, your heart “starts pumping” due to borderline hypothermia, which induces tachycardia, which is absolutely NOT a good thing to repeatedly induce. Likewise, far from reducing stress, it causes it. Vasoconstriction -> hypertension -> stress. Regular bouts of hypertension also cause damage to internal organs, particularly the kidneys.
So the only real incontestable point you’ve made for the entire article is that a cold shower produces, for you at least, a subjective feeling of vigor. Not exactly impressive or convincing.


Talk about killing the mood


Personally, I find the large quoted response against cold shower therapy to be unscientific and largely ignorant. His argument would in no way disuade me from exploring cold showers if I were unfamiliar with them, much less deter me from continuing what has proven to be a very beneficial therapy for myself.

#21 Imjasonn

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:35 AM

I've used cold exposure to help regulate blood glucose. I started doing it for weight loss and noticed significant glucose drops immediately after ice baths, then observed a 48 hour suppression. Google BAT and extreme cold exposure. Recent studies are pretty compelling that cold activates BAT. Professional athletes have been using cold exposure for decades, likely believing the cold combats swelling, but there is evidence it improves recovery, sleep, and seems to help muscles consume glycogen more efficiently.

#22 Jesus is King

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:28 AM

Cold showers, well I was doing them straight from the get go, but then I lived somewhere else where the temp and water pressure dial were that same so i had to stop them otherwise the cold shower would drizzle out. Now I'm back to seperate dials, I'm mentally too scared to start on cold, now it's more like 5 minutes warm, 1 min cold at the end. Weird thing is once I put it on cold, my body adapt in like 5-10 secs. It's just a mental barrier I need to overcome again.

Anyway things I've noticed with cold showers are!

1. Warm Hands and Feet. I exercise regularly before cold showers (+ eat healthily, and take loads of supplements), so when I had cold feet in bed, I assumed it would never go away. Surprisingly I'm a very warm person now. Cold showers truely make a difference, and I guess this is because it increases your bodies circulation?

2. Resistence to cold. Yes, I am so resistent to cold temperatures now, I walk onto university campus in a t-shirt, while everyone is still wearing a coat. Only problem is people think you're a weirdo. :P

3. Intially I had the euphoria/wake up of the brains blue spot thing. But that only happens for the first few times. Now I don't get euphoria from cold showers. However I did have a cold bath a few weeks ago while watching a TV program called Take Me Out, and I found it hilarious, I was laughing out load to everything, and my head was dry, it was never submerged the whole time, only my body was.

4. Sweating in moderatly warm environments. This one is a downer. I'm doing salsa class, or another form of dance, in a moderate to hot room, and I sweat like mad! I never use to sweat so bad in my life until now. And you can see, as there's like 40 other people, and I'm the only one that's sweating.

5. Carrying on point number 4, I find it hard to have really hot showers now (like I use to love before). They have to be cold/warm to be comfortable.

6. If you start with cold showers straight from the get go, your shower only last around 4 minutes compared to 10-15 minutes.

7. Sadly, and one of my main reasons for cold showers, was fat loss. However I have not noticed any significant or insignificant fat loss from cold showers. I think the best way to have fat loss is with ice baths, I don't think even cold baths yield a large effect.

8. I think it slowed down my hair shedding. I'm also doing it to tighten my skin while I try and lose weight, so I won't suffer from loose skin, but I haven't lost significant amount of weight, and won't really know whether I would of got loose skin if I had of just been taking normal showers.

Edited by manny, 24 October 2012 - 08:32 AM.


#23 Jesus is King

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:09 AM

I forgot to mention this.

9. At one point it made me really really horny, like my libido went through the roof. I assume this is because cold showers increase testosterone, could also be the norepinephrine release. But I think the former is more likely, because I couldn't feel the euphora rush with cold showers anymore.

Funny thing is I need a libido boost at the moment because it's down, and I'm having 5 mins warm, 1 min cold. I think point 9 only really works if you start on the cold from the start.

Edited by manny, 25 October 2012 - 05:09 AM.


#24 ta5

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:35 AM

Is a cold shower bad if you have heart disease? The American Heart Association's warns about Cold Weather and Cardiovascular Disease. What makes some cold exposure good and other bad? Are the dangers more from the exertion than the temperature?

... It’s important to know how cold weather can affect your heart, especially if you have cardiovascular disease. People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snow drifts can strain a person's heart.

How does cold weather affect the heart?
Many people aren't conditioned to the physical stress of outdoor activities and don't know the dangers of being outdoors in cold weather. ...

Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. ...

...those with heart disease are at special risk. ...

People with coronary heart disease often suffer angina pectoris (chest pain or discomfort) when they're in cold weather. Some studies suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person's risk of heart attack due to overexertion. ...


Edited by ta5, 28 October 2012 - 07:37 AM.


#25 natro

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:01 AM

2. Resistence to cold. Yes, I am so resistent to cold temperatures now, I walk onto university campus in a t-shirt, while everyone is still wearing a coat. Only problem is people think you're a weirdo. :P

3. Intially I had the euphoria/wake up of the brains blue spot thing. But that only happens for the first few times. Now I don't get euphoria from cold showers. However I did have a cold bath a few weeks ago while watching a TV program called Take Me Out, and I found it hilarious, I was laughing out load to everything, and my head was dry, it was never submerged the whole time, only my body was.

4. Sweating in moderatly warm environments. This one is a downer. I'm doing salsa class, or another form of dance, in a moderate to hot room, and I sweat like mad! I never use to sweat so bad in my life until now. And you can see, as there's like 40 other people, and I'm the only one that's sweating.

5. Carrying on point number 4, I find it hard to have really hot showers now (like I use to love before). They have to be cold/warm to be comfortable.

6. If you start with cold showers straight from the get go, your shower only last around 4 minutes compared to 10-15 minutes.

7. Sadly, and one of my main reasons for cold showers, was fat loss. However I have not noticed any significant or insignificant fat loss from cold showers. I think the best way to have fat loss is with ice baths, I don't think even cold baths yield a large effect.


Haha I've noticed this too. I'm so resistant to cold now it's awesome. I made a post on it here http://peakmodernliv...-showers-for-me but it's basically the same thing as you so far. Saved a LOT of time in showers, very resistant to cold to the point (like you) people look at me funny. But sadly, like you... I've seen nothing for fat loss... I'm fairly lean already but it hasn't helped or made it harder...

Something in addition to what you said though is I now try to take cold baths after a workout, reduces muscle soreness for me :)

#26 Jesus is King

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:27 AM

Haha I've noticed this too. I'm so resistant to cold now it's awesome. I made a post on it here http://peakmodernliv...-showers-for-me but it's basically the same thing as you so far. Saved a LOT of time in showers, very resistant to cold to the point (like you) people look at me funny. But sadly, like you... I've seen nothing for fat loss... I'm fairly lean already but it hasn't helped or made it harder...

Something in addition to what you said though is I now try to take cold baths after a workout, reduces muscle soreness for me :)


I just read your website, good article. You summed up what I feel when in cold weather pretty well:

Basically you “feel” that it’s cold but it does not annoy you at all, or barely.


You also taught me on another part of your website I have magnesium deficiency, I too get major cramps sometimes after a night of drinking.

#27 natro

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:11 PM

You also taught me on another part of your website I have magnesium deficiency, I too get major cramps sometimes after a night of drinking.


Ya that really changed my life I would get muscle cramps in my neck and legs. I was taking a bit of magnesium supplements when I saw that most people are deficient in it (because of filtered water) but I was still getting cramps/weird contractions... I realized alcohol depletes magnesium and I upped my daily dosage to at least 300mg, and 450-500mg when I drink that day.

Anyway not to derail this thread. As far as weight loss goes, I think it might have an effect this winter. Considering I'll probably be wearing less clothes than others. The reason for that is your body get's better at generating internal heat (and burning calories in the process). So maybe this winter I'll actually notice a difference in weight if I eat the same amounts. I don't think my 3-5 min cold showers were burning that much, and I was only doing an ice bath every 1-2 weeks.

#28 norepinephrine

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:57 AM

Glad to see some discussion of the benefits of cold showers on here.

I've been doing the cold thing for around a month now. At first, I was strictly doing cold showers start-to-finish, but have since come to appreciate benefits of contrast showers as well as the 'James Bond shower' linked above.

A good cold shower upon waking certainly wakes me up (although a hot shower does too, but the norepinephrine boost from the cold is heightened); the feeling of 'cold shock' was almost unbearable the first few times and took a lot of balls to muscle through, but adaptation occurred in around 2 weeks.

If I've just finished a workout outside in the cold, or at the gym, I've found contrast showers to offer a really nice boost in terms of muscle recovery. Soreness dissipates in a surprisingly faster degree, and the hot-cold intervals are pretty invigorating as well.

The 'James Bond shower', though, is probably the most enjoyable. (For those who didn't read the link above, it basically involves starting hot and ending cold - making the switch after you apply shampoo.) For some reason I don't get the cold shock effect from a JB as I would just starting cold from the get-go, but instead the feeling of cold water on my skin after being immersed under the hot feels really pleasurable.

Finally, I've adopted my own 'hot/cold' method for cycling recovery. I'll ride my bike on the trainer indoors for 20-30 minutes until a sauna-like sweat is induced, and then jump immediately into an ice bath. If I do this in the same day as weight training, the reduction of muscle soreness after 15 minutes of ice is pretty incredible; almost as if I didn't lift that day.

Other benefits I've noticed have been reduced skin inflammation and lessened dandruff. Finally, I suspect contrast/JB-showers have provided a pretty visible boost to my immune system - there's been days where I felt a cold coming on via sore throat and cough, only to have the symptoms subside after a good contrast shower.

#29 chung_pao

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:56 AM

There's a reason it's called "Cold Therapy".

Cold showers and baths are a lifesaver.
Anytime I'm down it'll cause my mood to skyrocket. No supplement, medication or food even comes close to the anti-depressant effect it has.

I notice so many benefits it's ridiculous. I'll name a few:

- Faster recovery from weight training. Studies have proven cycling heat and cold exposure will dramatically accelerate recovery.
- Improved muscularity. Muscle and brown fat are what generate heat. Cold therapy is equal to exercise.
- Anti-depressant effects, due to norepinephrine, endorphins, testosterone, and dopamine.
- It clears my mind and cures overwhelm like nothing else. It's like hitting a reset button on your short term memory.
- Cold stimulates melatonin increase if followed by darkness. This always helps me when I can't fall asleep.
- Increase in testosterone; due to increase in LH and better sleep.

The last one which keeps me consistently applying them every evening.
A few eggs, handful of almonds and a cold shower before bed. It increases my libido, muscularity and makes me sleep like a baby.

What helps me to stay consistent with it is to not make a big deal out of it.
Just get in the shower and turn the temperature cold before you step out. Stay there for 100-300 seconds and you're done.
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#30 Now

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for the responses! I'm still taking cold showers regularly.




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