So I decided to try taking a cold shower every day for 30 days. I’ve heard about a lot of potential benefits of having cold showers and cold shower therapy, so I wanted to it for myself. Cold showers seem to date back as far as the ancient Romans, but they are now a preferred bio hacking tool for many, including the elites of Silicon Valley.

However the list of benefits seems to increase every time I hear about it. They include but are not limited to:

  • Increased alertness
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved immunity
  • Stimulation of weight loss
  • Improved recovery
  • Easing of stress
  • Relieving depression
  • Increasing testosterone
  • Building will power
  • Building emotional resilience
  • Boosting fertility
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving sleep

Sounds pretty impressive, right?

Having tried and failed to have a cold shower in the past, I changed my approach to how I did it. Rather than having a completely cold shower, I first had my normal shower and hygiene routine, but then I have at least two minutes of completely cold water. This means you get the benefits of both types of shower, and it creates contrast between the water temperatures.

Cold showers to relieve stress

A lot of the benefits of the cold shower come from the initial cold shock, which creates an acute hormetic stress response and you react by taking deep gulping breaths of air.

Acute stress responses like this release hormones like adrenaline along with endorphins that make you feel great and can have a positive impact on the body, and in some cases can help to relieve chronic stress. As such these responses are often called “positive stress”.

Cold showers for fat loss

Out of all the amazing possible benefits associated with cold showers, the one that seems to create the most interest is fat loss. So how could having a cold shower make you lose weight?

In the body there are different types of fat; the two we’re most interested in are white fat and brown fat.  White fat is the most common, it contains large fat droplets, it’s stored beneath the skin and the abdomen and is used as source of energy during fasting. Brown fat contains smaller fat droplets and more mitochondria, which breaks down the fat to generate heat to protect you from the cold via a process called non-shivering thermogenesis.

In a small 2014 study, men exposed to a cold environment had an increase in brown fat volume as well as corresponding fat metabolic activity. However from what I can see and despite a lot of the claims online, there’s not enough research to suggest that taking cold showers would definitely to lead to weight loss.

The cold showers for 30 days challenge

To find out more and see how I got on during the challenge, you can view the full video below.