Every person would love to make the most out of every opportunity and be to access the full power of brain and mind for health, happiness, and energy. There are many options available from diets and supplements to technology and coaching. Some options can cost $10,000+ but I prefer looking at some of the more affordable options available.
One of the most affordable options available won’t cost you a dime and only requires that you turn the shower temperature knob to “COLD.“
Embracing the cold can actually activate many powerful health benefits that may not expect. This doesn’t mean you have to sit out in the snow in shorts or sit in an ice bath for 10 minutes. It can be as easy as taking a quick 1-2 minutes of your shower time.
Here’s how that cold morning shower can make your more productive and boost your energy levels.
You just woke up, your body is still waking up, eyes are just starting to open, and then you jump in a cold shower. It makes sense that you would feel more awake and alert. There is a reason for this scientifically. Cold exposure increases your bodies production of norepinephrine, which stimulates your brain and nervous system, giving you a boost of alertness, cognition, and focus. It’s almost as good as coffee…. Almost.
Ever a good fall or injury where there may have been some swelling (aka inflammation)? Inflammation itself is not a bad thing, but too much inflammation can be! Many experts are pointing to inflammation as the root cause of many illnesses and diseases that our plaguing us today.
Our brain’s are especially sensitive to inflammation, which can lead to headaches, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and lack of motivation.
Cold exposure and cryotherapy have been gaining popularity recently for their profound anti-inflammatory benefits. Think of cold showers as a DIY home cryotherapy unit. Granted your shower can’t get -212 degrees (as seen with cryotherapy chambers) but any cold exposure you can get the better and cold showers are an easy way to do just that.
Maybe during the cold shower, but afterwards cold has been shown to increase production of beta-endorphins and noradrenaline, particularly in the brain.
Endorphins, as you are probably aware, produce feelings of happiness. Noradrenaline or norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for promoting alertness, while enhancing vigilance, focus, and memory. More beta-endorphins and noradrenaline means more happiness and alertness, which can help combat feelings of sadness or depression.
Cold has been shown to activate the immune system in a positive way. One study looked at 4 different groups. One group took hot showers, while the other three took either 30, 60, or 90 second showers. The study discovered that all three groups who took the cold shower, experienced less colds than the group who took the hot shower.
Cold also stimulates your Vagus Nerve, a critically important nerve that governs many immune and gut processes. Stimulation of your vagus nerve has been shown to lower inflammation, boost immune, and improve gut motility!
Cold exposure has been shown to activate the Reticular Activating System. The reticular activating system is the region of your brain responsible for wakefulness and sleep. Many people who regularly take cold showers report better overall sleep. By taking cold showers it is theorized to help your reticular activating system perform better, allowing you to get deeper and more restful sleep.
One study showed that all it took was just 30 seconds of a cold shower for benefits to be produced. However the longer the duration of the cold shower, the more benefits there were.
A simple way to begin, if you are a beginner, is to take a normal hot shower and towards the end of your shower turn the knob to cold and let it run on your body for just 30 seconds. You can then build up your tolerance from there for maximum benefits.
Big goals begin with just a step in the right direction. Taking a cold shower is a simple and easy to apply lifestyle change that can make a dramatic difference in how you experience your day as well as how your brain is able to perform.