You might have heard that taking a short cold shower has health benefits. We heard things like increased metabolism, more energy, and helps with weight loss. But this made us wonder, is there actually a scientific basis for this? So we decided that it was time for us to dive into the world of Scientific Research about Cold Showers. Curious about what we found? Listen to this fun episode!
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We let AI summarize our episode:
In this episode of the Struggling Scientist Podcast, Suzanne and Jayron discuss the potential benefits of taking cold showers. They found that cold exposure can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse rate, as well as activate brown fat and increase metabolic heat production. Studies have also shown that cold showers can have anti-inflammatory effects, increase oxygen uptake, reduce muscle soreness, and have a low amount of oxidative stress. Additionally, they can potentially provide psychological benefits, such as feeling more energized and reducing the number of days people take off from work. They also mention that athletes and fitness enthusiasts should test the effects of cold showering for themselves, as the results may vary.
However, there is no evidence that cold showers can have a positive effect on immunity. The authors suggest that saunas may be a better option for those looking for more long-term health benefits, as they are more reliable and have been proven to improve cholesterol and lipid levels, as well as boost the immune system. They also mention that cold showers may have some negative effects, such as feeling cold for a long time, muscle aches and cramps, headaches, nosebleeds, diarrhea, heart palpitations, and swelling of the hands. For this reason, caution should be taken when trying out cold showers.
In addition, the authors mention a Dutch study from 2018 that tested the use of contrast showers on a normal Dutch population. The study found that the cold showering group had a 29 percent reduction in calling in sick for work compared to the control group. However, some negative effects were reported, such as feeling cold, muscle aches and cramps, and headaches. Despite the potential risks, 80 percent of the groups completed the protocol successfully and reported feeling an increase in energy levels. This suggests that cold showers may offer some psychological benefits, but there is no clear evidence of any metabolic benefit.