You just got done with your super HIIT workout, and with all the sweat and stank on your body,
it’s time to hit the showers!
As you get ready to turn the shower knob to boil, you remember that one dude at the gym
telling you, “Dude, cold showers are way better for you.”
But of course, you’re not just going to believe him immediately.
You go online, search for videos about it, and see what’s all the rage.
Well, glad you found this video.
So let’s jump right into the stone cold topic.
What is all the rage for cold showers?
Let’s first take a look at the biggest claim: Cold showers increasing testosterone.
And with a quick observation of related studies, it’s quite conclusive that the effects of
cold showers on testosterone is negligible at best.
In fact, some suggest that cold water immersion might actually decrease serum testosterone.
Along the same lines of possible negative effects from cold showers, we see that, in
comparison to using active recovery, such as low-intensity cardio cycling, cold water
can hinder muscle building factors such as T-building leutinizing hormones, muscle satellite
cells, and muscle protein synthesis via inhibiting the mTOR pathway.
Cold water also reduces inflammation, which might actually work against muscle hypertrophy
since inflammation can serve as a growth signal.
And as the study show, the subjects did indeed see smaller gains in muscle and strength with
post-workout cold water immersion But even though it’s not the best for maximizing
gains, there are still some possible benefits to taking cold showers.
Cold water has been shown to increase T helper cells and lymphocytes, which can improve your
There’s also some indication that it can increase anti-oxidants, but the effect tends
to dissipate over time.
And with research showing increases of beta-endorphins and electrical impulses to the brain, cold
showers might also have an anti-depressive effect.
In terms of fitness, there is a chance that taking cold showers can help burn more fat.
In this case, it will do so by activating brown fat when you’re cold to keep you warm.
Also, when coming into contact with cold water, you’ll notice that initially you’ll respond
This response is explained by cold activating your sympathetic nervous system, aka, your
‘fight or flight system,’ which will drive up alertness.
This can hypothetically be a great benefit for those that shower in the morning and need
a little jolt of wakefulness.
And finally, as mentioned earlier, cold showers can reduce inflammation.
Although not the best thing for muscle growth, the reduction in inflammation, which leads
to reduction of metabolites, can slightly aid in reducing muscle soreness.
However, the trade-off for less growth in order to be less sore is something to consider.
And, it is important to mention that almost all of these studies used cold water immersions,
such as sitting in a cold, temperature-controlled bath.
That’s not exactly the same as taking a cold shower, where the water runs down the
entire body and the exact temperature is unknown.
Whether these different cooling methods will generate similar results is up for debate.
But they do indeed share the most important factor: being cooled with water.
Now, sticking to the research, what’s the verdict on cold showers?
For the most part, it’s not exactly necessary and can hurt your gains if done after a workout.
If you do choose to take one, take it in the morning before training to reap benefits of
alertness with a sprinkle of better immune function and burning fat.
For those that are seeing good results from their workouts while taking hot showers, then
by all means change nothing.
In the end, just make sure you actually shower, period.
That goes for everyone…
Subscribe for more sciency fitness vids, and share your thoughts on cold showers below.
As always, thank you for watching!