I've been experimenting with cold showers now for around 4 Months. The results have been phenomenal. It's gotten to a point where, if I don't have a cold shower, I feel like a walking mess.
Below are my top 6 reasons why I practice cold exposure daily.
1. Caffeine Replacement
I love my coffee.
By now, I’m sure you know my breakfast is Bulletproof Coffee. Bulletproof Coffee is like jet fuel that supplies you with seemingly unlimited amounts of energy and ketones, especially when paired with Brain Octane oil.
On days when I am detoxing from caffeine (and usually protein), a cold shower first thing in the morning is a viable replacement. It's by far the most efficient and effective way of waking up.
P.S. Next time you have a hangover, give it a go...works like a charm.
2. Promotes Fat Loss
Wait, cold showers burn fat? In short, yes.
By promoting the accumulation of brown fat, which is obviously different from the nasty white fat from the privileged middle-class white neighborhoods around your belly and thighs.
Brown fat is useful due to the ability to put proteins to work, which allow your muscles to use the available stored glycogen.
This equation not only increases energy, but also promotes fat loss by paradoxically increasing the right type of fat. Think Eskimos.
3. My Daily Dose of Stoicism
As silly as it sounds, having a morning shower will make you appreciate what you’ve got.
When you are finishing your shower with the tap turned 180 degrees towards the south pole, trust me, you will soon be very grateful for what you have.
It’s hard to explain if you haven’t experienced it, but you enter this zen-like state. You become so comfortable that the initial iciness becomes a blanket of heat and stability.
I like to think of the water as tiny stoic monks, washing my anxiety away.
4. Increase in My Sleep Quality
Cold showers before bed have been a plus for my sleep quality. Obviously this is an anecdote, but I’m sure there is scientific research to back my experiences. Even during mid-joburg winters, I attempt cold showers -- think Jocko Willink, "Discipline Equals Freedom" - Tools of Titans
Your body has a tactile temperature control system. When exposed to extreme cold, your body is forced to create heat, otherwise known as thermogenesis.
Picture ice cubes, featuring another terrible analogy by Josh; I might be wrong, but I was always told that of you put warm water into the freezer, it will freeze quicker than cold water. Physics majors, send hate mail via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top-level athletes have been known to jump into ice baths post-game. Since we’re not top level athletes, lets just keep it at cold showers…for now. I find that when I’ve had a grueling workout, having a cold shower directly afterwards soothes my muscles.
The hot water pre-coldness will increase blood flow within your body—in contrast, the cold water decreases blood flow. This is important because it acts as a flushing system for lactic acid build up and other toxins that may be present.
6. Makes You Headstrong
I’m currently reading Dave Asprey’s latest book, Headstrong, in which Dave explores and shares ways to increase your energy by optimizing the functioning of your mitochondria. He shares how cold showers can fight Inflammation by “Increasing production of testosterone and growth hormone,” thus leading to a decrease in inflammation.
Inflammation is the driving force for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and we should be doing everything in our power to prevent it if we want to live a life filled with longevity.
Cold showers are also a strong antioxidant stimulator. This is possible by signaling your body to produce glutathione -- the master antioxidant within your body -- when exposed to cold.
If you’re interested in cold therapy, start small. Don’t psych yourself out of it. That's why I started by finishing my showers with cold water. Once I am comfortable with this, I can go for longer periods of time.
All I ask is 30 seconds at the end of your shower.
Towards the end of your steaming hot shower, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and turn the tap south—cold. I let the water run on my back for a while, before submerging my head. Your head and extremities are extremely sensitive to the cold, so starting with your back primes your body for the 'hurts-so-good' torture that is about to be bestowed upon you.
Obviously, it’s not the same as cryotherapy, cryo is hardcore shit—Tony Robbins preaches it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. But, I have noticed amazing benefits from regular practice of cold showers.
I am very interested to learn more about cryotherapy, so if you know of places around Johannesburg that are great, please get in contact with me.
Go out and live consciously. Be aware, be present, but mostly, enjoy this meaningless life we so naively take advantage of.
Any specific topics you would like me to cover, please contact me. That goes the same for feedback -- positive or negative -- I'm learning as I go a long.
Once again, thank you, and have an awesome week.