IS A COLD SHOWER REALLY BETTER THAN A HOT SHOWER?

Have you ever had a doubt why people suggest cold shower after an intense workout? Then this article is for you. We will discuss all the pros and cons of cold shower in this article.

            Taking a shower with cold water which is under 15’C of temperature is classified as a cold shower.

 

The major advantage of cold shower is it helps as a “medicine for depression”, how? Cold shower activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is used to stimulate fight-or-flight response and increases the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline, which are neurotransmitters in the brain. Also, a cold shower is expected to send electrical impulses from peripheral nerves to brain which results in an anti-depressive effect [1]. The other advantage of a cold shower is that it may help in increasing the rate of fat loss. Cold shower increases the fatty acid utilization [2] and also the heat produced while having cold water shower is majorly produced from the fatty acids than the glycogen [3]. In lean individuals the calories burnt during cold shower is majorly from carbohydrates and also VO2 is greater when compared to fat individuals [4]. Also, cold shower helps in increasing the volume of brown adipose tissue (BAT), which can activate the non-shivering thermogenesis which turns glucose into fatty acids [5].

 

Let us see the cons of cold shower. Cold shower may prevent muscle growth and affect strength if they are taken after workout but only to a minimal amount. It also weakens the activation of key protein and mTOR cells signaling [6].After a workout it reduces the muscle damage and soreness which may affect the muscle growth [7] [8]. It doesn’t help much in recovery and inflammation when compared to active recovery [9][10] either.

There is no proven difference between a cold shower and a hot shower after a workout so choose which ever you want but DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE A BATH.

 

Author credits – Sravan Kumar

References:

  1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770700566X
  2. http://jap.physiology.org/content/67/6/2466.short
  3. http://jap.physiology.org/content/93/1/77.short
  4. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1080603295710675
  5. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0026049516300026
  6. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full
  7. http://shapeamerica.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640410600982659#.WdCJR2iCzIV
  8. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1516-31802012000500015&script=sci_arttext
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_John_Bishop/publication/261184764_Postexercise_Cold_Water_Immersion_Benefits_Are_Not_Greater_than_the_Placebo_Effect/links/545c82220cf249070a7abdfe.pdf
  10. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP272881/full

 

 

Sravan Kumar

Sravan Kumar

Hi, I’m Sravan Kumar. I am a fitness consultant at S.Q.U.A.T.S. and also a software employee at a reputed MNC. My craze for fitness started 2 years back, and since then it has become an inseparable part of my life. And why not? I believe fitness is important for everyone – so that you can have a better quality of life and be the best you can be. Many may say that a 10-7 job makes it difficult to stay on track with fitness, but when you want to do it, you will do it. I have been a regular follower of FITMAG, which has helped me immensely in improving my knowledge and keeping me updated with facts and science. And now, nothing makes me happier than to be a Fitmag Author and contribute to this platform which brings science-backed fitness concepts home to YOU, in the simplest and most insightful ways!