What would happen if you took cold showers for 30 days? Today we’ll dive into the science, and I’ll reveal the results I got from doing the 30 day cold shower therapy protocol I’ll share later on. Even if you’re thinking you’ll never take cold showers, trust me, after learning of the benefits of cold showers in this video, you might just reconsider. But what are the specific benefits you can expect? How to take a cold shower? How cold does the water need to be? Can it help with fat loss or building muscle?

You’ll start experiencing the benefits of cold showers right from day 1. Exposing your body to cold seems to release 3 key hormones; norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. Together these stimulate your “fight or flight” response. These hormones stay elevated for an extended period afterwards. Anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on how cold the water was and how long you were in it. The benefit of this is improved mood, energy, and focus. But to experience these benefits, there are a few things you need to know.

First, the temperature of the water for your cold showers needs to be cold enough. Research suggests at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. To tell if it’s cold enough without a thermometer, it should trigger what’s known as the “initial inspiratory gasp”. But you also need to stay in the cold for long enough. The subjects in the study I mentioned earlier sat in cold water for an hour. I did find several studies showing benefits with shorter durations of even just 20 seconds of cold exposure. But in most cases, they used an ice bath instead of a shower. This doesn’t mean a 30 second cold shower won’t do anything though. Even if your hormonal increase isn’t significant by research standards, you will likely still feel a benefit and an increased mood. But over time, your body adapts to the cold and the hormonal response seems to die down. Once you notice this, here’s how to take a cold shower to continue feeling a benefit: try making the water colder or staying in it for longer.

Next, let's talk about fat loss. A 2021 study found that cold water immersion increased well trained athletes’ estimated daily calorie burn from 2,000 calories per day all the way up to 3,000 calories! However, there are two catches. First, subjects were immersed in the cold for over 3 hours. The average shower length is 8 minutes, and the amount of time you’d spend showering in the cold would be only a fraction of that. Second, the researchers assumed the subjects would continue burning calories at the same rate as when they were in the cold. Even if you crunch the data while being super optimistic, it likely wouldn’t end up anywhere close to enough to make a meaningful effect for fat loss.

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Now what about muscle recovery and growth? Well, Ice baths have been shown to reduce muscle soreness, fatigue, and inflammation after a training session. This is great for athletes who need to recover quickly between events. But if you're looking to build muscle and strength, this may actually be a problem since it reduces inflammation, which is part of your muscles’ recovery process to grow bigger and stronger. Three studies have now shown that post-training cold water immersion significantly decreases muscle growth. So, if you want to maximize growth and strength, either do it before the workout, at least 4- 6 hours after your workout, or on a separate day altogether. Now, the studies I mentioned all used ice baths where subjects stayed immersed for anywhere between 10-20 minutes. So they were pretty intense protocols. Based on that, I would speculate that a quick cold shower after a workout wouldn’t have any negative effects on muscle growth. But on that note, it also probably wouldn’t do anything meaningful for your recovery.

There’s one more benefit you should know about. Forcing yourself to mentally withstand a stressor like the cold activates an area of your brain that suppresses impulsivity. This can help you remain calm and not overreact whenever stressors come up in your life. But this also helps build tremendous resilience and grit that can positively transfer into other areas of your life. I’d recommend start with cold showers, work your way up to 30 seconds to a minute, and then overtime try to stay in it for longer or if possible make the water even colder. And to further intensify the benefits, consider investing in a cold tub for some of those recovery benefits.

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32 thoughts on “What 30 Seconds Cold Shower Everyday Does To Body”
  1. Cold showers are very energizing and great for the skin. And hair. Powerful stuff for sure.

    1. should you do it if it’s cold in the morning? or will u get sick

    2. Doing it if it’s cold in the morning is fine. It strengthens your immune system like nothing else. Plus clears your sinuses and almost completely gets rid of mucus. You’ll be less affected by cold weather even snowy weather since you’re putting yourself in the cold everyday. But you won’t get sick. Just don’t start with your head cause I’ve heard you can get a stroke like that cause it might be too much for the head to start like that. So just focus on immersing the body in it first then, after a minute, your head too.

    3. @A Million Air You can definitely start with your heard first, you can find several fact-checkers online debunking that myth. Good tips otherwise!

    4. ​@Gavolav Hmm, didn’t know that. Thanks for clearing that up! Maybe I’ll switch it up and see if it hits differently

  2. Idk why but cold baths feel so much easier than cold showers for me.

  3. Yeah. I am feeling the difference for a long time now. Every time I take a cold shower I feel more active, less sleepy and a better mood and quite the opposite in case of having hot shower

  4. I take cold showers regulary directly after my workout. So now, I would probably take cold showers on my rest days so that I don’t lose my gains.

  5. i take cold showers:
    – sometimes in the morning to wake up
    – sometimes before training
    – but most often before going to sleep. sounds counter intuitive, but it works for me

    1. Makes sense since body temperature have to drop a few degrees to be able to fall asleep

    2. @Arthur Vdw however the body temperature actually increases after a cold shower and thus makes you more awake, usually having a warm shower before sleep is more beneficial since it drops your body temperature and makes it easier for fall asleep

  6. For my cold exposure, as a fellow Canadian I take 15 minute morning walks before breakfast during the winter months wearing as few clothes as I can manage. It’s good to get the body charged light exercise with sun/Vit. D exposure in the morning, while getting whatever benefit there is to be had from cold exposure. Why waste water when Mother Nature gives us all this cold air for free?

    I like the last point about the mental strengthening benefit. The most useful form of improving impulse control for me has been longer term fasts. I’ve gone on up to 7 days pure water fasts in the last few years. it’s unproven if they have any physiological benefits per se, but what is 100% clear to me is that I no longer have any desire to snack, or pick up sugary-treats when I go to the grocery story. It’s like my brain has been re-wired not to crave junk foods.

    1. I don’t take 15 min walks, but barefoot in the snow wearing nothing but shorts for just a few mins is a good practice for determination and dealing with discomfort. There are some perks to being Canadian 😉

  7. Cold shower definitely changed your mood in the morning, and a lot of other benefits.

  8. Thanks Jeremy, excellent information as always. I live in the tropic, Venezuela, The coldest shower that I can take is around a 60° f. I can perceive benefits at metal level and my energy definitely it is higher after the shower, another unexpected benefit is that my skin looks much better. Lately I’ve tried immerse my face in a salad boll with colder water and it feels very nice.

  9. My aunt who does not excersise and is fat did cold bath 2 times a day, after some months or a year she got hospitalized for hypothermia. Very low cold showers are dangerous for everyone who is not adapted.

  10. I now take cold showers. Honestly, it just feels more refreshing.
    The first couple of times are hard. But, after that, it’s easy.

    1. @Ronald Lau Literally, just step into shower and turn it on cold.
      Stand under the water and take a deep breath in.
      It helps me to slowly spin in circles to get my whole body used to it quicker.
      Then, just take your shower as normal.

  11. I love starting warm and then slowly decrease the temperature.

    By the way, I feel like my best mood days were always when I started with sunbath and followed with a cold shower.

  12. This is why I got that Cool Fat Burner Vest rig. You slap ice packs all over your torso which brings the core temp down and forces the body to ramp up its metabolism; but, because you don’t feel the cold on your face/hands/feet (where most of the temp sensitive nerves are located,) you don’t “feel” the cold as much as you would in a cold shower. Plus, you can strap it on and do chores around the house or work on the computer. All of the benefits, with more flexibility.

  13. The last point basically states cold shower is equivalent to doing meditation. Good enough reason for me to try.

    Only you’re the influencer that could convince me into taking cold baths hahaha

  14. This is crazy lmao… I be taking cold shower for more than five minutes and getting my head all low on blood. Not only that but like I can’t no longer deal with hot showers

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