There’s nothing like a steamy shower to wash away all the dirt, grime and stress of the day. But it turns out that an ice-cold blast comes with some serious health- (and beauty-) boosting benefits. Here, five reasons why you might want to rethink which way you turn the tap.
It's better than caffeine
You know how a warm bath can make you sleepy? A cold shower basically does the opposite. That’s because the temperature shock increases your body’s heart rate, which in turn releases a rush of blood throughout your body, kicking it into gear. The good news is that you don’t need to step into an ice bath every morning to reap the benefits—even ending your usual shower with a quick cold blast can increase alertness, say experts. Hold that double espresso.
You might lose weight
When we’re cold, brown fat (that’s the good kind, whereas white fat is the too-much-Netflix-and-chocolate kind) is activated and burns calories to keep you warm. How many calories, exactly? It’s unclear, but one Scandinavian study found that exposure to cold temperatures increased the metabolic rate of brown fat 15 fold, which could help you drop nine pounds in a year. Wowza.