Author Topic: Cold Showers: How cold is cold enough?  (Read 3366 times)

Offline Ron99

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Cold Showers: How cold is cold enough?
« on: February 19, 2013, 02:57:42 PM »
I've started cold showers in the last few weeks. (approx. 5 per week)  I can stay in for maybe 3 minutes...

I have three places where it is convenient for me to shower: home, a gym i belong to, and my work place which has a gym/shower for employees.  My home shower is unfortunately one which doesn' t allow separate control of cold vs. hot water, and it increases hot water with volume, so my morning showers have to be hot...
  I've measured the temperature of the other showers by putting a soil thermometer in a cup of the water, and both are around 55 degrees at the coldest level.

 I've heard that 50 degrees is much better than 59.  Is 55 cold enough or will it not produce enough benefits?

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Cold Showers: How cold is cold enough?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 10:14:05 PM »
Hi Ron,

Sorry for the delayed reply here.

I think that 55 or even 60 degrees F water still provides a significant benefit, particularly in the shower.  Keep in mind that the stimulus to thermogenesis and the cold-activated nocioreceptors is not temperature per se, but the rate of heat loss.  If you lay quietly in a cold 50F bath without stirring the water, you'll certainly feel the intensity of the cold initially, but you'll soon adjust as the boundary layer of water around your skin warms up.  If you occasionally move about, you'll feel a renewed coldness, especially among "protected" parts like your armpits. 

If you swim in an ocean or lake even at 60F, you'll lose heat much more rapidly than laying in still 50F water, because of the convection -- the movement of water -- that strips the heat from your body faster.  And if you take a cold shower with a strong flow of water, you'll similarly lose heat faster than laying in still water.

So you if you can't get the water as cold as you'd like, just make sure the water flow rate is turned up high, and really immerse yourself.  For maximum benefit, keep moving around to expose all your sensitive parts, such as your head, neck and shoulders, and your hands.  The more you do of this, the better you'll adapt.

Hope that helps.