The Benefits of Cold Showers I Learned After Freezing for a Month

Cold Showers

Let me just put it out there: I love taking showers. I usually take them at night so I can stand under the warm stream of water and unwind from my day. I know it sounds cliché, but I really do do my best thinking in there.

Benefits of Taking Cold Showers 

I first heard of the benefits of taking cold showers in high school aquatics class when our teacher told us that the cold water would prevent chlorine from damaging our hair. I never really gave it much thought though, and continued taking warm showers in the locker room to rinse off. (Side note: I remember getting my hair cut during that semester, and my hairdresser telling me that she was surprised I swam three days a week because my hair wasn’t damaged at all. Just saying.)

But more recently, I found out that taking cold showers promised a host of other perks. Among them: reducing muscle soreness and inflammation—therefore speeding up recovery—and giving you an energy and mood boost.

I was intrigued. It sounded like big benefits for a small sacrifice. But would these things actually happen? Or is it just another one of those woo-woo wellness fads? I decided that it was worth sacrificing my warm, calming, thought-provoking showers to find out. Here’s what went down.

It takes some time to work up to it.

I really did think I’d be able to turn my shower knob to its coldest setting and be—for all intents and purposes—fine. I knew it wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience, but I felt like I could hop in, do what I had to do, and hop out relatively unscathed. I quickly learned this was not the case. When I got into the first freezing cold shower, I couldn’t resist reaching for the knob to make it warmer. That’s okay, I thought to myself, I’ll work up to it.

After spending about five minutes in the shower with hot water, I eased into the transition with lukewarm water. A minute later, I turned the knob again so that the water temperature was somewhere between “I’d rather not be doing this” and “this really, really sucks.” That’ll do for now, I thought. I got out and dried off, put on a sweatshirt, and made some tea to in an effort to warm myself up.

I did the same thing the next time I showered and worked up to a temperature that was cool but not necessarily cold. I resolved to stop being a total baby on my third attempt and just turned the knob all the way cold to begin with—and I did. I’m really not lying when I say that it honestly wasn’t that bad—I built it up way worse in my mind. From then on, I took fully cold showers every day.

It gave me an energy boost to start the day.

While I’m typically a night showerer, hearing that cold showers could give you more energy, I decided to give morning showers a shot. (Here’s to going completely out of my comfort zone!) If this claim did turn out to be true, I didn’t want to shower right before bed and then lose out on precious sleep from feeling wired.

The jolt that ice cold water gives you first thing in the morning is no joke. It’s enough to wake up even the groggiest of people (a.k.a. me). And there’s a reason for that: As Aaron Drogoszewski, co-owner of ReCOVER studio in New York City and a NASM-certified personal trainer, previously explained to Runner’s World, “The adrenaline rush you get from immersing yourself in cold water creates a rush of norepinephrine, which helps increase energy, focus, and performance outcomes.”

I genuinely didn’t even feel the need for coffee—which, if you know me, is an extremely rare occurrence. Research backs this part up, too. According to a 2016 study in the journal PLOS One, “the most commonly reported beneficial effect [of cold showers] was an increase in perceived energy levels (including many reported comparisons to the effect of caffeine).”

My concentration and productivity levels felt higher than they had in awhile throughout my first few hours at work, since usually I’d be sipping coffee during that time, and the caffeine’s effects wouldn’t kick in until closer to lunchtime.

Was I able to wake up early enough to shower every morning? I’d be lying if I said yes. But on the days I did, I definitely noticed a difference.

It relieved some of my muscle soreness.

According to Henry Halse, C.S.C.S., owner of Halse Strength and Fitnessin Philadelphia, taking cold showers on a regular basis helps your muscles recover from a workout.

“When you apply cold to a surface—for example, your skin—it causes more blood to flow to the area,” he said. “Increased blood flow to an area is what promotes recovery.”

Additionally, a 2009 study in The New England Journal of Medicinefound that immersing yourself in cold water after lifting, running, or cycling improved muscle recovery and soreness. Of course, a shower isn’t quite the same as immersing yourself in an ice bath, but Halse said, “if you did a sprint workout one day and wanted to do another one the next day, taking a cold shower could help improve your next day’s sprint workout.”

The water should be pretty cold to achieve this—around 40 degrees, he said. Direct your shower head to the specific area of the muscles you worked and spray the water there until the blood rises to the surface, and your skin gets red.

For me, I think it helped my muscles feel better after tough workouts such as speed workouts, CrossFit, and long runs, but I’m also pretty good about foam rolling and taking rest days, so there were many variables that may have contributed to my recovery, but the cold showers probably didn’t hurt.

It strengthened my mental game.

Taking cold showers isn’t easy—and neither is running. But because I was able to grin and bear them (okay, I definitely wasn’t grinning, but you get the point), this mindset translated to my workouts, too.

“Building mental toughness is one of the benefits [of cold showers],” Halse said. “Running is pretty unique in that there’s no distraction in the discomfort. In a team sport, there are other things going on—you have a built-in distraction. When you’re running, there’s not much to distract you—you’re in the moment just paying attention to your body.”

Once I built the confidence to know I was tough enough to endure the cold shower, my attitude towards my workouts changed, too. A particularly tough long run? Sure. A summer speed workout in almost 100 percent humidity? Bring it on.

And guess what? After those tough efforts, I actually started to look forward to the cold shower that followed.

Blogger Challenge 2 : Current Relationship

There’s we go, the second challenge. Blogger Challenge 2 : Currently Relationship.

Relationship huh?

I don’t have so much experience when it comes to relationships. I know this kind of ‘relationship’ means boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife, not relationship with friends or family. But think nothing goes wrong if I write about it, I really need to writing about any relationships I have in my life.

Blogger Challenge 2

Actually, I’m single. Neither have a boyfriend nor husband. I’m not either proud or sad or even depressed of being a single woman because there’s nothing harm or useless without a man in your life. I have my Abah and my brothers, three of them can be my protector and I perfectly know they’re not even same as a boyfriend since my brothers always pissed me off almost of the time. But I think I’m rather stay single than fall in love with a wrong man and make myself hurt.

I still remember how angry I am when I was fifteen, my boyfriend called me in the middle of night, 3 AM in fact, just to say something which is I don’t remember much actually but I still remember that night how pissed I am. He interrupted my sleep just to said something useless, while I need to sleep for school tomorrow, as the best girlfriend I’m trying to be ‘polite’ with him. And guess what? That’s the last time he called me. I’m not trying to persuade him because I don’t think I need to. After that, I thought I’m immature but later, I think he’s the one who immature. Maybe some of you may thought this is cliche and annoying but I found out about something. No matter how deep you love for her or him, just respect your partner sleep time. THATS IMPORTANT. YOU’RE IMPORTANT FOR THEM BUT HAVE A ENOUGH SLEEP ALSO IMPORTANT.

It’s okay to leave if you are not happy. If someone is not making you happy or making you feel less than, just leave. You don’t have to make excuses for people. You need to love yourself before you can love anyone else. May Allah forgive and protect us.

Sarah Hildebrand

Actually above quote has nothing to do with me, my life but someday of course, but I’m know some of you out there may related to the quote. Just stay strong.  That’s all for Blogger Challenge 2: Currently Relationship. 

Previous challenge

  • Blogger Challenge 1: Introduction
  • Sunplay Skin Aqua Uv Watery Essence SPF50+

    I’m back with another product review which is a sunscreen. My last review is about a moisturizer lotion from Olay brand, you can read the review Olay Moisturising Lotion Review. I never wrote any specific review of sunscreen before though I’m already used a few bottles of sunscreen like Biore and Aiken (all time favorite sunscreen), because I quite not good enough to write about a sunscreen. But whatever it is, today I encourage myself to write about Sunplay Skin Aqua Uv Watery Essence SPF50+.

    Bought this sunscreen during Guardian All Skincare Brands 40%, this Sunplay Skin Aqua UV Watery Essence retails for RM40.00 and it contains about 50ml of sunscreen. But I got it around RM32.00 as I can remember, more cheaper than the original price :-]

    Credit photo: Sunplay Malaysia Facebook

    Claims :
    Solarex-3 new advanced technology providing superior 3-in-1 UV defense system to help protect against sun damage, skin aging and dryness caused by UV rays.
    •High UV Protection – SPF50+ x PA++++.
    •Super Hydration – Contains Hyaluronic Acid, Sunflower Seed Oil & Rosemary Leaf Extract to hydrate & moisturize skin & prevent moisture loss from daily sun exposure.
    •Brightening -Vitamin C helps to fight dark spots for visibly fair & radiant skin.
    •Ultra Light Texture – Ultra light liquid formula that spreads easily & absorbs quickly for a lightweight non-greasy feel that goes on smooth under makeup.
    •Gentle & Mild Formula – No paraben, colorant & mineral oil. Low irritation.

    Sunplay Skin Aqua Uv Watery Essence SPF50+

    Ingredients : Water, Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Biosaccride Gum-1, C-14-22 Alcohols, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Disodium Phenyl Dibenzimidazole Tetrasulfonate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Silica, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Butynele Glycol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Polysorbate 60, Ethylhexyl Triazone Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, C-12-22 Alkyl Glucoside, Sodium Cirate, Behenyl Alcohol, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Ectoin, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract.

    UV Shield Ingredients :
    •Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
    •Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid
    •Disodium Phenyl Dibenzimidazole Tetrasulfonate
    •Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate
    •Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine
    •Ethylhexyl Triazone

    My Experience With The Sunscreen :
    As you can see above, this Sunplay sunscreen comes with drop-dead gorgeous light blue color packaging and has a white twisted cap. Simple and beautiful packaging, actually.

    Nothing important to me than the texture and finishing of the product including this Sunplay Skin Aqua Uv Watery Essence SPF50+. Don’t ever expected this sunscreen will have a watery texture as the name, despite the fact that the named, this sunscreen have a gel-like texture. Thumb up to Sunplay with this spreads easily sunscreen which makes me happier to use it.

    Before purchase, I’ve made sure to testing on my hands. With the yellow-ish in color, it doesn’t matter at all as long as it’s not leaving any whitecast on and without any weird smell from the sunscreen, I’m happily purchased and bring it home then put them on my face. With the lighter texture than Biore Aqua Rich, which is why I liked it so much when I first tried it. It absorbs fast and doesn’t make my skin feels greasy, with no whitecast detected, plus it hydrates well.

    But, here we go, I noticed that when I applied for the second layer, it started pilling. I don’t know how to stop it from pilling so it makes me feel frustrated and angry at the same time. Not forget to mention about when I tried to put on makeup after sunscreen, it’s totally quite not good. It mentions that goes on smooth under makeup but I think BIG NO NO NO. It’s doesn’t go very well under makeup, for sure.

    So, there’s it is, my review. I hope you will read it fine and if you have any questions regarding to the sunscreen, feel free to contact me.

    Blogger Challenge 1: Introduction

    Welcome to the first chapter of the challenge, people :-]]. Okay so far, today blogger challenge 1, as a normal introduction, let’s start about myself first then I’ll proceed about the blog.

    I’m Mija but my real name is Erni Hasmiza. As a matter of fact, my blog’s name have nothing to do with my real name, my family and friends doesn’t called me Mija either. I picked up the name because of how short it is and easy to write. See, just two simple and clear reasons, I think my Umi should be grateful for having me as her daughter, despite being a troublemaker, I’m not such a complicated ones. Simple minded plus a little bit clumsy. Pretty good girl. Phew.

    Born on 1994, sure you can guess my age, do you? B-)

    Blogger Challenge 1
    Here I am

    Emm, I’m not so into K-pop but lately I’ve been listening to Blackpink new song, Kill This Love and let’s me say this. THEY ARE AWESOME LITTLE GROUP GIRL. Blame on my sister, please. She keeps singing and dancing around and I can’t stop myself from googling about Blackpink.

    I started knows about blog when I google and read Hlovate’s blogs before (I’m not really remember it since Hlovate has a few of blogs but I’m sure about Blogdrive) and then started blogging on 2013 actually but I kept deleted and made the new ones non-stop, but on 2016, I decided to start from scratch and after then change to self hosted WordPress. Pardon me for any bloggers who knows and read my blog with a creepy annoying blog name and URL before.

    Majoring write about anything related to the lifestyle stuff and a little reviews about skincare. I can’t stop myself from eyeing beautiful themes in Etsy and how I wish I have a lot of money (cause WordPress themes quite expensive compared to Blogger templates) to purchase any themes I want anytime, but I felt relieved because I still under control.

    So yeah. That’s all for Blogger Challenge 1: Introduction. I wish I could finish this Blogger Challenge anytime soon as I can and I hope more bloggers can join this challenge just for fun.