“Once you start doing cold showers – warm showers are shortly dismissed from thoughts. Honestly I think more of taking a cold bath than of ‘taking a regular warm shower.'” – Reddit User UltimatumQ
If this was the only benefit of cold showers, it would make them worth it. Cold showers increase low testosterone levels, fulfilling the frustrating quest of thousands of men and women who no longer feel drive and desire in their life (including those in their 20s).
Their predicament is because testosterone is a powerful hormone.
- Men whose testosterone levels are slightly above average are less likely to have high blood pressure, less likely to experience a heart attack, less likely to be obese, and less likely to rate their own health as fair or poor. 1
- Maintaining normal testosterone levels in elderly men has been shown to improve many parameters that are thought to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, such as increased lean body mass, decreased visceral fat mass, decreased total cholesterol, and glycemic control. 2
- There are positive correlations between positive orgasm experience in women and testosterone levels. 3
On the flip side.
- Preliminary evidence suggests that low testosterone levels may be a risk factor for cognitive decline and possibly for dementia. 4
- A University of California at San Francisco study with men who were exposed to 30 minutes of “wet heat” (hot baths and such) a week. When the men cut this exposure out, their sperm count went up by 491%. 5 While it’s not certain that cold showers and baths increase sperm and testosterone, getting rid of the hot stuff will make you feel like they do.
- Need to stop biting your nails? A study on how testosterone affects how people react when they win and lose showed that people with low testosterone didn’t change their preference to continue or abandon a competition, while those with normal T-levels chose to compete more when they won. 6 Low T-levels = you won’t care to move forward in life. You won’t be hungry for more so you’ll never get anything better, which is a shame considering that the fight is often the most enjoyable part of life.
Now that we’ve established that the important questions come up.
There are results questions: How much do cold showers increase testosterone levels? Will this increase be enough to make a difference to me as a bodybuilder?
and tactics questions: When in the day? How long? How many times a week? Can I wear a bathing suit?
The tactics are easy. At night 1 hour before bed. 5 minutes. 3 times a week. And no.
The results questions needed a little more investigation. In 3 hours of searching I found 3 stories that use can use as a guide for yourself.
From The Paleo Solution Podcast-
Greg Everett: The results came back a few days later lower then I had hoped for (577 ng/dL). Over the next three weeks I took ice baths 2-3 times per week, for a duration of 20 minutes per bath, at a water temperature in the low 50’s. At the end of the third week I had my Testosterone tested again at 9am; this time it came back at 707 ng/dL.
From The 4 Hour Body–
PROTOCOL #1: LONG-TERM AND SUSTAINED
Fermented cod liver oil + vitamin-rich butter fat— 2 capsules upon waking and before bed
Vitamin D3— 3,000– 5,000 IU upon waking and before bed (6,000– 10,000 IU per day), until you reach blood levels of 55 ng/ mL.
Short ice baths and/ or cold showers— 10 minutes each, upon waking and right before bed
APRIL 3, 2009 (BEFORE) TO AUGUST 20, 2009 (AFTER)
Total testosterone: 244.8 to 653.3 (normal: 170– 780; it would later jump to 835, more than tripling my original value, with the addition of Brazil nuts)
Free testosterone: 56 to 118 (normal: 47– 244)
Percentage free testosterone: 2.3% to 1.8%
Bioavailable testosterone: 150 to 294 (normal: 128– 430)
Albumin: 5 to 4.6 (normal: 3.5– 4.8)
DHEA-S: 170.5 to 201.8
FSH: 6 to 8.5 (normal: 1.27– 19.26)
Estradiol: 39 to < 20 (normal in males: < 47)
From Muscle for Life –
Researchers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science did find that fluctuations of testosterone within the physiological normal range had significant effects on body fat percentage.
The higher the testosterone levels, the leaner subjects were. And conversely, the lower the testosterone levels, the fatter they were. When researchers decreased certain subjects’ testosterone levels from the baseline average of 600 ng/dl to around 300 ng/dl, they saw a dramatic 36% increase in fat mass.
Although the exact mechanisms behind this aren’t fully understood just yet, research has show that testosterone directly inhibits the creation of fat cells and that low testosterone is a contributing factor to obesity.
In short, they work. Now it’s up to you. Try cold showers or ice baths for 1 week. If they don’t work out you can just go back, but if they work.
Take your life by the reins and move it in this direction, I know you won’t be disappointed.
- Testosterone and Men’s Health – Journal of Behavioral Medicine ↩
- Testosterone for the Aging Male: Current Evidence and Recommended Practice ↩
- Are gonadal steroids linked with orgasm perceptions and sexual assertiveness in women and men? ↩
- Low free testosterone is an independent risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease ↩
- Hot tubs hurt fertility ↩
- Basal testosterone predicts cortisol changes and behavior following victory and defeat ↩