Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Community > Community & Events

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-30-2007, 12:04 PM   #1
Mike ODonnell
Senior Member
Mike ODonnell's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,596
Default Cold showers for Health, Immune, Fat Loss

From Devanny's site....just a reminder of the importance of cold showers...plus I was reading about the enhanced fat burning due to released norepinephrine and increased circulation to those hard to get fat areas (aka the trouble spots with the A2 receptors)

"I don't know if I ever mentioned this before, but about 4-5 years ago, I started taking cold showers to prepare for adventure races and 24-hr orienteering races. Having access to only what was in my backpack while in the middle of the woods at night, I had to find a way of increasing my tolerance to cold (I nearly dropped out of my two first races because of hypothermia). Having once read that polar explorers prepared by taking cold showers, I decided to try it. Though it's hard to tell if it was the cold showers, I never became hypothermic in any subsequent race.

Knowing my experience was purely anecdotal, I did some research to see if this was ever scientifically documented. What I found was much more interesting however, as it suggested that cold showers could increase resistance to oxidant stress.

The first article I found showed that people who took cold swims had higher levels of endogenous antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase). Though I was sold, there were no other papers out there supporting these results, or showing that the increase in endogenous antioxidants conferred a survival benefit. Being a medical resident, I considered writing a proposal to perform a few experiment on rats or other short-lived mammal, but I didn't think anyone would be interested in funding or supervising me given that most people wouldn't take cold showers even if they knew it would buy them an extra 20 years of health. Apparently, someone thought the idea was worthwhile, because I recently came across a paper which described an experiment in rats with similar results plus a survival benefit when the rats were injected with lethal doses of epinephrine. Still, it doesn't prove longevity benefits, but certainly does help support the idea.

There's a lot of anecdotal stuff out there with respect to cold showers and longevity. In fact, my mother had once told me about a very youthful and healthy russian patient of hers in his 90s, who told her his secret to longevity was that he never took a warm shower. Apparently he had to take care of all of his younger siblings, none of which shared his health in old age despite sharing 50% of his genes. Here's another anecdote from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/04/24/living.well/.

Anyway, all this to say that you should read these two interesting articles - I know you have mentioned that you spray cold water on your legs following a shower to increase fat burning. There's also a body of work out there on cold shock proteins, but I haven't looked into it extensively enough yet to comment."
Fitness Spotlight
The IF Life
Mike ODonnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #2
Pierre Auge
Senior Member
Pierre Auge's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 529

Yeah read that on Devany's blog earlier - interesting stuff, I've been taking cold showers for a while and my recovery is always top notch when I do,currently since I can't my recovery is shit!
NOTICE: Pierre Auge's opinions are subject to change at any time and without prior notice.

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. - Douglas Adams
Pierre Auge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 12:39 PM   #3
Robert Allison
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 245

I do contrast showers (back & forth between hot & cold; ending on cold) every day. It seems to boost my recovery, and, at a minimum, it is very "bracing," you might say. I am wide awake after that.

I believe there is some research related cold water immersion to the formation of heat (not cold) shock proteins. I think Dr. Eades might have had something on his blog a while back on this topic...
Robert Allison is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 12:44 PM   #4
Ron Nelson
Senior Member
Ron Nelson's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Center of the heterosexual universe
Posts: 547

I tried cold water dousing for about 4 months when I was doing CF on a 3-1 day schedule (or as close to 3-1 as possible). I don't think it helped my recovery all that much. It also did not trigger fat loss as promised. Finally, someone mentioned that it could stave off colds and flu.

I stopped doing it right after I got my first cold of the year.

Side note: Mike Yukish mentioned that he experimented with hot tubs and cold beer and was having phenomenal results.
"Have you seen my weiner?"

Ron Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 02:51 PM   #5
Mike ODonnell
Senior Member
Mike ODonnell's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,596

Originally Posted by Ron Nelson View Post
Mike Yukish mentioned that he experimented with hot tubs and cold beer and was having phenomenal results.
The bastard stole my research......probably when I was passed out.....but did he have to take my bathing suit too?? That was a cold and awkward walk back into the ski lodge at 7am......
Fitness Spotlight
The IF Life
Mike ODonnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 03:32 PM   #6
Ken Urakawa
Ken Urakawa's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 206

I seem to recall something from the early 90's looking at cold water immersion (swimmers, i think) leading to higher levels of brown fat (?) as opposed to yellow.

Am I talking out of my fanny here? Anyone?
Ken Urakawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 04:41 PM   #7
-Ross Hunt
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 166

Cold showers are good, but dousing is better.

It's a pain to do it all the time unless you have a freezing lake nearby or something. Filling up+refrigerating tubs of water is a chore...
-Ross Hunt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 04:59 PM   #8
Eva Claire Synkowski
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 346

dumb question here - so whats the word on how cold does "cold" need to be to get some benefits?

ive tried cold cylces and i guess im a wuss, but cold showers in january in boston = hell. theres realistically 4 months i could do ice cold cycles.
Eva Claire Synkowski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 06:14 PM   #9
Danny John
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 131

I have an outdoor shower that I can only use from about now to November. It causes shrinking, that's for sure, but I'm not sure about the other benefits. It really helps me, though.
Danny John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2007, 08:40 PM   #10
Dave Van Skike
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PNW
Posts: 1,738

I have been taking warm showers for 38 years now and let me tell you, they are awesome. Bring a beer, bring a friend, bring a funny hat and boots- whatever your into....you can play in a hot shower for hours.

Seriously. Dude. When Pavel says Cold Water Dousing, I think-


When Steve Maxwell says it, I say-

"Well..... maybe"

When Burgener says it , I think-

"Yup, must be something to it"

When El Vain One says it, I think-

"Nope. must be crap."

Not to be combative or anything...I just can't take De Vany seriously. must be the pungent reak of self love... not that there's anything wrong with that.
Practical Strength
Dave Van Skike is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
Products & Services
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator