Bathe Like James Bond? The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Cold Water "Scottish" Showers That Could Save Your Life

The idea of immersing ourselves in a tub of cold water in the long, frigid days of winter sounds bone-chilling. British Secret Service agent James Bond believes otherwise; In the books, his unique shower routine started with hot water, and ended with freezing cold. Fanatics believe these "Scottish" showers helped with Bond's mental acuity and physical endurance.

But what does the science say?

In Brit Lab's latest video, "Are Cold Showers Good For You?", Dr. Chris van Tulleken explains that once we get over  the initial shock of freezing cold water, it could potentially be a healthy way to kickstart our day.

Read More: 7 Reasons Why Taking Cool Showers Is Good For Your Health

Cold showers have been linked to various health benefits, from reducing depression and anxiety to weight loss. First trials to use cold water to treat depression have yet to be done, according to Tulleken, but repeated exposure to cold water is believed to help people better deal with the stress response that can alter mood. Adapting to cold water exposure may improve the body's ability to deal with the psychological aspect that accompanies anxiety and depression.

Shivering in the shower can aid in weight loss in an unexpected way. Brown fat is good fat (white fat is unhealthy) used to generate heat to keep our bodies warm, and is activated when we're exposed to extreme cold, according to Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. Thus, cold showers can promote brown fat activity.

Those of us curious to jump in cold water should exercise with caution. Cold showers are pretty safe, unless we’re older or have a heart condition; it might cause fainting or a heart attack. The shocking gasp of falling into cold water is what kills people even when they’re close to land.

If we condition ourselves with cold water swimming or cold water showers, we could potentially reap its benefits, and reduce the gasping, possibly saving our life.

Click on Brit Lab’s video to learn more about the benefits of cold showers.

See Also:

The 2-Week Cold Shower Challenge And What It Did For My Health

How Often Should You Shower?

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