IS A COLD SHOWER REALLY BETTER THAN A HOT SHOWER?
Balivada Sravan Kumar
Have you ever had a doubt why people suggest cold shower after an intense workout? Then this article is for you. We will discuss all the pros and cons of cold shower in this article. Taking a shower with cold water which is under 15’C of temperature is classified as a cold shower. The major advantage of cold shower is it helps as a “medicine for depression”, how? Cold shower activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is used to stimulate fight-or-flight response and increases the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline, which are neurotransmitters in the brain. Also, a cold shower is expected to send electrical impulses from peripheral nerves to brain which results in an anti-depressive effect . The other advantage of a cold shower is that it may help in increasing the rate of fat loss. Cold shower increases the fatty acid utilization  and also the heat produced while having cold water shower is majorly produced from the fatty acids than the glycogen . In lean individuals the calories burnt during cold shower is majorly from carbohydrates and also VO2 is greater when compared to fat individuals . Also, cold shower helps in increasing the volume of brown adipose tissue (BAT), which can activate the non-shivering thermogenesis which turns glucose into fatty acids . Let us see the cons of cold shower. Cold shower may prevent muscle growth and affect strength if they are taken after workout but only to a minimal amount. It also weakens the activation of key protein and mTOR cells signaling .After a workout it reduces the muscle damage and soreness which may affect the muscle growth  . It doesn’t help much in recovery and inflammation when compared to active recovery  either. There is no proven difference between a cold shower and a hot shower after a workout so choose which ever you want but DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE A BATH. References: 1) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770700566X 2) http://jap.physiology.org/content/67/6/2466.short 3) http://jap.physiology.org/content/93/1/77.short 4) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1080603295710675 5) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0026049516300026 6) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP270570/full 7) http://shapeamerica.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640410600982659#.WdCJR2iCzIV 8) http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1516-31802012000500015&script=sci_arttext 9) https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_John_Bishop/publication/261184764_Postexercise_Cold_Water_Immersion_Benefits_Are_Not_Greater_than_the_Placebo_Effect/links/545c82220cf249070a7abdfe.pdf 10) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP272881/full