Whether you drink it or bathe in it, cold water is the beauty hack we all need. Despite a lack of sunshine for several months each year, Nordic countries are regularly voted the happiest in the world. Could their regular swims in freezing fjords have something to do with it? Today, we’re swimming into the benefits of drinking and dunking yourself in cold water. Although it may not sound too inviting now, keep on reading. You might just find that the benefits outweigh the shocking cold!
Why should you drink cold water?
We all know that we should drink water. Let’s learn why cold water is the way to go!
Improve your metabolism
Drinking ice water isn’t a miracle metabolism accelerator, but it can help you burn a few more calories than drinking room-temperature water—emphasis on few. As your body works to raise its core temperature back to 98.6°F after drinking a glass of ice water, it will burn eight calories.
Aid in a more effective workout
A 2012 study showed that drinking cold water before and during a workout could delay the increase in core body temperature and moderately improve performance. Fill your reusable water bottle with ice-cold water and reap the benefits!
What are the benefits of swimming or bathing in cold water?
Say goodbye to steamy showers, and choose ice-cold instead. Let’s check out the benefits of cold-water immersion.
We’re not talking about asking your sweetie to douse you in ice-cold water instead of using your alarm clock. When you hit an afternoon slump, head to the bathroom and run your wrists under the cold tap. The shock of cold water kicks your sympathetic nervous system into gear. Since it’s responsible for the fight-or-flight reaction, the cold water will give you a boost of energy to get through your day.
Submersion in freezing cold water and happiness may not seem to go hand in hand, but science disagrees. In fact, studies show that regular cold-water swims can improve dopamine levels by more than 500%!
Ever felt the heart-pounding effects of anxiety? Exposure to cold water can lower your heart rate and decrease cortisol levels (aka: the stress hormone), reducing feelings of anxiety. Be sure to dunk your head— your body’s reflexes are triggered when the cold water hits your face.
Ward off illness
Did you know that cold temperatures can activate your lymphatic system? Exposure to cold water gets your lymph vessels pumping, which flush lymphocytes through your body to fight infection and clear waste and toxins from your body.
Aid in weight loss
While exposure to cold water as a weight-loss tool is still debated hotly (or coldly), some new studies suggest that cold water immersion may reduce insulin resistance, improve insulin sensitivity, and burn body fat.
Perhaps all the CEOs who boast about their 4 am wake-ups and cold-water showers are on to something. Add a few extra ice cubes to your water glass and try out a cold shower or swim (with your doctor’s approval, of course!), and see how you feel! There’s no substitute for moving your body, though. Schedule a group or private fitness class with Enhancewell Fitness and enjoy the results of the most tried-and-true method of burning fat and improving heart health!