Cold Water Might Increase Your Body’s Tolerance to Stress and Disease
Exposing your whole body to cold water for short periods of time is used to promote “hardening.” Hardening is the exposure to a natural stimulus, such as cold water, that results in increased tolerance to stress and/or disease. This was demonstrated by a study involving 10 healthy people who swim regularly in ice-cold water during the winter. Following exposure to the cold water, researchers noted:
– A “Drastic” decrease in uric acid levels: High levels of uric acid are normally associated with gout, but it has been long known that people with high blood pressure, kidney disease and people who are overweight, often have elevated uric acid levels. When your uric acid level exceeds about 5.5 mg per deciliter, you have an increased risk for a host of diseases including heart disease, fatty liver, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and more.
– Increase in glutathione: Glutathione is your body’s most powerful antioxidant, which keeps all other antioxidants performing at peak levels.
Ludwig Van Beethoven, one of the greatest composers of all time, believed that having cold water poured over his head helped him to dream up beautiful music.
The Paul Newman Variations
Legend has it (well, I heard him mention it once on The Tonight Show to an astonished Johnny Carson) that the late Paul Newman had a morning ritual that included immersing his face in a basin filled with ice water for something like thirty seconds. This was done as a sort of testosterone-fueled version of a beauty facial, keeping the skin taut and facial muscles limber.
Cold showers are one of the great antiaging secrets for keeping your skin tight, elastic, vibrant, and radiant looking. All of this makes cold water therapy one of the top factors of longevity.