Thanks to Skillshare for supporting this episode, and this whole week, of SciShow.

[♩INTRO] If you follow any productivity gurus, then you’ve probably heard how you needto take cold showers in the morning.

After all, not only can they wake you rightup, but you’re also promised a myriad of healthbenefits and everybody loves a good healthy life hack.

But whether these claims are actually trueis still kind of a gray area.

Also, I have to say, as someone who grew upin Florida and now lives in Montana, a cold shower is different depending on whereyou live.

So before you jump in that agonizingly coldshower, let’s look at some research.

One of the biggest problems with studyingcold showers is that… well, people really haven’t.

Instead, most health claims are implied fromstudies of cryotherapy using cold water or air to treat a condition or from things like people who repeatedlygo swimming in cold water.

But cryotherapy is really carefully controlled, and those swimmers often stay in the waterfor over an hour, so it’s hard to apply this to your quickrinse before work.

Still, that doesn’t mean there’s zeroevidence for cold showers, because there is.

It’s just not very strong.

Like, take the claim people make that those showers improve your immune system.

In 2016, a study published in PLOS One wanted to see if taking a quick cold showerin the morning would reduce the amount of sick days someonetook from work.

For 30 straight days, more than 2300 subjectstook either a warm shower, or a warm shower that turned cold for 30, 60, or 90 seconds at the end.

On average, subjects in all three of the coldshower groups called into work 29% less than the warm shower group roughly the same as one less sick day permonth.

But we don’t know why, since the research team didn’t measure anybiological markers.

Many of the participants did say they feltan increase in energy and continued taking the cold showers afterthe experiment, but that’s not enough to close the case.

It’s possible that their white blood cellcount increased like what’s been shown to happen with coldwater swimmers.

But again, a 90-second rinse is a lot differentfrom an hour in the water.

Many people also swear that cold showers canboost mood.

But the results there are maybe even weaker.

A 2008 study in Medical Hypothesis gets referenceda lot as evidence for cold showers as an antidepressant, but it’s not really all that convincing.

They hypothesized that cold water would activate your sympathetic nervous system the system that does things like increaseyour heart rate and stimulate the release of endorphins whichwould elevate your mood.

But it only had three data points, one ofwhich was the author of the paper, and none of them had symptoms that would diagnosethem with depression.

Plus, the biological markers they expectedto change were never actually measured, so really wedon’t have any results to go off of.

To be fair, the author did mention all thatin the paper.

But alas, the blogosphere still holds ontothat antidepressant claim even though the article wasn’t that powerful.

The thing here is, you can’t placebo a coldshower: you know if you’re getting one.

So it seems like cold showers get a lot morecredit than they deserve based on the evidence that exists.

A short one probably won’t hurt you, buthey, let’s do more research before we start making claims about realityand our bodies.

Seriously, if you’re looking for a researchproject, this sounds like a good one to try out.

Couldn’t be that expensive, it’s coldwater.

So, even though cold showers might not bethe key to making you more productive, the CEO and co-founder of Skillshare, MichaelKarnjanaprakorn, is really productive and shares his systemsfor productivity in his class Real Productivity: Create YourIdeal Week.

He provides a simple framework to prioritize and accomplish what’s important to you inthe immediate and in the long term.

We’ll make sure to link to it in the description.

All these week, we’ve been sharing Skillshareclasses we think SciShow viewers will appreciate, but even though the week is coming to an end, this offer from Skillshare is still available.

Skillshare is offering SciShow viewers 2 freemonths of unlimited access to their platform of over20, 000 classes.

Click on the link in the description to signup, and let us know in the comments what classesyou take! We always love to learn new things.


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