How Many Calories Does a 10 Minute Cold Shower Burn 2024?

Chilling out can have more benefits than you might think, especially when taking a shower. “How Many Calories Does a 10 Minute Cold Shower Burn? Surprising Facts” will drip-feed you the cool details on this icy calorie-burning hack.

How Many Calories Does a 10 Minute Cold Shower Burn?

Your caloric burn or energy expenditure represents the calories your body uses to maintain vital bodily functions and activities. Calories are the energy that fuel your body, much like gasoline fuels a car.

The energy metabolic equivalent (MET) is a unit that quantifies the amount of energy expended during different activities, with one MET being the energy spent sitting quietly.

When you engage in any activity, from running to taking a shower, your body burns calories to supply the energy needed for that activity. Burning calories can also contribute to fat loss, as your body may tap into stored fat as an energy source when dietary calories are insufficient.

  • Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): The calories your body burns at rest.
  • Active Metabolic Rate (AMR): The calories burned during physical activity.

Your overall metabolism depends on several factors such as age, gender, muscle mass, and physical activity level.

The Role of Cold Exposure

Exposing your body to cold temperatures, like in a cold shower, initiates non-shivering thermogenesis, predominantly powered by brown fat. Unlike regular white fat, which stores calories, brown fat burns calories to generate heat– this process is known as thermogenesis.

  • Non-shivering thermogenesis: Heat production without shivering due to cold exposure, increasing calorie burn.
  • Brown Fat Activation: When activated by cold, brown fat burns calories faster than normal to raise body temperature.

Cold showers may enhance energy expenditure as your body works to stay warm, potentially increasing your daily caloric deficit and contributing to fat loss. However, the actual calorie burn from a 10-minute cold shower can vary based on individual metabolism and the intensity of the cold exposure.

Effects of Cold Showers on Weight Loss

A person stands under a cold shower for 10 minutes. Water droplets cascade down their body as steam rises from the contrast of cold and warm air

Cold Showers Vs. Traditional Weight Loss Methods

Taking a cold shower might seem like a refreshing twist to your routine, but can it actually help you burn more calories and aid in weight loss? Typically, weight loss is achieved through diet and regular exercise.

These methods focus on creating a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. On the other hand, cold showers can increase your metabolic rate ever so slightly. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body works harder to maintain its core temperature.

This can result in a modest increase in calorie burning due to the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and a process akin to shivering. BAT is known for its ability to burn calories when stimulated by cold.

MethodCalorie BurnSustainability
Traditional (Diet/Exercise)Higher, dependent on intensity and duration of exerciseSustainable with lifestyle changes
Cold ShowersLower, around 10-20 extra calories for a 10-minute showerLess predictable and smaller impact

Influence on Fat Loss and Metabolic Health

You might find it invigorating to learn that cold showers can activate your body’s brown adipose tissue, or BAT. While BAT composes just a small percentage of your total fat mass, it’s exceptional for its ability to burn through calories when stimulated by the cold to maintain body temperature.

However, this process is influenced by factors like your age and overall health. While a cold shower for weight loss might increase your heart rate and fat burning to a degree, it isn’t a standalone solution. Enveloping this hack within a broader lifestyle approach that hinges primarily on exercise and a well-rounded diet is vital.

Practical Considerations and Health Implications

A thermometer placed in a shower stall, steam rising, a timer set for 10 minutes, and a calorie counter displayed nearby

Optimizing Cold Shower Duration and Temperature

5 minutes: A brisk start to spur your metabolism.
10 minutes: Gold standard for balancing benefits and comfort.
15 minutes: Pushes the envelope for cold exposure efficacy.

  • Water Temperature: Aim for a chill that’s invigorating, not debilitating. Cold, but not so cold as to cause hypothermia.
  • Incremental Approach: Start temperate and gradually dial down to help your body adapt to the cold.

The duration of your cold shower and the temperature are key factors in experiencing health benefits. Find your sweet spot – typically, starting with showers around 5 minutes can help your body get accustomed to the shock of cold water.

You can then build up to around 10 minutes as you become more comfortable with the chilly temperatures.

However, pushing beyond 15 minutes is rarely more effective and has diminishing returns. Crucial to this process is the water temperature; it should be cold enough to trigger a physiological response but not so cold as to risk hypothermia.

Potential Risks and Benefits

Risks to consider:

  • Overexposure: Guard against hypothermia and shock, especially if you’re new to cold showers.
  • Existing Conditions: Be cautious if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure.

Benefits to amplify your wellness journey:

  • Circulation Boost: The cold can enhance blood flow, rejuvenating your body systems.
  • Diet and Exercise Enhancements: Supplement your health routine for well-rounded results.
  • Immune System Support: Short bursts of cold exposure could potentially strengthen your immune response.
  • Inflammation & Muscle Soreness: Cold showers may reduce inflammation and soothe sore muscles.

Taking cold showers has a suite of potential benefits. They’re thought to improve circulation and, when paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise, could enhance your overall fitness results.

Your immune system might also get an extra layer of support, potentially reducing the number of sick days you need. Moreover, cold showers can help manage inflammation and may alleviate muscle soreness after intense workouts.

But remember, it’s not without risks. Monitor how your body reacts, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions, and always consult a healthcare professional if in doubt.


How many calories burned in cold shower?

A cold shower burns only a few calories; estimates suggest around 10-15 calories for a several-minute session.

Are 10 minute cold showers good?

Ten-minute cold showers can be good, potentially boosting circulation and aiding recovery after workouts.

How many calories do you burn in a 10 minute shower?

In a 10-minute shower, you might burn about 10-20 calories, similar to just standing.

How many calories does a 20 minute cold bath burn?

A 20-minute cold bath may burn around 100-150 calories, but this varies with individual metabolism and temperature.

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