Your morning routine probably looks a little like this: You wake up, get in a workout, make some coffee, and drink every sip hoping it will provide you with all the energy you need to get through your work day. But according to Sabrina Sarabella, a business coach and wellness expert, there’s something you can do that will be even more beneficial for your productivity levels.
During a webinar for Ten Spot, Sarabella said an ice-cold shower could be the best way to kick off your day. While it might not sound very pleasant (not by a longshot!), it’s a surefire way to jolt your body awake. “If you just put the shower on ice-cold for the last few seconds or minutes of your shower, it can have an impact,” she says. “Cold showers have been proven to increase alertness, increase immunity, increase the speed of muscle recovery, and increase your mood.”
The research doesn’t lie, either. A 2016 study looked at the effect of cold showers on health and work and found those who took them for 30 consecutive days not only had less self-reported sick days, but also greater productivity levels. But how does a cold shower help, exactly? Another study stated “exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system”—the same system that causes you to involuntarily flinch when something is thrown at you. When the cold water hits your skin, it sends an “overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain,” writes researcher Nikolai Shevchuk, PhD, making you feel extra alert and awake.
If you want to try the cold shower tactic for yourself, Sarabella recommends starting by blasting some cold water at the end of your shower. “30 seconds, 10 seconds, or whatever you can do,” she says. You’ll instantly kick your day off on an energizing note—one that won’t make you crash a few hours later. Sorry, coffee.