Table of Contents
- What are the benefits for the immune system?
- Can you have weight loss benefits?
- Can you improve your circulation?
- How can cold showers benefit temperature regulation?
- What are the benefits of a cold shower for depression symptoms?
- What are the benefits of testosterone levels?
- Can you make your skin healthier with a cold shower?
- What are the benefits for the hair?
- Can cold water increase fertility?
- What are the benefits of general well-being and energy increase?
- Can cold shower deepen breathing?
- Are there any benefits of a cold shower for lymphatic movement?
- Can a cold shower improve sleep?
Apart from cutting down your electricity bill and becoming better at time management and respecting time, cold showers have many advantages everybody should get familiar with.
What may sound terrifying at first is the feeling of discomfort, especially if you are new to cold showers; if you are already familiar with the advantages, then you know how amazing they are.
Those who have accidentally taken a cold shower have certainly seen the mental and psychological benefits of a cold shower; moreover, many scientific studies can shed some light on the benefits of this morning or evening routine. On the other hand, there seems to be much misinformation about cold showers, so we will sort out the actual benefits and point out to them.
What are the benefits for the immune system?
In a word, exposure to cold water improves immunity. The immune system is being activated (increasing metabolic rate) due to the shivering when exposed to cold water. It is not new that in Sweden toddlers and children are sleeping outside on cold weather to enhance their immune system. These children are shown to sleep more profound and more soundly.
In Siberia, there is a ritual called Rodnichok or cold spring, in which a whole bucket of cold water is dumped over children’s heads. It is confirmed that 95% of those children are healthy through the flu season.
It is also confirmed that cold water strengthens the immune system; cold shower exhibit higher white blood cells and the higher concentration of plasma, T helper cells and lymphocytes. People who have been taking cold showers show less chance of getting colds, flu, varicose veins, and cancer.
Can you have weight loss benefits?
It is known that when our body is exposed to cold water, it needs more heat to warm us up. Thus it burns more calories. The body needs to process more energy, and in turn, burns fat more efficiently. It activates “brown fat,” a sort of good fat that generates heat and increases metabolism.
In general, exposure to cold stimulates the production of these brown fats. The calories we eat and the white fat we store are burned to produce heat energy.
Can you improve your circulation?
When our body is exposed to cold water, the blood flow is redirected to our vital organs, and, since it forces our body to circulate more blood, cold showers improve circulation significantly. Because of cold water, our body does “vasoconstriction,” that is, tightening our arteries and veins. When tightened, the blood flow at a higher pressure given that there is less space for the blood to flow.
The opposite effect occurs when our body is exposed to heat, that is “vasodilation”. Improved circulation will benefit blood pressure as well.
How can cold showers benefit temperature regulation?
Given that cold shower increases circulation, it is logical that cold water also regulates the temperature of the body. When taking a cold shower regularly, you will be able to limit heat loss, decrease body temperature and in general regulate overall body temperature.
If you suffer from chronic cold hands and feet, or if you sweat a lot, a cold shower can also help. By regulating the body temperature, a cold shower will also prepare you for cold weather.
What are the benefits of a cold shower for depression symptoms?
It is shown that a cold shower can help relieve depression symptoms; a cold shower sends electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, and these impulses have an anti-depressive effect.
Some studies showed that cold showers could even prevent depression, positively stimulating the brain. On the other hand, one needs to consider that cold showers could have the opposite effect in some situations, making some people even more depressed, though no particular study has confirmed this assumption.
What are the benefits of testosterone levels?
A study, done in 1993 by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England, showed that cold shower influence on testosterone levels.
Increased testosterone levels boost man’s energy level, strength and libido as well, the study showed. One can increase testosterone levels by taking a cold shower for 10 minutes upon waking or before going to bed.
Can you make your skin healthier with a cold shower?
A warm shower opens up your pores, which makes it easier for us to clean up the pores; however, cold water closes your pores and prevents the pores from being easily clogged with dirt and oil that causes skin imperfections such as acne for instance. A hot shower also dries out the skin because when the pores open, the skin’s oil can be easily eroded by the water.
Dry skin is then very vulnerable; it becomes itchy, cracked and chapped, and can cause eczema. When the skin is dry, wrinkles and fine lines also appear.
When the skin’s oils are washed away, our body needs to produce more oil. Cold water flushes away toxins from the skin and results in improved skin tone, and can make our skin softer, radiant and smooth. By constricting blood vessels, cold water reduces swelling and appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
What are the benefits for the hair?
A warm shower can damage our hair the same way it damages our skin; hot water dries out the hair, stripping it of its natural oils.
Cold water makes the hair shinier and healthier by keeping the hair cuticles closed and prevents dirt from easily accumulating in the scalp.
Due to this, cold water prevents hair loss and prevents hair from easily falling out.
Can cold water increase fertility?
Given that the cold water increases testosterone levels, and improves circulation, cold water has a significant effect on improving fertility in men. In a word, an increase in testosterone levels increases fertility. On the other hand, a warm shower and warm water decrease sperm count.
What are the benefits of general well-being and energy increase?
A cold shower is in general beneficial for increasing energy levels; the heart starts pumping, and improved circulation brings more energy to the body, especially in the morning.
A cold shower is waking up treatment; in the morning when you jump into a cold shower, the nerve endings on your skin stand up, and though it is not yet confirmed some say that cold shower reduces the stress levels.
Can cold shower deepen breathing?
One of the effects of a cold shower is deep breathing. When you begin inhaling deeply, your lungs open up and result in a higher intake of oxygen, which is especially good for tiredness and exhaustion. The same effect you can have with physical exercising. Moreover, a cold shower will improve your overall physical activity as well.
Are there any benefits of a cold shower for lymphatic movement?
The lymphatic system is responsible for taking away waste from the cells to fight disease. It is separate from blood vessels, and it moves around by muscle contractions.
The cold shower makes your whole body contracts which force the lymphatic system to push the waste and squeeze the fluid up through the body.
Can a cold shower improve sleep?
People who have trouble sleeping are advised to take cold showers. After taking a cold shower, your body will calm down and relax, which will improve your sleep and help you relax both physically and mentally.
Images credit: 123RF Photo Stock
Reese, H. (2013). The Life Changing Secrets of Cold Shower.
Your First Cold Shower: Rejuvenate Your Life and Stay Healthy. 2013.
Last article update: 5/13/2019