Warm showers are preferred by many people over cold ones. However, some research suggests that using cold water is beneficial to the body and mind.
This article discusses how cold showers can provide a variety of benefits for physical and mental health.
Lastly, we discuss some of the things to consider when switching to cold showers, as well as some tips for getting started.
Taking cold showers may have some of the following benefits:
1. Enhanced Alertness
People feel more alert after taking a cold shower primarily because of the body’s reactions to it.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a meta-analysis of existing cold water immersion research in February 2010, which concluded that cold showers have numerous physiological effects.
The following are among them:
- A faster heartbeat
- A higher respiratory rate
By maintaining a stable body temperature, a cold water also increases metabolic rate.
Since a cold shower lasts only five to ten minutes, it should not be relied upon as a weight loss technique because of its metabolism-boosting effects.
In addition, cold showers make a person feel refreshed and alert, which can lead to increased physical activity.
2. Boosted immunity
People who take cold showers for less than five minutes are 29% less likely to be absent from work or school, according to a study in PLoS OneTrusted Source.
Three thousand eighteen people were enrolled in this study who took a hot shower followed by cold application for 30 to 90 seconds. In one study, researchers didn’t shower with cold water, but took warm showers instead.
Cold showers reduce the chance of workers calling in sick, but the number of sick days reported by those taking cold showers is not decreased. The researchers found that cold showers could reduce the severity of an illness, allowing people to go about their daily lives.
People who took cold showers for 30, 60, or 90 seconds did not show any differences in performance. Therefore, cold water triggers your immune system no matter for how long it lasts.
3. Improved Mood
Researchers have hypothesized that taking a cold shower can improve a person’s mood.
A former article in Medical Hypotheses suggested that people are less likely to experience depressive symptoms after a cold shower because it activates the sympathetic nervous system and can increase availability of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine.
However, people should not substitute cold showers for depression treatments prescribed by their physicians.
4. Cooling down faster after sports
Several athletic activities involve cold water immersion therapy (immersion in ice or cold water).
Cold temperatures can quickly reduce inflammation and relieve heat exertion, say physical therapists that specialize in sports. As compared to no treatment, a cold shower relieves exertional hyperthermia, according to a study in the Journal of Athletic Training.
Cold showers, however, did not provide relief from exercise-induced heat stress as effectively as immersion therapy.
5. Regeneration of body tissues
Researchers found that cold water immersion and contrast water therapy (using hot water first, then cold water) enhance recovery and reduce fatigue in studies published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Cold water techniques may assist athletes in reducing fatigue related to their physical performance through this research.
6. Induced pain reduction
Using cold water for pain relief is similar to a local anesthetic, according to a recent article in the North American Journal of Medical SciencesTrusted Source.
The cold water helps reduce pain caused by swelling and edema by constricting blood vessels. As well as slowing nerve signal transmission, cold water can also relax muscles.
By decreasing the transmission rate of pain signals to the brain, a person can be less sensitive to pain.
How to start?
In many studies on the effects of cold showers, it is suggested that there is no need for the water to be cold for the entire duration of the shower in order for it to have positive effects.
After taking a warm shower, someone can switch to cold water for a few minutes. Between 30 seconds and 2 minutes could be alloted.
A brief cold shower of around five to ten minutes is preferred by some people. Cold water therapy can also be implemented in this way.
A paper in the journal Medical Hypotheses cites several studies that say 68°F (20°C) is the ideal temperature for cold therapy.
The perception that water is cold can be successfully changed by a person’s own perceptions.
A few things to keep in mind
It is important not to use cold showers as a substitute for medical treatment, especially ones prescribed by doctors for depression.
It is possible to enhance other treatment methods with cold water therapy.
Cold showers can be dangerous for some people. These include people with weakened immune systems and people with serious heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure. Because the body may be overloaded by sudden adjustments in temperature and heart rate.
A person should consult their doctor if he or she is not sure whether a cold shower would benefit them.
Cold water therapy
Over the past few centuries, cold water therapy has been used as a treatment to enhance health and wellbeing.
The benefits of cold showers on physical and mental health have been documented in scientific research.
You should try incorporating some cold water into your regular shower routine, even for a brief time.