cold water coming out of a shower head

Are cold showers good for you?

If you’ve heard that turning the tap to blue while you’re in the shower could actually be good for you, you’re not wrong. While steaming hot showers feel wonderful after a long day at work or a tough workout, cleaning your skin and hair with cold water also has many hidden benefits.

So, why are cold showers good for you?

Before you blast yourself with ice-cold water, let’s take a look at some cold shower benefits:

  • They’re good for circulation

This is the number one reason why cold showers should be a part of your regular routine. Wondering how exactly they can improve your circulation? By reducing your core body temperature through showering or bathing in cold water, your body has to work harder and faster to warm itself up. It does this by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin, therefore promoting healthy circulation.1
  • They can soothe sore muscles

If you’ve just completed an intense gym session or played a football match with your mates, having a cold shower afterwards could help soothe tired and achy muscles. Wondering why? It’s for the same reason that cold water impacts circulation. The cooler temperature promotes faster blood flow, allowing more blood to be delivered to areas which are sore.2
  • Studies show they may help depression

If you suffer from depression, cold showers could help improve your mood. Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries to relieve stress. Having regular cold showers is thought to have the same sort of effect, as they trigger electrical impulses in the brain, they help to boost your energy levels making you feel more alert.3
  • They can make your hair look healthier and shinier

Rinsing yourself off with cold water after you’ve shampooed could make your hair appear shinier. That’s because warm water opens up the follicles in our hair so they can be cleaned and conditioned. Cold water, on the other hand, closes these follicles up, locking in any moisture and lowering the risk of your hair becoming dry and brittle over time.4
  • They could support your immune system

Research suggests that cold showers could also be great for your immune system.5 By shaking your body up a bit through showering in cold water, you could stimulate the white blood cells present in your bloodstream.6 Why not take a supplement that’s packed with beneficial nutrients like zinc and vitamin C, both of which are essential for your immune system to function.

How to take a cold shower

You might be wondering why you need us to tell you how to take a shower! The fact is, having a cold shower which will have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing isn’t quite as simple as turning the temperature right the way down and stepping into the cubicle.

In fact, it’s best to follow these simple steps:

  1. Enjoy a warm shower as you normally would.
  2. Once you’ve cleaned your hair and body, turn the water temperature down a little.
  3. Stand under the water for a couple of minutes and take deep breaths as your body adjusts to the chillier temperature. You may want to begin by just placing your feet or legs beneath the water and then slowly move your arms, torso and head under as you adjust to the coldness.
It’ll take a couple of weeks to become fully comfortable with having cold showers. To ease yourself into it, try gradually lowering the temperature of the water every time you shower.7

Is there anyone who should avoid taking cold showers?

While taking cold showers shouldn’t have any negative effects (beyond making you shiver!), there are a people who may want to hold off trying them, such as those with compromised immunity.8 Remember that taking cold showers should never be a substitute for medications or your doctor’s advice.

Last updated: 5 June 2020

Sources
  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-benefits#improved-circulation
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-benefits#improved-circulation
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-benefits#endorphins
  4. https://www.health.com/beauty/benefits-cold-showers
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-benefits#resistance
  6. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/white-blood-cell
  7. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-benefits#takeaway
  8. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-benefits#limits-and-risks

 

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