6 benefits of taking a cold shower

Most people are accustomed to showering with hot water, which caused some people to fear using cold water when taking a shower, despite its benefits, so what are the benefits of taking a cold shower? Let's get to know it in the following article.

6 benefits of taking a cold shower

Most people are accustomed to showering with hot water, which caused some people to fear using cold water when taking a shower, although the health benefits that may accrue to the body when taking a cold shower are many and varied, such as feeling relaxed and comfortable and accelerating recovery and recovery from any injuries in general. Especially after working out.

Dr. Sharon Hame, who holds a Ph.D. in sports medicine and orthopedic surgery at UCLA, noted: “Cold showers are one of the best ways to benefit from cryotherapy for athletes, especially after exercising, as anyone who exercises can benefit from these benefits."

What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is one of the therapeutic procedures that depends on exposing the affected body tissues to low temperatures, which helps to cool these affected tissues and help treat them, as there are many methods of cryotherapy that you can follow, including the following:

  • Taking a cold shower: that is, taking a shower with a temperature of less than 15 degrees Celsius for two or three minutes.
  • Using a spray or cold spray: It is a spray used to numb small areas.
  • Diving in cold water: by taking an ice shower or immersing the entire body in ice water except for the head and neck.
  • Using ice topically: to treat some injuries or a specific group of muscles.
  • Whole body cryotherapy: exposing the entire body to very cold vapors.

What are the benefits of taking a cold shower?

Bathing with cold water is not a major treatment method for treating any disease, but rather a procedure that helps alleviate the severity of disease symptoms. This is because research on cryotherapy is still limited at this time.

Here are some potential benefits of taking a cold shower:

Boosting the body's immunity to fight colds

The sudden exposure of the body to cold water after hot water will contribute to the stimulation of white blood cells responsible for fighting infection, inflammation, and viruses that cause colds. Therefore, it is usually advised to take care of exposure to cold water after taking a hot shower, even if it is for a few minutes.

Where a study conducted in the Netherlands concluded that people who used cold water after hot water for 30-90 seconds over the course of 3 months missed work due to disease by 29% less than people who did not use cold water when showering.

Reducing symptoms of depression

Despite the limited scientific studies and research on the benefits of cold showers for depression, the results of some clinical studies showed a positive effect of cold showers in relieving symptoms of depression, especially for people who showered with cold water daily for several months.

Some other studies have also reported the importance of cold showers in improving mood and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

Promote blood circulation

The importance of using cold water lies in increasing blood flow, which occurs as a result of the body's stress in order to maintain its basic temperature when exposed to cold water suddenly, which helps to increase the flow of oxidized blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to the affected parts of the body, which leads to relief affected parts; Thus reducing the feeling of pain and other pathological symptoms, according to Dr. Hamm.

Dr. Hamm added, “Increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to injured body parts helps speed up the recovery time of injured organs, especially when muscles are injured after exercise.

Also, continuous cold showers may increase the efficiency of the circulatory system by increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body, which may be very beneficial, especially for patients with diabetes and high blood pressure.

Stimulating the metabolism

Exposing the body to cold water makes it work harder to maintain its core temperature, which may lead to an increase in metabolism. Thus burning small amounts of calories.

However, it must be noted that this feature is still under study, and research on it is very limited, so you cannot resort to it as an alternative method to following diets or exercising to lose excess weight.

Reducing inflammation and muscle pain

Blood vessels narrow when exposed to cold, which contributes to the flow of blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to the center of the body and the main organs, and after the body temperature returns to normal, the blood vessels expand and return oxygen-laden blood to the tissues of the body, which helps relieve inflammation causing muscle pain It may occur after exercise.

Topical pain relief

Cold therapy contributes greatly to reducing pain, by reducing inflammation in the body, in addition to its role in influencing the way the brain analyzes pain.

For example, if you wanted to take an injection, and the doctor sprayed a cold substance at the injection site; This will contribute greatly to alleviating your feeling of pain, and the reason for this is due to the role of cold water in reducing the speed of pain transmitted through the nerves, and this is according to what Dr. Hamm noted.

How to use cold water as a cryotherapy

So far, there is no research indicating the number of times a person should take a cold shower to get the desired benefits from it, but Dr. Hamm recommends taking a cold shower according to the number of times you exercise, so if you are one who exercises on a daily basis, it is better for you Shower with cold water daily.

Here are the most important tips that you should follow when taking a shower using cold water:

  1. Maintain the water temperature so that it does not exceed 15 degrees, and in order to be able to obtain an ideal home bathroom, it is necessary to take care to make the water as cold as possible.
  2. Start gradually, by starting with a cold shower for 30 seconds, and gradually increase the duration until it reaches two or three minutes.
  3. Follow the alternating bath technique, which involves taking a 3-minute hot shower; Then taking a straight cold shower for one minute, as recommended by most UCLA athletic trainers. Repeat this pattern 3 times, always finishing with cold water.

Tips before taking a cold shower

Dr. Hamm indicated that bathing in cold water is considered safe, and does not pose any danger to healthy people, but if you suffer from some medical conditions, you should consult a doctor before taking a cold shower, and the most prominent of these cases include the following:

  • Hives or cold allergy: It is a skin reaction that occurs when the body is exposed to cold.
  • Heart diseases: Exposing heart patients to cold water may increase pressure on the heart, thus posing a risk to their health.
  • Raynaud's syndrome: a health condition that causes numbness or tingling of the fingers and toes when exposed to cold temperatures.


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