Here are all the benefits of Cold shower (or ice bath for even better results)
Table of Contents
- Here are all the benefits of Cold shower (or ice bath for even better results)
- 1. Boost Testosterone
- 2. Boost Hormone production
- 3. Fights Insomnia and achieve deeper sleep
- 4. Improves Blood circulation
- 5. Improves Your Lymphatic Circulation
- 6. Stronger Immune system
- 7. Regulates blood pressure
- 8. Detoxify your body
- 9. Reduces inflammation
- 10.Combats eye puffiness
- 11.Reduces oedema & swelling
- 12.Anti-aging Skin
- 13.Healthier & shinier Hair
- 14.Boost fertility
- 15.Improves sperm count
- 16.Improves sperm quality
- 17.Improves sex drive (libido) for both men and women
- 18.Fights Erectile dysfunction
- 20.Brightens your mood
- 21.Increases Will power & Motivation
- 22.Increases Alertness
- 23.Increases Focus and concentration
- 24.Deepens your breathing
- 25.Boost Metabolism
- 26.Speeds up muscle recovery
- 27.Speeds up bone fracture healing
- 28.Fights Aches and pains
- 29.Healthier joints
- 30.Stronger Bones
- 31.Healthier Nervous system
- 32.Increases Energy
- 33.Regulates body temperature
- 34.Burns fat and stimulates weight loss
- 35.Pain & stress tolerance
- 36.Improve hemorrhoids
- 37.Improve varicose veins
- 38.Improve kidney function
- 39.Fix edema
- 40.Fix constipation
- 41.Diuretic Effect
- 42.Produce brown fat
- 43.Makes you feel ALIVE
- 44.You’ll be seen as an Alpha personality
Many of the benefits listed below will be directly caused by each other, meaning one of the benefits can be responsible for multiple benefits/positive effects on the body.
1. Boost Testosterone
This is one of the most attractive benefits to men and if you’re looking to increase your testosterone levels naturally (without having to use any oral supplements or injectables steroids), then you need to seriously consider having cold showers, or ice baths for even better results.
Still don’t believe it? A study done by Thrombosis Research Institute in 1993 showed that men who take cold showers have significantly higher testosterone levels than those who don’t. This is particularly important if we bear in mind that heat decreases testosterone levels, according to a study from the Endocrinology.  Cold showers can boost your testosterone indirectly through improved blood flow and faster metabolism which will be discussed further in the post.
2. Boost Hormone production
Testosterone is not the only hormone that is influenced by cold showers. Studies show that exposure to cold increases levels of hormones such as norepinephrine, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), beta-endorphin, and cortisol.  To clarify, norepinephrine or noradrenaline is a hormone and neurotransmitter vital for your fight-or-flight response. Basically, this hormone prepares the body to react or retreat to an acute threat. On the other hand, the ACTH is produced by the pituitary gland and its primary function is to promote the production and release of cortisol while beta-endorphin is a hormone that is known for analgesic or pain-relieving effects.  This could also explain why exposure to cold alleviates the pain. Cortisol is usually referred to as stress hormone, but it is more than that. Healthy level of this hormone is also known for its ability to trigger anti-inflammatory pathways and it maintains blood glucose concentrations. 
3. Fights Insomnia and achieve deeper sleep
If you’re struggling with insomnia, instead of searching for sleep medications that can have negative side effects on your body and brain, do yourself a favour and take a cold shower for 3-5 minutes and then go to bed. For best results I highly recommend you do this is a combination with a breathing exercise (watch the video below and follow along then have a cold shower).
Doing this one hour before bed time will help you trigger sleep signals and achieve a deeper sleep. Why does cold shower promote sleep? One possible explanation could be that optimal sleep temperature is quite cool which could explain why insomniacs have a higher body temperature.  Cold shower decreases your body’s core temperature, thus making you feel sleepier.
4. Improves Blood circulation
This benefit right here is the one most vital function in the human body, blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain, heart and every other part that needs it. No blood circulation means no life. But how does cold water increase the blood circulation around the body?
When cold water touches the surface of the skin, it triggers a “shock” signal which causes the heart to pump harder to keep the blood warm, and also the blood will flow away from the skin surface into internal organs to minimize the loss of heat. This process forces fresh blood to flow through arteries and vessels, bringing huge benefits along the way. Plus, exposure to cold in general produces compensatory vasodilation in deeper vascular system, thus increasing blood flow to the tissues underlying the site of exposure. 
PS: To alternating between warm and cold every 30 seconds; after you shower with cold water, switch it back to warm water, this will force blood to rush back to the surface of the skin, then switch it back to cold again. This process causes the blood to flow back and forth through your body. 
5. Improves Your Lymphatic Circulation
Lymph is the fluid in the lymphatic system, a network of tissues and organs that help eliminate toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials from the body. The main function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph and taking a cold shower can give it a major boost. Evidence shows that cold water increases lymph flow significantly.  This happens because cold water induces contraction of lymph vessels, thus forcing the lymphatic system to pump lymph fluid throughout your body. This fluid flushes waste and other unwanted compounds in the meantime. In turn, the immune system’s white blood cells are triggered and start destroying unwanted substances. 
6. Stronger Immune system
Summer is over and while cold autumn/winter months do have their own charm, they also make you more susceptible to viruses, cold or flu, due to weakened immune system. Plus, some people have a weak immunity as it is. Did you know you can strengthen your immune system and be more resilient to viral infections by taking a cold shower? Cold exposure increases leukocytes (white blood cells, cells of the immune system) and granulocytes (a type of white blood cells), thus exhibiting the immune-stimulating effects. 
Interestingly, the journal PLoS One published a study which revealed that people who took cold showers in the mornings were 29% less likely to take a sick leave compared to those who opted for warm showers. Also, participants who started their mornings with cold showers also felt more fit. 
7. Regulates blood pressure
As seen above, a simple act of taking a cold shower can improve blood circulation which is essential for healthy blood flow. Problems with blood flow play a role in risk of developing some cardiovascular disease. Hypertension isn’t the only problem you can encounter, hypotension is also common. Low blood flow induces symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, fainting, and increases risk of injuries. When left unresolved, hypotension can severely damage heart and brain. Evidence shows that cold water immersion increases heart rate and blood pressure. 
8. Detoxify your body
Your body is exposed to toxins and potentially harmful chemicals on a daily basis. These toxins and chemicals are found in household products you use, personal care and beauty products, cigarette smoke, traffic, air pollution, you name it. The build-up of these toxins increases risk of numerous diseases and health conditions, but it’s possible to flush them out. Thanks to its ability to improve blood and lymphatic circulation, cold shower can give your body detox it needs.
For the best effects, try alternating hot and cold water when showering. Start with hot water for 3 minutes, then cold for 1 minute, and repeat the process so that you end your shower time with cold water. 
9. Reduces inflammation
Not all inflammation is bad. Wait a minute; how is that possible? Well, inflammation is your body’s attempt to protect itself from harmful stimuli, irritants, damaged cells, and to start a healing process. However, too much inflammation leads to several diseases and health conditions, including cancers and autoimmune diseases. A study from the PNAS found that men who participated in a regimen where deep breathing was coupled with swimming in cold water had lower inflammatory response than their counterparts from control group.  These findings only show that taking cold showers regularly or immersing your body in ice bath can also reduce inflammation.
10.Combats eye puffiness
All of us deal with eye puffiness at one point or another. Puffy eyes or bags under eyes can occur due to a number of reasons including hormonal fluctuations, fluid retention, lack of sleep, among other things. Standing in the shower and opting for cold water to revitalize your body can also combat eye puffiness. The reason is simple; cold reduces swelling which is the reason behind that puffiness in the first place. That’s why most popular treatments for puffy eyes involve cold tea bags, or cold spoons, or pretty much applying anything cold onto to affected areas.
11.Reduces oedema & swelling
Oedema is swelling caused by fluid retention due to consumption of too much salt, sitting/standing in one position for too long, pregnancy, PMS, and it is also a response to injury. Cold showers have the tremendous potential to reduce oedema and swelling through circulatory constriction. Cold water therapy is one of the most common treatments of oedema, it has been used for decades.  Plus, cold water deadens nerve conduction, thus lessening sensation and pain. Not only can cold water reduce oedema and swelling, but it can also prevent its formation.  One study also discovered that cold water is beneficial for oedema that occurs due to burns. 
Aging is inevitable, wrinkles and fine lines show up, skin isn’t as radiant as before, and you feel less confident. Despite the fact aging is a natural process many factors can speed it up, but at the same time there are many things you can do to keep your skin youthful and radiant. One of these things is to avoid taking hot showers. Even though hot shower seems like a great idea, especially in cold winter months, they make your skin dry.  High water temperature and its evaporation off of your skin contribute to dryness and they strip off the skin’s natural oils. Dry skin is more prone to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
Plus, cold water revitalizes your skin and doesn’t allow its natural oils to get stripped off. As a result, your skin remains nourished and hydrated, but don’t forget to apply a rich moisturizer right after to seal in the moisture.
13.Healthier & shinier Hair
If you want healthy and shine hair, then make sure you take cold showers too. Hot water opens hair’s cuticles to allow shampoo and conditioner to do their job and eliminate dirt. However, if you use hot water excessively it can also dry out your delicate scalp and cause dandruff. On the other hand, cold water closes the cuticle and seals in the moisture from conditioner in order to nourish your scalp and hair, without drying them out. That’s why a vast majority of famous hairdressers and beauticians recommend using cold water too. For example, you can wash your hair with warm water then at the very ending of the process use cold water so that hair gets the most out of conditioner or hair mask you use.
According to the CDC, 6% of married women aged 15-44 in the US aren’t able to conceive. In addition, 12% of women from the same age group have difficulty getting pregnant regardless of marital status.  Figures show that 7.5% of sexually experienced men have seen a fertility doctor while 40% of married couples experience fertility issues where the male partner is the cause of infertility.  Numerous causes contribute to fertility problems including hot baths. In fact, a study carried out by scientists at the University of California San Francisco found that exposure to hot tubs or hot baths can lead to male infertility due to its harmful impact on sperm production and quality.  That makes cold showers a better choice for men, especially those who are trying to have a baby with their significant other.
15.Improves sperm count
Your fertility depends on sperm count and, unfortunately, many factors can decrease the number of your swimmers. That’s why it’s useful to know that cold showers promote fertility by increasing sperm count. On the other hand, taking hot shower can inhibit the process of spermatogenesis or production of new sperm through apoptosis (destruction or death of cells). [25, 26]
16.Improves sperm quality
Have you heard the phrase “don’t use a laptop on your lap?” According to research, an increase in temperature of the testicle negatively affects its function and can have serious consequences to both the fertility and testosterone production. This could also explain why men’s sperm works better during winter when temperatures are cold rather than during summer or spring. 
Have you ever thought why your testicles exist in a pouch instead of inside your body?
Because the temperature of your testicles needs to be a little bit cooler than your body temperature.
17.Improves sex drive (libido) for both men and women
Sex drive fluctuates in both men and women. Lack of libido has a negative effect on your sex life and, eventually, the relationship too. A person’s sex drive is largely governed by hormones and cold shower can stimulate the production of hormones (as seen above) in an entirely natural manner. Plus, exposure to cold water also boosts blood flow throughout the body, including your genital area thus making you more aroused.
18.Fights Erectile dysfunction
How many times have you heard take a cold shower, when you have an erection? It’s a popular comeback to those moments when a guy has a “boner”. According to this belief, taking a cold shower will get rid of an erection, but the reality is different. Scientist from the University of Miami explained the idea that cold shower kills erections originated in popular culture. He adds that nobody has directly studied the impact of cold water on a man’s penis, but most of what scientists know is that cooling induces increased smooth muscle activity in the penis. The smooth muscle surrounds penile blood vessels that direct a man’s erection. But, make sure your shower isn’t too long because doing it excessively could dampen the sensation in your penis.  Another way cold shower helps you fight erectile dysfunction is through improved blood flow. If you’ve taken a cold shower before, you know as soon as you step out to put your clothes on, your feel the blood rushing through your body. Healthy and strong erections depend on blood flow. Your blood will rush through all veins in your body including those in the penile area.
In 2015, about 16.1 million US adults aged 18 or older experienced at least one depressive episode.  Depression is also common in the UK where 19.7% people aged 16 or older showed symptoms associated with this condition.  The truth is that millions of people around the globe are diagnosed with depression or they will develop this mental health problem at one point in their lifetime. Although a serious problem, it is possible to overcome depression. Besides medications that are usually prescribed for this purpose, an affected individual can experience relief thanks to healthy lifestyle and support from loved ones. In addition, cold showers also help. A study from the Medical Hypotheses discovered that cold shower has an analgesic effect and sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, thus exhibiting anti-depressing effects too. 
20.Brightens your mood
Lifehack explains that Dr. Nicloai Schevchuk found the electrical impulses sent to the brain from taking a cold shower to activate noradrenaline and beta-endorphin in the brain.  While these chemicals can be useful for treating depression without necessarily having to opt for antidepressant medication, they may also have a positive impact on your mood. Depression is also known to cause sad, hopeless and empty feelings ; thus by reducing depression through a simple cold shower, these emotions may be eliminated, making you more likely to experience an elevated mood. Amongst men, the fact that a cold shower can improve erectile quality may also be able to help them feel better about themselves and brighten up their mood, especially if they generally have problems with their erectile function during sex.
21.Increases Will power & Motivation
A cold shower in the morning can also benefit those who lack in the area of will power and motivation. These two elements are often considered essential for being successful in life. Dieting, for example, requires an immense level of will power to stick to consuming a healthy diet. Motivation is also required to continue following the diet, even when the results are not always as you would like it to be. Running through a cold shower in the morning might seem like you are torturing yourself, but just for the fact that you are actually doing it, you will be able to feel like you can do anything – if you can get into that cold shower so early in the morning, then there is absolutely no reason why you cannot stick to a healthier diet throughout the rest of the day.
We all need to be alert at all times during the day. This is important. Imaging not focusing on a meeting at hand and finding yourself unaware of what was going on when your name is called out. This could not only be embarrassing, but also be hazardous for your career. Alertness goes far beyond the workplace – you need to be alert while driving, when cooking food and during many other activities performed during the day. According to Medical Daily , the shock that a cold shower places upon the body causes a deep breathing reaction, which then leads to an increase in oxygen consumption, an elevated heart rate and, ultimately, more blood flowing through the body. In turn, this spikes our energy levels for the day and, at the same time, makes us more alert.
23.Increases Focus and concentration
Similar to how a cold shower can increase our alertness, it can do the same for our ability to concentrate during important tasks and focus when we are having conversations or watching an important presentation. The fact that we are more alert and the increase in energy will make you less likely to experience mental exhaustion or fatigue during the day; thus helping you to focus on your job during the day, and even contributing to better concentration when talking to your partner, reading a book or preparing a report after your day at the office has come to an end.
24.Deepens your breathing
As we explained earlier, a cold water shower causes the body to go into a shock. This then has a reaction that causes you to breathe more deeply. Deeper breathing has many benefits to contribute to your overall health – both physically and mentally. Livestrong explains that deep breathing helps to relieve stress, produces a state of calmness, eliminates angry emotions and even causes blood circulation to increase noticeably. 
A large number of people are overweight and struggling to lose weight effectively. The struggle they are facing is often caused by a slow metabolism; thus any chance they have to boost their metabolism should be grabbed with both hands. A faster metabolism has more than one benefit for the human body. Weightless Treasure explains that a fast metabolism is not only essential for losing weight effectively, but can also help to increase blood circulation, reduce the chance of experiencing cold feet and hands, and even has the ability to produce a better mood. 
26.Speeds up muscle recovery
Muscle aches and spams are often experienced after a long session at the gym. This can be uncomfortable and lead to the inability to perform certain tasks for some time after your session at the gym has been completed.
For some people, recovering from a strenuous training sessions is easier than for others – whichever category you fall into, a speedier recovery is always desired. It is already well-known to a cold press is effective for reducing muscle pain. Thus, similar effects can be obtained by jumping into a cold shower after you come back from the gym. Popsugar explains that a cold shower helps to reduce inflammation in tendons, joints and in muscles, which is rather common after a workout.  This is because blood flow to these areas is temporarily decreased with the use of cold water. Additionally, they also mention that some people follow up on their cold shower with warmer water to further benefit muscle recovery.
27.Speeds up bone fracture healing
Bone fractures can be extremely painful and doing what you can to speed up the time it takes for such a fracture to heal is essential, especially if the fracture is getting in your way of performing day-to-day tasks. When using a cold water shower to help speed up the healing process, it should be noted that the cold shower will not directly improve the healing time of the fracture, but rather through a chain reaction. Once you get into the cold shower, your body goes into a shock. Blood circulation is temporarily reduced and nerve endings may also be numbed. This may help to reduce pain in the localized area where the fracture had been obtained. Once you get out of the cold shower, your breathing will be deeper and your heart will beat faster. This then causes a rush of blood to flow throughout your entire body – including to the area where the bone was fractured. This increase in blood circulation then aids in delivering more blood and vital nutrients to the bone to help speed up its recovery.
28.Fights Aches and pains
A cold shower is able to help alleviate pain in more than one different ways. As noted previously, the human body goes into a state of shock once it enters a cold shower. In response, blood circulation is temporarily reduced throughout the entire body. In addition to the restriction of blood flow, the cold water is also able to numb nerve endings and may also assist with relieving inflammation that may be experienced in painful areas. These three effects that cold water has will contribute as a combination to effectively eliminate body aches and pains.
We have already discussed how a cold shower can help to speed up the recovery of bone fractures, but we should also note that the effects discussed in that particular section are not only useful for bones that have been fractured. The fact that blood circulation tends to increase once your heart rate increases after a cold shower also mean that more blood will be delivered to your joints – not only joints that have been damaged, but to all joints in your body. This blood will contain essential nutrients needed by the joints to stay healthy.
Similar to how a cold shower will keep your joints healthy, it will also help you to maintain stronger bones throughout your body. Calcium and other essential nutrients that are needed to keep bones healthy and avoid bones becoming fragile travel through the bloodstream. When blood circulation increases due to the shock the body goes in from a cold shower, a larger concentration of these nutrients are sent to the bones, which helps them absorb more calcium, as well as other essential nutrients.
31.Healthier Nervous system
A review paper published by the SMD College of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences confirms that cold water therapy is effective in improving the wellbeing of the nervous system and it may also be effective in reducing symptoms related to diseases and health ailments that affect the nervous system.  As an example, they found a cold water social to have an antipsychotic effect in some study participants. The activation of the parasympathetic nerve activity was also observed while participants were provided with a cold water shower. A significant amount of electrical impulses were observed in the brain’s peripheral nerve endings. Analgesic effects were also observed during the study.
We all require an adequate supply of energy every single to day make it until the end of the day. Running out of energy while at work can cause a significant amount of problems. Not only will you be less productive during the rest of the day, but you will also not be able to meet your expectations back at home, such as having to cook dinner or to put the kids to bed. The rush that cold water sends through your body and the increase in blood circulation after the cold shower, accompanied by an increased heart rate, results in a significant energy boost, which may help you last longer through the day.
33.Regulates body temperature
The regulation of body temperature is a vital part of the human body, but for some people, this system can become somewhat wary over the years. This may be due to one of many reasons. Even though there is an “average” internal body temperature that needs to be maintained , some people tend to have an internal temperature that is either warmer or colder than this “average”. With the use of regular cold showers for a while, you can “reset” your body’s internal temperature regulating system; thus helping your body better regulate your internal temperature.
34.Burns fat and stimulates weight loss
We already discussed how a cold shower can help to stimulate a boosted metabolism, but we should also note that such a therapy can also help you lose weight more effectively. While the fact that a cold shower will boost your metabolism is already a definite way in which this technique will help you to lose weight, it should also be noted that a cold shower will help to boost your energy levels – in turn, you will be more likely to participate in physical activities during the day, which is essential for burning calories.
A cold shower also helps to reduce symptoms of depression – many people who are depressed tend to overeat. 
35.Pain & stress tolerance
The tolerance a person has to pain and stress can have a significant impact on their lives. If you are not able to handle pain or stress, you may be negatively influenced by even the smallest amount of stress in your life – sometimes things that should be bothering you at all could feel like it is getting the best of you and turning your entire world upside down. According to Own Your Health, a Japanese study found the effects of cold water helps to reduce pain perception and increase pain tolerance in the human body . In a similar way, this could also help to increase stress tolerance.
Hemorrhoids are inflamed blood vessels that usually appear at the lining of the anus. They can be painful and cause a significant amount of discomfort. A cold shower might be the perfect solution to treating haemorrhoids due to the fact that the cold water will decrease blood flow to these blood vessels and also help to reduce the inflammation. With continued use, inflammation will be alleviated and discomfort will be reduced considerably.
37.Improve varicose veins
According to faqs.org, hydrotherapy in the form of cold water is one of the most effective solutions to treating varicose veins.  They explain that the cold water helps to restrict blood flow in the affected areas, as well as help to reduce any inflammation that may be present in the area. Furthermore, they also explain that bruising can be minimized with the use of cold water therapy in the areas affected by varicose veins.
38.Improve kidney function
Your kidneys are hard-working organs that are essential to your general wellbeing. The kidneys are responsible for numerous functions – not only to extract waste from the blood and expel the waste through urine, but also to produce certain hormones and more. The blood circulatory system is also responsible for delivering oxygen to the kidneys, according to InnerBody.com.  With cold water showers, blood supply might be restricted for a short period of time, but after getting out of the shower, your heart rate increases and you experience a boost in blood flow. This will help to improve the delivery of oxygenated blood to the kidneys, which will help to keep them healthy and improve their functionality.
Edema refers to inflammation that is caused by fluid retention within body tissue. This problem can occur in numerous parts of the human body and may lead to the development of additional symptoms. A study by the Canisius College in New York monitored the effects of cold water therapy on edema, and found that this particular therapy option has the ability to significantly reduce the inflammation and the water accumulation amongst all of the participants who were administered with this particular treatment option. 
Constipation is a problem that we all experience at some point in our lives. It can be caused by many different factors – eating the wrong foods or taking certain medication, for example, can induce constipation. Fortunately, a cold shower might be just what you need to relieve your constipation and become regular again. We already talked about how cold water showers are able to improve your metabolism – with a boost in metabolism, your bowel movements will also start to become regular again, which can help to reduce episodes of constipation.
Water and salt retention in the body can be harmful in some cases. When there is too much water retention in a person’s body, they are often provided a diuretic to help them expel the excess water, as well as any excess salt, through urine. For those preferring a more natural approach, a cold water shower might do the trick. The low temperature of the water will have a diuretic effect on the body; thus causing excess water and salt that is present in the body to be expelled as urine.
42.Produce brown fat
Not a lot of focus has been placed on the different between white fat and brown fat, yet these two types of fat are quite different from each other. White fat is the type of fat that stores excess calories in the body. In turn, this type of fat can lead to a higher risk of obesity. Brown fat, on the other hand, is a type of fat that is able to burn excess calories as energy. ABC News reports that Dr Paul Lee, an endocrinologist from the Garvan Institute, tested the effects of cold water showers on his weight loss efforts for over six years, and found his concentration of brown fat to be increased significantly by simply starting his days with a cold shower. 
43.Makes you feel ALIVE
By considering all of the benefits we have shared here regarding the advantages a cold shower has for you, it should become obvious that such a shower is able to make you feel more alive. The cold temperature will cause a spike in energy, a boost in blood flow and better mental alertness, all at once. Additionally, the numerous benefits that a cold shower has for your overall health should make you feel much better about yourself. With this all in mind, when incorporating a cold shower into your daily routine, you will gradually start to experience the numerous benefits that cold showers have to offer you.
44.You’ll be seen as an Alpha personality
Apart from being able to make you feel “more alive”, we should also consider the fact that men are able to experience an “alpha” feeling when they start their days with a cold shower. As we have noted earlier on in this article, cold showers have been linked to higher quality sperm, larger sperm volumes and more testosterone, as well as a boost in energy levels, better metabolism and improved muscle recovery. These are all essential traits that a man requires to build muscles, feel confident about himself and become a true “alpha male”.
Now you know what your next shower should look like if you want to improve your health, but remember, build up to it gradually (in the short term and in the long term).
In the short term meaning start with a warm shower then gradually turn the temperature down.
In the long term meaning as your body gets stronger and used to cold temperatures you can skip starting with warm showers.