7 Surprising Benefits of Taking Cold Showers in the AM

If we're not used to cold showers, we can make the water temperature colder little by little over time and try to always end showers with cold water. 
7 Surprising Benefits of Taking Cold Showers in the AM

Last update: 06 May, 2021

In this article, discover today the 7 positive effects that you can experience if you take cold showers in the morning. In addition, read about how to do it the right way.

7 health benefits

A man taking a relaxing shower.

1. Cold showers speed up metabolism

By taking cold showers, we can lower our body temperature, which in turn makes our body use up more energy to control it. In this way, we can speed up our metabolism and burn more calories. This can be very helpful for people with a slow metabolism.

2. Regulates body tempurature

When our metabolism speeds up, our body activates a natural function to balance temperature due to the external changes. It’s a very healthy habit to keep as we’re already used to continuous artificial temperatures (air conditioning, heating, etc.).

3. Activates blood circulation

Cold showers increase heart rate and cause a contraction of the musculature, two effects that cause an activation of circulation throughout the body. This brings an immediate feeling of well-being, as well as many long-term health benefits.

In other words, the application of cold water on any part of the body causes a contraction of the blood vessels that reactivates circulation throughout the body. This action causes a “decongestion” of the organs.

Research has shown that “post-exercise cooling, such as immersion in cold water, has shown beneficial cardiovascular and hormonal effects during recovery from exercise in a hot environment”.

4. Improves skin

It’s often said that cold water’s the best beauty treatment for skin because it has a tensing and firming effect that fights saggy skin and wrinkles. In addition, cold water helps eliminate dead cells as well as preventing stress and cellulite.

A woman rinsing her hair in the shower.

5. Eliminates liquids

The effect cold water has on blood vessels activates circulation and the body’s lymphatic drainage. It positively impacts it by facilitating the elimination of liquids, which has a positive effect by facilitating the elimination of liquids. This effect benefits people who suffer from swelling or heaviness as well as those with joint inflammation.

Hydrotherapy uses water at various temperatures to provide relief and maximize the well-being of people with various ailments.

6. Shiny hair

Besides improving skin’s health and appearance, cold water benefits our hair as well if we use it for just a couple of seconds or on the lower backside of our head. We’ll end up with shinier hair and prevent it from falling it out, too.

However, the temperature of the water that you use for your head should just be cool, not cold.

7. Increased defenses

By improving the lymphatic system, cold water also improves the body’s defenses. Thus, we can be confident in that daily cold showers strengthen our immune system.

According to a recent study, “a routine shower (from hot to cold water) resulted in a statistical reduction in self-reported sickness absence from work, but not in sick days in adults without severe comorbidity”. Therefore, more research is needed to obtain more concrete data and draw conclusions.

How should we shower?

When using cold water for showering, we should always start with our feet. A sudden cold shower could actually harm our health, especially our lungs and heart.

  • We should start with both feet and work our way up to the neck and face, being sure to avoid the rest of the head.
  • We can also take a different route and start with the right leg, moving up until the neck, and work our way down again to the left foot.
  • The cold rinse should last anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute.We can also choose to alternate with hot water.

Important advice

A cold shower.

Below, we have some important advice for showing with cold water the right way:

  • Even though cold water has all of these great benefits for our body, we should always avoid our head area.
  • If we’re used to always showering with very hot water, we should make a gradual changes. We can lower the temperature gradually and alternate between hot and cold water.
  • As previously mentioned in our article, cold showers are extremely beneficial when taken in the morning thanks to their stimulating effects.

On the other hand, hot water is more appropriate for night showers because it helps us relax and rest better.

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  • Butts CL, McDermott BP, Buening BJ, et al. Physiologic and Perceptual Responses to Cold-Shower Cooling After Exercise-Induced Hyperthermia. J Athl Train. 2016;51(3):252–257. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.4.01
  • Buijze GA, Sierevelt IN, van der Heijden BC, Dijkgraaf MG, Frings-Dresen MH. The Effect of Cold Showering on Health and Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial [published correction appears in PLoS One. 2018 Aug 2;13(8):e0201978]. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0161749. Published 2016 Sep 15. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161749
  • Goto Y, Hayasaka S, Kurihara S, Nakamura Y. Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:9521086. Published 2018 Jun 7. doi:10.1155/2018/9521086