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Cold vs Hot Showers: Benefits, detriments and considerations

How can we forget that wonderful feeling of jumping into the shower after a long day? While water has many therapeutic properties, the shower’s temperature can also make a big difference. One must consider various factors when choosing between a warm and cold shower. Let’s understand which is better when it comes to a cold shower or a hot shower.

Table of Contents

Advantages of a cold water shower

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1. Reduce stress levels

A cold water shower can be a great way to reduce your stress levels. It activates the sympathetic nervous system causing a release of norepinephrine and cortisol. Norepinephrine helps with the redistribution of blood and can also be useful in warming the body.

2. Increased alertness and energy

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A cold shower helps us remain alert and energetic. It stimulates breathing and helps reduces CO2 intake. Bathing in cold water keeps us more focused throughout the day. A cold water shower is a great way to shock our bodies before a big event and make ourselves more present and aware.

3. Increases immunity

A cold water shower increases white blood cells in the body and improves the metabolic rate. This process releases the white blood cells that protect our body against diseases. Researchers state that this causes an increased metabolic rate which then stimulates the immune system.

4. Loss of weight

A cold shower is believed to increase metabolism. It allows for the creation of brown fat, particularly around the neck and shoulders. This is a fat that generates energy by burning calories. That being said, a cold water shower alone will not help us lose weight; we still need a controlled diet and regular exercise.

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5. Reduced muscle soreness and general fatigue

A cold water shower helps release muscles, which is why feels refreshing to shower with cold water after a long or intense workout. Cold water showers can help minimize pain. This is because cold water exposure leads to stress-induced analgesia (SIA). SIA is one of the reasons why athletes and performers use ice baths to increase their performance. Performers and athletes who take cold baths can reduce their heart rates more quickly than the average person.

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6. Reduces inflammation

A cold water shower constricts circulation at the surface, increasing the circulation at a deeper level to help maintain the ideal body temperature. A cold water shower can thus help prevent cardiovascular disease as it essentially helps increase your hydration level.

7. Better for hair and skin

A cold water shower helps tighten the skin by closing the pores without stripping the skin of natural oils. This is why a cold water shower is preferred for maintaining the quality of the hair and avoiding hair fall.

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8. Relieve’s itchy skin

A cold water shower helps minimize skin itchiness. This means that if we have a skin-related issue, such as eczema, it can be highly beneficial.

Advantages Of A Hot Water Shower

A hot shower has many benefits
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1. Better cardiovascular health

A warm water shower opens the blood vessels and thus can be helpful for people with heart conditions. It can also be useful for people with arterial stiffness, which causes atherosclerosis.

2. Good for Relieving Muscle and Joint Pain

A hot shower is helpful in soothing stiff joints and tired muscles. Bathing with hot water works as a body massage. Your shoulder, back, and neck will get relaxed after a nice bath with lukewarm water.

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3. Improved brain health

A hot water shower impacts the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF helps with nerve cell survival, growth and maturation, learning, and memory. Studies have suggested that hot water baths help increase people’s BDNF levels.

4. Improved sleep

A hot water shower before bed helps us have a better sleep. By bathing in hot water, the temperature of the body increases, and our tense muscles relax. Relaxed muscles soothe us both mentally and physically.

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5. Control Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure

By taking a hot water shower, one can burn a few extra calories, hence having better control over their blood sugar levels. Hot water shower also improves our blood pressure and is good for those who are suffering from heart conditions. However, people with a heart condition should always consult their doctor before they opt for a change in their shower temperature and shower routine.

6. Reduces blemishes

A hot water shower opens up the pores. It can help us clear out oil and dirt more easily, reducing blackheads and blemishes.

Disadvantages Of A Cold Water Shower

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1. If you are already cold

If we are already cold, a cold water shower will make us colder. This can also lead to the flu and fever. Hence, in such a situation, it is recommended to avoid the cold water shower.

2. Not for the sick

It is not recommended to have a cold water shower if we are already not feeling well. Taking a shower in such a situation can only worsen our condition. So, one should avoid taking cold water showers unless they are fit for it.

Disadvantages Of A Hot Water Shower

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1. Not too good for the skin

A hot water shower causes damage to keratin cells that are present at the outer layer of our skin. This creates dry skin and prevents moisture from being locked in. Hot water showers also worsen skin issues such as eczema. Hot water can also cause itching due to excessively dry skin.

2. Increases the blood pressure

People suffering from high blood pressure must avoid a hot water shower unless suggested by their doctor. Hot water showers tend to increase blood pressure.

3. Frizzy hair

Using hot water to wash your hair may lead to frizziness. Hot water takes away the natural oils from the scalp, making your hair and scalp dry.

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The Bottomline

Lukewarm water is an effective way to shower. We can also contrast-shower, ie alternate cold and hot water one minute at a time. While cold showers are great for warm weather, it is best to stick to hot showers in winter. Taking hot water showers is recommended if we are unwell.

While hot showers before bed is a good idea, cold showers are more effective in the morning. Cold showers are also good after an intense workout and after a long workday. Hot showers are good before taking a massage.

Taking hot showers should be avoided for people suffering from skin conditions and rashes. Hot showers can be more effective for an arthritis patient. However, cold showers can reduce inflammation in case of injury.

In Cold Shower vs Hot Shower debate, we must consider our health conditions first. Accordingly, we should decide which type of shower is going to help us more.

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