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Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers for Your Health | Improve Circulation, Boost Immunity, Reduce Inflammation with Cold Shower

A cold shower, even for a few minutes can help you heal, recover, and make you feel great. Cold showers work as cold therapy that offers several health benefits. Though cold showers are not a primary source of treatment for any disease or health issue, they can help in improving the symptoms, providing relief, and enhancing general well-being.

Read below and check out some of the surprising benefits of cold showers for your health.

Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers For Your Health

Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers For Your Health

Cold Showers Increases Circulation

One of the primary health benefits of cold showers is it helps in increasing blood circulation. Even experts recommend cold showers for increasing the circulation of blood in the body.

As cold water hits your body when you have a cold shower, it constricts circulation on the surface of your body. This leads the blood in the deeper tissues of your body to circulate faster and maintain an ideal temperature of the body. Thus, exposure to cold water triggers your circulatory system, and this ultimately benefits in reducing inflammation and also prevents several cardiovascular diseases.

Bolster Your Immunity To Common Cold

Cold showers bolster your immunity to the common cold. Cold water stimulates your Leukocytes or the blood cells that fight off infections.

According to a study in the Netherlands, it was found that people who switched to cold showers for 30, 60, and 90 seconds for continuous 90 days, called out sick from work 29% less than those who did not switch to cold showers.(1)

Another study has mentioned that there is a connection between cold showers and improved cancer survival.(2)

Cold Shower Helps In Reducing Symptoms Of Depression

Today, depression is one of the most common mental health issues experienced by people. Symptoms of depression can be improved with cold water therapy. Though there is limited research in this regard, some existing research shows some positive results.

In a clinical study, participants who took cold showers regularly for several months reported reduced symptoms of depression.(3) Some other research suggests that cold water might enhance your mood and reduce anxiety.

Benefits of Cold Shower in Reducing Inflammation and Preventing Muscle Soreness

Cold showers also benefit in reducing inflammation and preventing muscle soreness. Cold temperature makes the blood vessels of your body tighten up (vasoconstriction). When this happens, blood moves to the core of your body and other vital organs. During this process, the blood gets naturally rich in oxygen and nutrient.

As your body again heats up, the blood vessels of your body expand (Vasodilate), thus bringing that oxygenated blood back to your bodily tissues. As it flows back, it helps in reducing inflammation and thus benefits in preventing muscle soreness (which occurs a couple of days after intense exercise).

Increases The Metabolism Of Your Body and Helps in Losing Weight

Another surprising benefit of cold showers is that it increases your body’s metabolism. Our body expends energy while trying to remain warm in a cold shower. This can cause burning of a small amount of calories and an increased metabolism in the body.

Taking a cold shower twice or thrice a week can contribute to increased metabolism. Over time, this might also help fight obesity. However, the research about how exactly cold showers benefits in losing weight is unclear.(4) But, research shows that cold showers can balance certain hormone levels and help in healing the gastrointestinal system, which might help in weight loss.

Cold Showers Helps In Reducing Pain

As per an article published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, it is found that cold water application can have local anesthetic-like effects for reducing or relieving pain.(4)

Being exposed to cold water causes your blood vessels to constrict, and this can help in reducing any sort of swelling that might be causing pain. Cold water can even slow the speed at which nerve signals conduct impulses, and this can reduce the rate at which your nerves transmit pain signals to your brain. This in turn lowers your perception of pain.

Cold Shower Increases The Level Of Alertness

Cold showers induce a higher state of alertness in you. It also stimulates you to take deeper breaths, reducing the level of CO2 throughout the body and thus benefits in improving your concentration level. Thus, cold showers keep you alert and focused throughout the day.

Skin and Hair Health Benefits Of Cold Showers

Though there is limited scientific research regarding the benefits of cold showers on skin and hair, anecdotal evidence points to certain positive effects. It is said that cold water tightens and constricts the flow of blood, which in turn gives your skin a healthier glow. It is also said that cold water closes and strengthens the hair cuticles. Over time, your hair might become stronger and healthier with cold showers.

Health Considerations Before Taking Cold Showers

Some of the health considerations that must be followed before taking cold showers are listed below.

  • Maintain precaution if you have been diagnosed or have concerns about diseases like cold urticaria or hives. This is a skin reaction that occurs when the body is exposed to cold temperatures.
  • Avoid cold showers if you have heart disease, since a shock of cold might put added stress on your heart.
  • Avoid cold showers if you have Raynaud’s syndrome, as it can result in numbness in your toes and fingers when exposed to cold temperatures.
  • Cold showers are not a great idea if you have already been caught with a cold.
  • Avoid cold showers if you are already sick or suffering from illness.


There are several surprising health benefits of cold showers. However, one must know that if you are suffering from any health condition or if you are habitually taking showers with hot water, then immediately switching over to the cold shower can cause you more harm than it can benefit you. So, the ideal way to take a cold shower is to ease slowly and gradually into the habit.

Begin by lowering the temperature of the water slowly at the end of your regular shower. Make the water feel comfortable enough at first. So, do not suddenly switch to extremely cold temperatures. Try to remain in slightly cold water for 2-3 minutes and take deep breaths. This would reduce the discomfort in your mind. Then slowly try to increase the temperature and duration. This way, you will not harm yourself.


  1. 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. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 15;11(9):e0161749. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161749. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2018 Aug 2;13(8):e0201978. PMID: 27631616; PMCID: PMC5025014.
  2. Shevchuk NA, Radoja S. Possible stimulation of anti-tumor immunity using repeated cold stress: a hypothesis. Infect Agent Cancer. 2007 Nov 13;2:20. doi: 10.1186/1750-9378-2-20. PMID: 17999770; PMCID: PMC2211456.
  3. Nikolai A. Shevchuk (2008), ‘Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression.’ Medical Hypotheses. V. 70 (5) pp, 995-1001. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2007.04.052
  4. Mooventhan A, Nivethitha L. Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. N Am J Med Sci. 2014 May;6(5):199-209. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.132935. PMID: 24926444; PMCID: PMC4049052.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 14, 2023

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