This habit can be very advantageous if we incorporate it into our routine.
In most people, the thought of showering evokes pleasant sensations. This iconic and pleasant image will immediately disappear if we add the detail that the shower in question is with cold water.
However, a large number of people intentionally shower with cold water in the morning, which clears them up and prepares them for the day. This is because, as most people already know, contact with cold water has multiple advantages for our body. In this article we are going to talk precisely about this fact: about the benefits of showering with cold water, and why this habit should be incorporated into our routines.
14 benefits of showering with cold water
Despite the fact that it is initially aversive stimulation for a large majority of people, showering with cold water has a series of advantages and positive effects on our body and our psyche. Some of these benefits can be observed directly after sporadic contact with cold water, but other benefits will be less visible unless there is a habit or some regularity.
1. Clears and activates mind and body
The main effect that we see directly when we shower with cold water is the fact that it activates and clears us. Thermal receptors and neurons located in the skin are activated to send an alert message to the rest of the system, generating a response by the body in the form of generalized activation to the cold. It is a natural reaction to the body’s need to maintain homeostasis or internal balance at the temperature level.
2. Improves circulation
Exposure to cold water has positive repercussions at the cardiovascular level: in the face of cold our heart rate increases and blood vessels contract. Blood travels at high speed and loaded with oxygen to the main organs and muscles, improving circulation to these areas. In this sense, it is advisable to alternate between cold showers and others with hot water (which would make the blood go more easily to the surface of the skin).
However, people who suffer from some type of heart disease and cardiovascular disorder should be very careful, since the contraction of the blood vessels and the acceleration of the heart rate can be harmful in their case.
3. Increase attention span
Activating the nervous system is another of the benefits of showering with cold water, which stimulates the secretion of certain neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine that makes us able to be attentive and alert.
4. Improve your mood
Showering in cold water has significant effects on your mood. And is that the thermal shock with cold water stimulates the production of norepinephrine in the brain, which ultimately will generate greater activation and a slight improvement in mood, relieving stress and anxiety. Other studies indicate that it also causes a decrease in the level of cortisol.
5. Increase oxygenation
When our body comes into contact with very cold water, we immediately start to speed up our breathing. This is linked to the aforementioned cardiovascular alteration and acceleration. The body needs a greater amount of energy to cope with the cold, which means accelerating the acquisition of oxygen. Thus, oxygen levels in our body increase, as well as the rate at which blood circulates through the body.
6. Speeds up metabolism
As indicated above, in the presence of cold our body will begin to demand energy in order to maintain the internal temperature at adequate levels. To do this, it generates an acceleration of metabolism, consuming the resources stored in the body. The consequence of this is that with exposure to cold we begin to burn sugars and fats to maintain body temperature at acceptable levels.
7. Activates the immune system
The generalized activation of the system and the acceleration of the metabolism generated by the water favors the activation and improvement of the immune system, which is more prepared to fight against infections and external aggressions by releasing more leukocytes or white blood cells.
8. Improves libido and quality and quantity of sperm
Fertility is another aspect that is influenced by showering with cold water. Cold stimulates testosterone secretion, which ultimately has an effect on libido and sexual responsiveness.
9. Reduces inflammation and relieves pain
It is common that when we hit ourselves and have some kind of inflammation, we use the cold to lower it (for example with a bag of ice). This effect is due to the fact that the cells that surround the injured area require a lower amount of oxygen in the cold, reducing the swelling of the affected area. Cold showers have the same effect (although in this case the whole body is exposed to the cold). Likewise, it also helps relieve muscle aches or even headaches.
10. Improve sleep
Another benefit of showering with cold water is found in dreams. Although the fact of taking a cold shower makes us clear up, with the passing of the day it makes it easier for us to relax as we have tensed. It has been seen that it facilitates the conciliation of sleep and that it improves its quality.
11. Promotes better diuresis and renal and lymphatic function
The kidneys and the lymphatic system also see their functioning improved with the cold, allowing a better expulsion of toxic elements and waste from our body.
12. Increase productivity
The benefits of showering with cold water in the morning, taking into account the effects described above, also include an increase in the level of mental activity that the person will be able to perform and an increase in their productivity.
13. Benefits for skin and hair
People who shower excessively often lose the natural protection that covers and protects the skin in the form of fat, especially if they do so with hot water. In the long run, they can dry out skin and hair. Cold water, on the other hand, does not generate this loss of skin fat and also allows the skin to be toned by stretching it. It also prevents hair loss and makes it have a greater shine.
14. Strengthens self-esteem and a sense of self-control
As we have said, most people find cold water a more or less aversive stimulus. That is why the fact of showering with cold water can be experienced as a small challenge or challenge to overcome, which ultimately generates a greater sense of self-control, self-efficacy and self-esteem.