Hot or Cold Shower?

Do you ever wonder how some people can take freezing cold showers but other people can take steaming hot shower? Is one better than the other? Most sources focus more on the benefits of cold showers rather than hot showers.

In her article “7 Reasons Why Taking Cool Showers Is Good For Your Health,” Lizette Borreli talks about the benefits that cold showers have on the human body. She first said that cold showers increases one’s alertness. The cold water on the body may be uncomfortable and painful, which alerts the body to wake up. Borelli cited Jessica Krant who is a board-certified dermatologist that stated cold water is better for the skin. She said that hot water may strip important nutrients off of the outermost skin layer, so using cold water would help prevent that. Borelli also addresses the face that cold water closes the pores of your skin, which would stop dirt from clogging them. Although there have been studies done to see if hot or cold showers affect a person’s health, in particular muscle soreness relief, it cannot be proven that cold showers are definitely more helpful. However most scientists believe that cold water is better. According to Borelli, cold water stimulate weight loss. She references the Joslin Diabetes Center, who stated that brown fat, which is the fat that releases energy in the form of heat to keep our bodies warm, burns faster than white fat (belly, neck, leg fat). This is because brown fat is activated in the cold, so exposure to cold water triggers the fat to burn. A group of researchers at the Turku PET Center in Finland did a study that involved athletes soaking their bodies in cold water and recording their muscle soreness. It was found that their muscles were less sore days after exercising after soaking them in cold water than if they were to take a hot shower after exercising. Borelli cites a study that was done Werner Seims about the affect that the temperature of water has on one’s uric acid level. It was found that exposure to a cold stimulus (ex. cold water) decreased the levels of uric acid in the body. Borelli’s final benefit of cold showers that she lists is that cold water helps treat depression and reduce stress. A study found on PubMed researches the affect that cold water has on the brain. According to this study, exposure to the cold sends a large amount of electrical impulses from nerves to the brain, which can cause an anti-depressive mood. There are many studies and observations done by researchers that support cold showers being healthier for the human body because of its ability to reduce negativity in the body, such as fat and stress, and improves the wellness of a human body.

On the other hand, Livestrong provides an article that thats the benefits of hot showers. One benefit that Deborah Dunham, that author of the article, states is hot water improves circulation in the body and helps loosen muscles which relieves pain. In the case of exercising, taking a hot shower before a workout can loosen the muscles and prevent muscle soreness post exercising. Dunham also states that hot showers can help reduce sickness. Being in a steamy environment clears up the nasal passageway and rids mucus in the lungs, which prevents having trouble breathing or a cough. Her final benefit of a hot shower is it helps with sleep. She states that “If you are stressed or have trouble sleeping, taking a hot shower for 10 minutes calms your body, mind and nerves.” The fact that the steam and hot water relieves muscle tension, provide warmth and comfort, and reduces sickness altogether results in a calm body.

Even though hot showers and cold showers share similar benefits, it is hard to say for sure which one if more beneficial. Depending on the condition of the body, one shower might be better than the other. So, if you’re feeling sick or having trouble sleeping take a hot shower. If you need to wake yourself up and want to burn some fat, take a cold shower.

1 thought on “Hot or Cold Shower?

  1. Giana Shan Yu Han

    Hot or cold? I often go through that debate as I turn on the shower. I, too, had heard that cold showers are more beneficial for one’s health, but it also made sense to me that hot showers would be good as well. In this post, it addresses the fact that cold water is good for the skin because it closes up pores, which is something I did not know. Does this mean hot water is bad for the skin? A popular features at spas is the sauna which applies heat, so it seems some people believe it is good for the skin. This blogaddresses the controversy over whether steam is good for the skin or not. I generally give in and choose a warm shower, which seems to be the right choice for when I’m showering before bed. However, this post will make me think more about which temperature to choose according to the situation.

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