Hot Shower VS Cold Shower
Are you a hot shower person or a cold shower person? We shiver to think of showering in cold water early in the morning. But when it’s a hot, sweltering day, nothing sounds better than a cold and refreshing shower. Showers are not only cleaning and cleansing, but they could also help promote bodily functions, depending on the temperature.
BENEFITS OF A HOT SHOWER
Hot showers are usually more pleasant than cold ones. They may also be beneficial for health. Some examples of potential health benefits:
Improved cardiovascular health
Warm water appears to improve blood flow in people with chronic heart failure. This is due to a natural widening of the blood vessels when exposed to high temperatures.
A study explored the effects of warm water immersion on arterial stiffness, which occurs when the arteries within the body become less flexible. Arterial stiffness plays a major role in cardiovascular condition atherosclerosis, which can lead to high blood pressure.
This same reason will also give you relief from migraines, congestion and menstrual cramps. On the other hand, cold shower can increase the intensity of cramps.
Improved muscle and joint health
Hot showers encase blood flow, helping soothe stiff joints and tired muscles.
Improved brain health
BDNF=brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a protein that has several important functions in the brain and spinal cord, including:
- Promoting the survival of nerve cells
- Promoting the growth, maturation, and maintenance of nerve cells
- Promoting learning and memory
A study found that participants who had hot showers had significantly higher BDNF levels. They concluded that hyperthermia induced by the hot showers increased the production of BDNF.
A hot shower may improve sleep quality due to the combination of how the body relaxes while bathing and the fall in body temperature afterwards.
BENEFITS OF A COLD SHOWER
A cold shower may not be a pleasant experience, but it can provide certain health benefits for example:
Exposure to cold water causes the blood vessels on the surface of the skin to constrict. This diverts blood flow away from the surface of the skin.
As blood travels away from the skin, blood vessels in deeper body tissues dilate. This improves circulation in the deeper tissues.
Lower cortisol levels
Cortisol is the “fight-or-flight” hormone that the body releases in response to stress. Cold showers have been shown to drop cortisol levels and this helps reduce stress levels in general.
Coldwater exposure triggers an automatic pain response called stress-induced analgesia (SIA).
SIA is a reduced pain response during or following exposure to a stressful stimulus, such as cold water.
Ease symptoms of depression
Cold showers can help ease symptoms of depression. The intense shock of the cold water can send a jolt of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. This offers an anti-depressive effect and helps boost mood.
WHEN TO TAKE HOT OR COLD SHOWER
Some people with arthritis enjoy hot showers in the morning because it helps them feel more mobile. However, cold showers are beneficial for injuries accompanied by inflammation.
To improve sleep with a hot shower, the best time is 1-2 hours before sleeping.
People with eczema and other rashes should avoid hot showers altogether, as these can further dry out the skin.
Long baths or showers that are too cold or too hot could excessively lower or raise a person’s body temperature.
As long as people avoid extreme temperatures, taking cold and hot showers can provide certain health benefits.
Studies seem to suggest that both cold and hot temperatures can have beneficial, but differing, effects on the body.
A person should consider the types of effects they want to achieve before deicing whether to take a cold or hot shower.