3 Epic Benefits of Cold Showers

They’re cold and painful, and oh so good.

Maddie Rose
4 min readMar 20, 2023
Photo by Robert Gomez on Unsplash

There are few things more exciting in life than finding a new, simple action that can have life changing benefits.

Who’d have thought that the art of turning off your hot tap before standing there as the cold water plummets your body whilst you scream into the abyss of your bathroom tiles would be so damn blissful?

I love learning about all things health and wellness. Studies provide new facts and data every day on the keys to living a long, healthy and happy life. But in order for me to implement certain behaviours and change particular habits, I need to know the why, not just the what. I can’t just be told to do something, but rather, I need to be told why it is I’m supposed to be doing something — especially if it involves freezing my ass off.

Having a cold shower (classified at water below 60/ 70°F / 21 degrees) isn’t exactly fun, at least not at the time. It’s (obviously) cold and uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels like you can’t breathe. There’s a sense of panic, your body starts to react. Why, oh why, would I implore that you add this to part of your daily routine?

Well, there’s a few things…

1. They can improve your mental health, energy and focus.

Exposing our body to cold temperatures stimulates the production of beta-endorphins. When we take a cold shower or bath for example, electrical impulses are sent from our nerve endings to our brain and this chemical reaction may have an antidepressant effect on some people.

As explained by Huberman Lab, “While not true of every stress, cold exposure causes the prolonged release of dopamine. Dopamine is a powerful molecule capable of elevating mood, enhancing focus, attention, goal-directed behaviour, etc. Even short bouts of cold exposure can cause a lasting increase in dopamine and sustained elevation of mood, energy, and focus.”

According to Huberman Lab, the increase of dopamine that a person can experience from cold-water exposure was comparable to what one would see from cocaine usage. The difference being that the dopamine boost one experiences from cocaine is a quick rise and crash, whereas cold water exposure can take about approximately 3 hours for someone to return to their baseline of dopamine, making it a far longer lasting boost.

2. They can boost your immunity and metabolism.

Taking a cold shower may keep you from catching a cold by heightening your immune system and making you more resistant to illness.

Scientific studies have found that taking a cold shower increases the number of white blood cells in your body. These blood cells protect your body against diseases. Researchers believe that this process is related to an increased metabolic rate, which stimulates the immune response.

A clinical trial in the Netherlands even found that cold showers led to a 29% reduction in people calling off sick from work. Another study found that cold showers could possibly make the body more resistant to certain types of cancer.

Studies have also found that cold exposure increases metabolism as the body has to burn calories to increase core body temperature.

3. They can boost your energy and will increase your circulation.

When our bodies are subjected to harsh temperatures, they naturally switch to survival mode. This causes our heart rates to increase. A cold shower will also put your circulatory system into overdrive, causing your heart to pump more efficiently and causing the circulation throughout your body to improve.

An additional benefit to increased circulation is better looking skin. Topped with the fact that cold water can help tighten your pores and reduce inflammation, cold showers are a fantastic way to get clearer skin and healthier hair.

I don’t know about you, but I think those three reasons are pretty epic, and they are certainly reason enough to withstand an uncomfortable 60 seconds every morning.

If you’re new to the practice, start small. 15–30 seconds once a day for a week (30 seconds is enough to see benefits). Then bump it up (studies have shown that you would require no more than 3 minutes). You’ll never get 100% used to it, which is a good thing, because you’ll never be immune to the benefits.

It’s a small, easy and (aside from paying for water) relatively free exercise to add into your life that brings immense benefits. If you would like to read more about cold water therapy benefits that gets a bit more technical, I highly recommend this article from Huberman Lab or listening to his podcast: Use of Deliberate Cold Exposure for Health and Performance.



Maddie Rose

Leaving parties early since 1991. Advertising suit by day.