The Benefits of Cold Showers: Boosting Immunity and Energy

You’ve probably heard of cold showers and cold plunges.

Everybody’s doing it.

Be it athletes, singers, actors, it seems that the world has gone crazy for this relatively new health trend.

Cold showers, or cold water immersion, are pretty simple.

They involve exposing the body to cold water, typically around 50°F, for short periods.

This practice has gained popularity thanks to extreme athlete Wim Hof, who claims that a cold shower a day can decrease stress and increase energy levels, and those who are following his method, have started a cult-like following.

But what does the science say?

Are cold showers really worth the discomfort, and what do they do for you and your health?

Health Benefits of Cold Showers

Boosting the Immune System

Cold showers might boost your immune system.

A study from the Netherlands, Wim Hof’s home country, found that people who took daily cold showers after their warm ones got sick less often than those who only took warm showers.

This group missed work less frequently, indicating they were more resilient to illness.

While the exact reasons aren’t clear, this suggests a potential boost in immunity.

Another study showed that athletic young men who immersed themselves in 14°C water for an hour, three times a week, also had a stronger immune response.

So, it obviously works, but how exactly – we don’t know.

Another benefit, especial for elderly, is improvement of blood circulation.

Improving Circulation

Cold water immersion can significantly improve circulation.

When exposed to cold water, blood vessels constrict, reducing blood flow.

Once out of the cold, the body works to warm itself up, increasing blood flow and improving circulation.

Think of it like exercising a muscle.

Just as lifting weights makes your muscles stronger, alternating between cold and warm conditions trains your blood vessels.

The constriction and expansion of blood vessels improve their flexibility and efficiency, much like how muscles get stronger and more efficient with regular workouts.

Over time, this “exercise” for your blood vessels can lead to better overall circulation.

Apart from overall better physical health, most people focus more on psychological benefits when talking about cold plunges and showers.

Now, let’s go through those benefits!

Enhancing Mental Health

Cold showers may also have mental health benefits.

When cold water hits the skin, it activates cold receptors, sending a surge of electrical impulses to the brain.

This rush of signals can act like a natural antidepressant, potentially helping to reduce symptoms of depression.

Imagine your brain as a bustling city, and the cold water as a wave of fresh air sweeping through the streets, clearing out the fog and bringing in clarity.

While research on this is still limited, many people swear by the mood-boosting effects of cold water exposure.

This anecdotal evidence suggests that, much like a refreshing breeze, cold showers can invigorate the mind and lift the spirits.

Increasing Energy Levels

Cold showers stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the fight-or-flight response.

This boosts the hormone noradrenaline, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, providing a natural surge of energy.

Think of it as jump-starting your body’s engine.

Just like how a sudden burst of adrenaline can get you moving quickly, a cold shower in the morning can wake you up and get you ready to tackle the day.

Many people find that this icy jolt leaves them feeling more alert and energized, ready to face whatever comes their way.

Yes, sure it’s going to cause some discomfort at first, but if you get through it – you might be in a world of wonders!

How to Start Taking Cold Showers

If you’re new to cold showers, it’s best to start gradually.

Begin with your usual warm shower and slowly lower the temperature until it’s cold.

Start with short bursts of 15 to 30 seconds and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts.

Remember, the first few seconds are the hardest, but your body will adjust, and you’ll start feeling the benefits.

It’s like taking a refreshing swim in the ocean.

For most people, the first couple of seconds are horrible.

You’re cold, and only thing you’re thinking about is “why did I enter…”.

However, as the time goes by, your body gets used to the water temperature, and suddenly it’s not that cold.

On the contrary, now you don’t want to get out!

That’s how cold showers work as well, just a bit more to extreme.


While cold showers can be beneficial, they aren’t suitable for everyone.

People with heart conditions should consult a healthcare professional before starting this practice, as the sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure could be risky.

Additionally, the initial shock can trigger a strong fight-or-flight response, which may be overwhelming for some.


Cold showers offer a simple, natural way to boost your immune system, improve circulation, enhance mental health, and increase energy levels.

While more research is needed to fully understand all the benefits, incorporating cold showers into your daily routine could be a refreshing and health-boosting change.

They don’t cost much, and benefits might be huge for you, so try it!

As with any significant lifestyle change, it’s important to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any health concerns.