Health Benefits of Taking a Shower with Cold Water

Murat Balanlı, MD
21 November 2022

It is known that cold water has positive effects on our general health. Its effects on the immune system have also been widely studied. Cold water exposure increases the white blood cell (leukocyte) count as the body is forced to respond to changing conditions. Over time, the body gets better at activating defenses. This means that taking cold showers can help increase resistance to common illnesses such as colds and flu.

A 2014 study found that diving into cold water causes the body to release adrenaline. This has two effects: It makes the immune system produce more anti-inflammatory substances. It also reduces the inflammatory response to infections. Both of these effects help the body resist disease.

However, cold contact can increase autophagy (the body's way of cleaning damaged cells) and apoptosis (programmed cell death) inside the body.

A 2007 study showed that cold showers can make the body more resistant to certain types of cancer.


Of course, these are not the only benefits of cold contact, which supports the immune system. Besides all these; It keeps skin and hair healthy, soothes itchy skin, increases brown adipose tissue, aids weight loss, increases resilience to stress, reduces the effects of depression and increases energy levels. In short, it contributes to the optimal functioning of the body.

The ideal way to take a cold shower; at the end of a warm shower is to slowly lower the temperature and cool you down until you start to feel uncomfortable. Then it is to stay under water for 2-3 minutes. Breathing calmly and deeply will help reduce your mental and physical discomfort. You can gradually increase the degree and duration of your cold shower applications over time.

However, if you have some health problems, you should avoid taking cold showers. These health problems are listed as follows;

  • Being underweight or having an eating disorder (which can cause a lot of chills)
  • Have a delicate heart or respiratory disease that makes it difficult to breathe (check with your doctor first)
  • Pregnancy status
  • Symptoms of hypothermia (lower than normal body temperature and chills)
Page content is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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