Do you love to start your day with a hot, steaming shower? While that feeling of warmth may feel therapeutic at the beginning of the day, sometimes you should also give cold showers a try. Yes, we know some of you might dread a cold shower in the morning, especially when it's cold out, but they must have a place in your routine too. Regardless of how you might feel about each type of shower, research shows that both of them have a variety of benefits for your body. So, if you’re that person who prefers sticking to just one type of shower, here’s a comparison of cold showers vs hot showers for you, so that you can understand the benefits of both.
- Which One Is The Best For Your Health
- What Are The Advantages of Cold Showers
- What Are The Disadvantages of Cold Showers
- What Are The Advantages of Hot Showers
- What Are The Disadvantages of Hot Showers
- Some Showering Advice
- FAQs About Cold Shower vs Hot Shower
Which One Is The Best For Your Health
Both cold and hot showers have their own benefits. While cold showers can relieve you of itchy skin, hot showers can relax your muscles. So, choose what shower to take based on the weather and your health conditions, as there is no correct answer to this question.
When to Take Hot or Cold Showers?
- Cold showers are the best after an intense workout and as soon as you wake up.
- Have a hot shower an hour or so before bedtime for improved sleep.
What Are The Advantages of Cold Showers
Cold showers have several benefits, the most important of which is they help the muscles to relax. From time to time, keep taking cold showers unless you are not keeping well.
1. Reduce muscle soreness
If you have ever had a cold water bath after an intense workout, you know that relaxing feeling. Coldwater helps relax your muscles after a long workout, hence cold showers are recommended after an intense training session.
2. Improve circulation
Increased circulation is one of the reasons why cold showers are highly recommended. As the cold water hits your body, it constricts circulation on the surface, thus causing blood in the deeper tissues to circulate faster to maintain ideal body temperature. In that sense, cold showers trigger the circulatory system to reduce inflammation.
3. Protect hair and skin
We all know that bathing with hot water on a regular basis strips your skin and hair of its natural oils. These natural oils are necessary to maintain the natural barrier of the skin and hair. Cold showers do the exact opposite. Instead of stripping your skin and pores of its natural oils, they close pores, which in turn tightens the skin. Cold showers are also gentler on your hair, thus preventing hair fall.
4. Make you alert and energetic
When that stream of cold water hits you in the morning, it shocks your body a bit, thus increasing the heart rate, oxygen intake and alertness. All of this makes you more alert and energetic for the day ahead of you! The next time if you cannot shake off your sleepiness and have a meeting to attend, have a cold shower.
5. Relieve you of itchy skin
If you have a skin condition that causes a lot of itchiness, having a bath with cold water is advised as it is highly beneficial. Coldwater reduces the itchy sensation and provides you with temporary relief.
6. May aid in weight loss
Some fat cells in the body, such as the ones around your neck and shoulder area, generate heat by burning fat. They do this especially when your body is exposed to cold stimuli, like cold water. Thus, this can aid with weight loss. However, you cannot keep bathing with cold water for reducing weight while not having a controlled diet and regular exercise. Cold showers aid in weight loss, they cannot be the primary components for your weight loss goals.
What Are The Disadvantages of Cold Showers
There are not many disadvantages of bathing with cold water. The only disadvantage cold showers can have is when you are already cold or sick. Taking a bath with cold water during such situations is not recommended for obvious reasons. Other than that, you are good to go!
What Are The Advantages of Hot Showers
Just as cold showers have their advantages, so do hot showers. After all, everyone loves a nice hot shower, right?
1. Sound sleep
Hot showers are one of the best ways to release the tension in the body and relax your muscles. Because of this relaxation, you tend to feel sleepy. Thus, in this way, hot water relaxes you and helps you sleep better. This is why it is recommended to take a hot water shower before going to bed.
2. Relief from respiratory symptoms
Every time you have a cough or cold, your mom would surely suggest you do steam inhalation with a drop of eucalyptus oil thrown in for good measure. Why is this? Because when you expose your nose to the heat of steam, it loosens the phlegm, opens the airways and clears your nasal passage.
3. Reduce blemishes
The steam and heat from the hot shower open clogged pores. After this, you can scrub the oil and dirt out of the skin, which reduces blemishes and blackheads.
4. Relax muscles and improve joint health
You already know that hot water effectively helps release body tension and soothe muscle fatigue. It relaxes the nerves, making you feel calm. Additionally, hot showers also reduce stiffness in the joints like the ankles, knees and shoulders.
What Are The Disadvantages of Hot Showers
- Hot water can dry your skin out and irritate it. It can also damage keratin cells present on the outermost layer of the skin. Due to this, it makes the skin dry, preventing it from locking in moisture.
- Washing hair with hot water is not advisable as it strips the scalp of its natural oils, leaving it frizzy.
- Hot showers can also cause itchiness.
- Certain skin conditions, such as eczema, may get aggravated due to hot showers. This is because they can cause dryness of the skin.
- Hot showers are not advisable for people suffering from high blood pressure, as they may increase it.
Some Showering Advice
- It is best to shower once a day and twice during summers.
- Showering for a longer duration can lead to dry skin and hair, so keep your showers for five minutes or less.
- Be mindful of the products you use – make sure you avoid those that have harsh ingredients. Opt for skin-friendly products.
- Do not wash your hair more than twice a week, or else it will become dry – regardless of whether you wash it with cold water or hot.
FAQs About Cold Shower vs Hot Shower
Q. Is it good to have cold showers every day?
A. Unless you are sick, and unless it’s freezing cold, having a cold shower every day is good. It’ll improve your circulation and make you alert and energetic.
Q. Is it bad to shower with hot water first and then cold?
A. No, if you have a contrast shower, it does not harm you in any way.
Q. How long should you take a cold shower?
A. You can start with warm water and then take a cold shower for 2-5 minutes.
Written by Team BB on Sep 13, 2021