Many celebrities and wellness gurus swear by cold showers, from the late actress Katherine Hepburn to supermodel Miranda Kerr.
With so many people touting the benefits of an early morning shiver session, others have begun asking questions like, “Should I only shower in cold water?” or “Are hot showers good for you?”
You’re not alone in your musings about the ideal shower temperature. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you to help you decide between hot and cold showers.
The benefits of both are explained below so you can make the right choice for your health and wellness goals.
Benefits of Hot Showers
Are hot showers good for you? Yes!
Cold showers are getting a lot of love right now, but hot showers also deserve some love.
Here are some reasons to stick to your daily hot showers:
Little can compare to the relief you feel when you step into a steamy shower while dealing with a cold, sinus infection, or severe allergy symptoms.
It doesn’t matter if you’re under the weather or just dealing with springtime hay fever. A nice hot shower is an excellent choice.
The heat opens your airways, loosens phlegm, and clears your nasal passages so you can breathe more easily. Add some fresh eucalyptus, and you might as well be in a 5-star spa.
Hot showers are also helpful when you’re dealing with tense or tired muscles. If you’re feeling sore after a tough workout session or a weekend of moving boxes into your new house, a hot shower can loosen up your muscles and help you feel less stiff.
A hot shower before bed can help you relax before bed and improve your sleep.
A 2019 study showed that those who took a hot shower for at least 10 minutes one or two hours before bed enjoyed better sleep quality compared to those who didn’t take a hot shower.
Another study showed that exposure to warm water before bed lowered blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can help you feel more relaxed and sleepy.
Considering the blood pressure-lowering benefits of warm or hot water before bed, it makes sense that a hot shower could also help you fall asleep faster. If you tend to toss and turn in bed, try taking a hot shower first.
Benefits of Cold Showers
Are cold showers good for you? The answer is also yes!
If you’re thinking about trying out a daily cold shower, consider these benefits:
A cold shower first thing in the morning will definitely open your eyes and help you feel more alert.
If you struggle with grogginess in the morning and need some extra pep in your step (but don’t want to add another shot of espresso to your latte), try stepping into a cold shower for a couple of minutes.
The shock from the cold water will increase your heart rate and oxygen intake, making you feel more awake and ready to conquer the day.
When exposed to cold water, circulation on the body’s surface is constricted. As a result, blood in the deeper tissues circulates faster to maintain a healthy body temperature.
Because they boost circulation, cold showers can reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
Healthy Hair and Skin
Cold showers are also good for your hair and skin.
Hot water dries out the sebum layer. The sebum layer is a naturally lubricated barrier that protects the skin and strengthens the hair cuticles.
Cold showers could be more beneficial if you struggle with dry, brittle hair or eczema-prone skin.
Some people also find that their skin has a healthier glow after a cold shower. This glow might have to do with the fact that cold water constricts blood flow.
Hot vs. Cold: Which Should You Choose?
As you can see, both hot and cold showers offer benefits. It’s up to you to decide which one you prefer.
If you struggle with poor sleep and need help winding down at the end of the day, or if you’re recovering from a cold, a hot shower is a great choice. If you need help waking up in the morning or have sensitive skin, consider choosing a cold shower instead.
At the end of the day, if you’re clean, that matters most.
Step Up Your Shower Game Today
You now have a much more nuanced answer to the question, “Are hot showers good for you?”
Use the information discussed above to decide whether a hot or cold shower is best for you and your health goals.
Whichever option you choose, you might need a little extra help staying motivated to make them part of your routine. If so, BetterYou can help with personalized goals and nudges to keep you on track.
Reach out today for more information!