Icy showers can help improve circulation and immunity, alertness and even help with depression
Icy showers can help improve circulation and immunity, alertness and even help with depression

Are cold showers good for your health?

Next time you take a shower you might want to think twice about which way you twist the tap 

Sarah Young
Tuesday 04 October 2016 16:51
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Wellness fads come and go but shivering in the shower seems to be one of those theories that are constantly cemented by supportive claims.

The supposed benefits include improved immunity and circulation, stress relief, alertness and mental clarity - but is that enough to convince you to partake in a flow of cold water each morning?

The case for icy showers has once again been buoyed by a recent study carried out in The Netherlands. It suggests that participants who had a cold blast at the end of their shower recovered more quickly from illnesses, and took fewer days off work, than those who had regular showers.

More impressively, out of the study's 3,000 participants, two thirds chose to continue having cold showers and reported that it boosted their energy levels as much as a strong cup of coffee.

Sophie Kreitzberg, of Refinery29, put it to the test too with a 30-day cold shower challenge saying: "Immersing myself in a cold shower felt really damn nice in the morning, and I would recommend it as a quick energy- and mood-booster."

There’s also evidence that stepping into chilly water can you make you feel more mentally alert; as a result of the shock you begin to breathe more deeply which boosts your heart rate, increases circulation and releases endorphins.

Its medical marvel doesn’t stop there though, as a recent BBC Documentary, The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, saw Dr Chris Van Tulleken attempt to treat a patient suffering from depression with this exact method.

BBC Documentary, The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, saw Dr Chris Van Tulleken try this method

Sarah, had been taking antidepressants for eight consecutive years, was prescriped a dose of cold-water swimming to steady her mood.

The case for undertaking a daily ice bucket challenge might not seem instantly appealing but the proof is there.

So next time you take a shower, you might want to think twice about which way you twist the tap.

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