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Cold Showers vs. Hot Showers: What Are the Benefits

How changing temperatures can help your mind and body

Blog
Thursday 9th June 2022

Showering is so ingrained in our daily routines that we often don’t consider its benefits beyond hygiene and cleanliness. However, the temperature of your shower can make a massive difference to the body and mind. We’ve evaluated the benefits of cold showers and hot showers to help you decide which one might be best for you or whether switching between the two could revolutionise your routine. If you’re upgrading your existing shower to a new model, discover how to choose the right shower for your bathroom.

What are the benefits of a hot shower? 

Thanks to the chilly British weather, hot showers are far more popular than cold showers in the UK. Besides warming us up on bitterly cold mornings, hot showers have plenty more to offer. Whether you’re experiencing muscle pain post-workout or want to unwind after a busy, stressful day at work, these are some ways a hot shower can help: 

  • Relieves muscle tension - Heat is excellent at soothing muscle tension or stiffness. Hot water paired with a powerful showerhead can massage any knots, aches and pains caused by intense exercise or sitting at a desk for long periods. 
  • Eases stress – If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, a hot shower is the best remedy. Studies show that hot showers stimulate your brain’s oxytocin production, lifting your mood. 
  • Improves sleep - The stress-relieving benefits of a hot shower can help your body relax before bedtime and enhance sleep quality.  
  • Relieves congestion- If you’re struggling with a cold and finding it hard to breathe through your nose, jump in a hot shower. Steam acts as a decongestant, helping open and drain your nasal passages. 
  • Regulates body temperature - When you’ve been out for a chilly morning run or swim or got caught in an icy downpour, a hot shower is the best way to warm your body up gradually. Research suggests we contract viruses more during winter because cold temperatures suppress our immune systems, so restoring and maintaining your body’s natural temperature is vital.  

When to take hot showers 

Wondering what the best time to take a hot shower is? In the evening, around one to two hours before going to bed. Taking a hot shower in the evening will also help regulate your body temperature and relieve any built-up muscle tension.  

There’s nothing worse than fluctuating shower temperature, especially when you’re trying to warm up. Explore our thermostatic shower buying guide to discover the benefits of this temperature regulating design.  

Potential risks 

A long, hot shower may seem like the perfect remedy for relieving tension or warming up on a cold day, but scorching temperatures can scald your skin and cause irritation. Hot showers can also cause your skin and hair to dry out, so always use hydrating products such as conditioners, hair masks, hair oils, body lotions and moisturisers after your shower. 

Try the Mira Opero range featuring our innovative Mira HydroGlo™ technology, allowing you to pre-set the temperature before stepping in. Once the water reaches your chosen temperature, the warm-up indicator will pulse.  

What are the benefits of a cold shower? 

For most people, the idea of a cold shower is highly unappealing. But are cold showers good for you? The truth is, they have many health and wellbeing benefits that hot showers don’t provide, including: 

  • Improving mental alertness– If an entirely cold shower sounds too extreme, try turning the temperature down for the last few minutes. This works best for morning showers, as the sudden change in temperature helps wake up your body and mind.  
  • Boosting mood- Research has shown that taking cool showers (not freezing cold, but around 20˚C) for a few minutes can help treat depression. The cold water sends electrical impulses to the brain, boosting your mood. However, this is not a standalone treatment and should only be employed with a therapist's approval.  
  • Protecting hair and skin- Hot water can be bad for our hair and skin. It can cause dry, itchy skin and split ends. Cold water is much more hydrating and closes the pores to prevent grease and dirt from building up.  
  • Improving circulation - Cold showers can help improve circulation, prompting blood to rush to your organs and pump around your body more efficiently.  
  • Aiding weight loss- Our bodies have two kinds of fat: white and brown. White fat is generated when we don’t burn enough calories, while brown is the good fat that helps keep us warm. Taking cold showers encourages brown fats, which helps with the loss of white fat. 
  • Reducing muscle soreness - A cold shower after a workout can help your muscles recover quickly and prevent you from feeling stiff the next day. 

When to take cold showers 

Cold showers are most effective in the morning, helping wake you up quickly, whilst hot showers help you relax in the evening. You can also take a cold shower after exercising to reduce muscle soreness. Ultimately, the time of day and temperature you shower at is entirely down to your personal preference! 

Potential risks 

If you’re already cold, it’s not advisable to take a cold shower, as it will take your body longer to warm up afterwards. This also applies if you’re feeling under the weather or are trying out cold showers for the first time, as extremely low temperatures can shock your immune system.  

We recommend easing into cooler temperatures gradually and turning your shower cold for just a few seconds, then try a few minutes once your body is used to it!  

There are numerous benefits of both hot and cold showers. For the best experience, you should always listen to your body and experiment by gradually altering the temperature. Explore our collection of digital showers and mixer showers to create your perfect temperature.