Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 5 minutes read
Quick summary
Most people don't think of an ice bath or cold shower as a way to boost testosterone levels or provide much in the form of health benefits, but studies show that they are beneficial for various health-related issues

When it comes to finding a way to boost testosterone levels, there's lots of information available on what can help. So, it may not surprise you that utilizing cold water has been researched as another option. Over the years, cold showers, ice baths or immersing yourself in cold water are shown to have health benefits. But do cold showers increase testosterone?

What Research Says About Cold Showers and Testosterone 

Testosterone is mainly produced by Leydig cells in the testes, which are responsible for developing male characteristics. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland control testosterone production. 

The production of testosterone is affected by various factors, including age, health, stress, and lifestyle, such as diet and exercise. (1) While studies exist to see if cold showers support testosterone production, this remains unconfirmed.

According to a study, (2) cold showers don't significantly affect testosterone levels. One study even showed a decrease in testosterone when exposed to cold water (3). They conclude that exposure to cold water may offer health benefits, but it may not help boost testosterone.

Several studies show that exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase testosterone levels. (4) Diet, weight, and other lifestyle influences also contribute to testosterone levels. Even though a cold shower may not increase testosterone, it may provide some benefits, making the shock of stepping into a cold shower easier to take.

11 Health Benefits of Cold Showers

While nothing feels better than getting into a nice hot shower, turning the knob a bit toward cold can be good for your health. According to UCLA Health (5), a cold shower is about 60 °F or less water. Although ice baths, cold plunge pools, and cold showers aren't necessarily a treatment for any specific condition, they do provide a host of health benefits that include:

1. Do cold showers boost your metabolism

Metabolism is responsible for how we burn fat. When we get into a cold shower, our body uses energy to stay warm, increasing metabolism to keep body temperature normal. Of course, cold showers alone won't help us lose weight. But a few cold showers a week and a healthy diet and exercise plan may help. (6)

2. Reduces inflammation

When exposed to cold, blood vessels constrict, moving blood to the vital organs and increasing oxygen levels in the blood. When the temperature warms, the blood vessels return to normal and circulate the blood to tissues, flushing out inflammation, which can reduce muscle soreness. (7)

3. Cold showers and libido

It's common for young men to feel overly excited by the mere presence of any woman, but the advice of ‘take a cold shower, may not be the best idea. Brief cold showers can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, triggering a cascade of hormonal shifts.  In men, this may result in a boost in testosterone production. Although studies are limited, some people claim cold showers boost sex drive.  

4. Improves circulation

The initial shock of standing under cold water can be uncomfortable, to say the least. It's because our body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature, putting our circulatory system into overdrive. However, increasing circulation and blood supply may offer some benefits. These include a healthy heart and brain health and even giving skin a healthy glow.

5. Reduces depression symptoms

Depression affects many people, and depending on the severity, it may require medical help to care for our mental health. Still, according to research, (8) cold showers for 5 minutes several times a week may reduce symptoms by increasing clarity and energy, leading to feelings of well-being. 

6. Reduces colds

According to research, (9) cold water can stimulate blood cells that fight infections that cause the common cold and flu. One study showed people who took cold showers for 90 days had fewer reports of illness. (10)

7. Improves mood

Taking a cold shower triggers receptors in your skin, releasing endorphins that elevate mood and reduce anxiety. Some say it's similar to a runner's high. (11)

8. Decreased recovery time

Athletic trainers have used cold water immersion, such as ice baths, for years to alleviate muscle soreness. Ice baths may also reduce the time needed for muscle recovery.

9. Increases focus

Cold showers improve circulation and blood flow to the brain, which enhances mental clarity, alertness and focus. 

10. Improves resilience

Taking a cold shower isn't easy and takes a certain amount of willpower. That mental push out of your comfort zone makes you mentally stronger and able to handle complex situations. (12)

11. Fights illness

While our bodies have an immune system to fight disease, cold showers can help by releasing leukocytes. These are white blood cells that fight infection and increase resistance to the flu and other common illnesses.

Although cold showers may provide various benefits, according to research, they aren't helpful when it comes to boosting testosterone levels. 

Conclusion: Do Cold Showers Increase Testosterone?

Cold showers may support a healthy diet, fitness routine, and lifestyle choices. Although they may not help boost testosterone, a  healthy lifestyle, keeping your weight in check, and testosterone replacement therapy can be beneficial.

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