The short-term health effects of cold exposure

It's quite easy to find webpages describing health benefits from cold showers. Here is an example: 5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Cold Shower | Hawk cHill. Warning: the author has no idea what they are talking about, and you should not click on that link. The study they cite to support benefits for depression presents a hypothesis and proposal for conducting a clinical trial [10.1016/j.mehy.2007.04.05], but no results. The study they cite to support benefits for anxiety involved exposure to a 42.0°C spa, which is hot, not cold [https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/biomedres/27/1/27_1_11/_pdf/-char/en].

What is known:

Summary: Cold exposure activates the sympathetic nervous system, so you get blast of norepinephrine and dopamine. If cold water hits your upper face, then your parasympathetic nervous system is also activated, and your pulse goes down. Cold shocks may be severe physiological stressors. If you think cold exposure will elevate your testosterone, then you have been submerged for too long.

Author: Steven Bagley

Created: 2021-01-24 Sun 11:49