The Great Debate: Cold vs. Hot Showers
There’s a good chance that, at one point or another, you’ve found yourself debating the preferred temperature of a shower (or bath) with your roommate, significant other, or family members.
Some like it scalding, others like to shiver, and a happy medium is nearly impossible to agree upon. Turns out, we’re all correct. There are proven benefits to both, and we’re breaking a few of them down.
We wouldn’t suggest swapping exercise for a hot shower, but on the days you’re admittedly feeling too tired to hit the treadmill, you can feel encouraged knowing that a study showed that hot baths—of approximately 104° F—“resulted in about as many calories being burned as a half-hour walk.”
The (actual) pressure is getting to you. Your head's feeling heavy, nose stuffy, and your sinuses have shut down. William Schaffner, Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., suggests a steamy shower to (literally) loosen you up. According to him, the moist air will “help open up your sinus passages and promote drainage.”
When it comes to getting a good night’s rest, calming both your mind and your muscles is crucial. And while CBD can certainly help with the former, hot showers can assist with the latter. Gerrit Keferstein, M.D., says that they’re a common practice for muscle relaxation because they activate the parasympathetic nervous system which, in turn, makes us tired.
Improves the Appearance of Skin & Hair
Who can say ‘no’ to a glow? Not us! Luckily, dermatologist Jessica Krant, M.D. knows just what’s required to start feeling radiant. She says that cold water seals the cuticle of your hair shaft down, resulting in “a shine [that’s] difficult to achieve when a rough cuticle causes dullness.” Additionally, cold water “leaves oils in the skin for natural moisture,” as opposed to being stripped away—which is what often happens with hot water.
According to a small study, a chilly shower can make you, well, chill out. They're expected to send impulses from nerve endings to your brain, and “could result in an anti-depressive effect,” says molecular biologist Nikolai Shevchuk. He further explained that, “The immediate mood-lifting effect of immersion in cold water or a cold shower is probably the stimulation of the…pathways [that] are known to be involved in the regulation of emotions.”
Improves Your Immunity
It’s no secret that being sick can slow you down. And a study showed that cold showers resulted “in a statistical reduction of self-reported sickness absence” for participants. Cold water is believed to speed up your metabolic rate, which activates your immune system and results in a release of white blood cells—and those cells are what protect you from illness.
Whichever water you prefer, add these CBD selections to your shower routine!