Testosterone deficiency is quite present in the 21st century due to the fact that lifestyle and diet choices that contribute to developing a deficiency are so common. Testosterone replacement therapy is usually what the doctors prescribe to fight that, but TRT has some pretty big side effects. This is why people who have issues with T deficiency that are not severe search for alternative ways to help their levels bounce back.
One commonly mentioned option is taking cold showers, and we’re here to explore this kind of weird technique.
The connection between cold showers and testosterone
While, at first glance, it really doesn’t make sense for cold water to provoke bigger testosterone production, we need to consider one thing. Most of the testosterone in men is created in the scrotum, which is positioned outside of our body to ensure optimal temperature for sperm production. Temperature is a big factor in the proper functioning of the testicles.
Researchers managed to figure this out by experimenting on Wistar rats, which have testicles pretty much identical to humans but scaled down, of course. The research showed testicular shrinkage, as well as a fall in sperm production and testosterone levels when exposed to heat.
By extrapolating from this conclusion, we might assume a position where cold showers, in other words, exposure to lower temperatures, can boost the production of sperm and testosterone.
Unfortunately, when we take a look at the studies focusing on testosterone levels and temperature, we find that the data doesn’t go in favor of an increase. A study by Nikolai A Shevchuk and Sasa Radoja from 2007 showed that cold temperature exposure actually decreased the testosterone levels in the blood. Still, this was exposure to cold weather and not cold showers. A study by K Sakamoto et al. from 1991 showed that there is no connection between colder temperature exposure and testosterone levels. Finally, we have one positive study from Mark Russell et al. from 2017 showing a connection between cold exposure and testosterone levels in sprinting athletes.
The effectiveness of cold showers in improving testosterone levels seems to be connected to our bodies being exposed to excessive heat. If we’re feeling too hot and go for a cold shower, testosterone levels may rise, while doing so when we’re at optimal temperature may have a reverse effect. Still, more research is needed to provide a reliable answer, as the current studies show mixed results.
Other benefits of having cold showers
Now, whether cold showers raise testosterone or not doesn’t have to be the deciding factor for you to do it or not. There are many other benefits cold showers can have for you.
Having cold showers may improve your mental health and strengthen your immune system since it promotes the production of beta-endorphins and noradrenaline. When we take cold showers, our nerve endings send signals to our brains and trigger chemicals that have antidepressant effects.
Cold environments trigger a response in our bodies that some call survival mode. The body automatically raises our heart rate and boosts our circulatory system. This is great for people who sit around at work all day as it helps them relieve the pain of cramped and stiff muscles while also jump-starting their circulatory system.
Now, if you are attempting to lose weight and are exercising to do it, we recommend cold showers twice a day on days you are working out. The first one serves the purpose of waking your body up, speeding up the metabolism, and shedding some weight to do it. The second one is supposed to calm your muscles, improve circulation, and reduce the cramping of tired muscles. Through this, you will improve your rate of recovery and will be more effective at the gym.
Finally, this is an amazing exercise to train your willpower and improve your mental response to a medium amount of stress. With steady exercise, you’ll be able to put up with lower and lower temperatures for longer times. This will build mental resilience and stress resistance, which is something all of us can benefit from.
Hot showers are bad for you anyway
Most doctors will tell you that showering with water at hot temperatures will harm your health. First, it is really not recommended for people with high blood pressure as it can cause health complications.
Hot water is also known to damage your scalp and hair. It strips the skin and the hair of natural oils, which damages the hair quality and the skin's ability to keep it healthy. Through this, hot showers cause skin dryness resulting in itchiness and the irritation of skin conditions like eczema.
Generally speaking, you should shower once a day. You should also avoid taking longer showers aiming to finish the process in five minutes or less. Don’t go for highly chemical shower hygiene products as they can damage the natural equilibrium of your skin — go for natural and skin-friendly products.
So, all-in-all, cold showers are not really a remedy for low testosterone levels. We don’t have enough studies showing a positive effect of cold showers on testosterone for them to be a reliable solution. Their effect may be more reliable if you take a cold shower due to the weather being too hot or after exercising. They also provide several other benefits for our bodies, so they are a good idea nonetheless but don’t try to use them as a solution for low testosterone levels. If you think you have a deficiency, visit your doctor, and do hormone tests to see if you are right. If you have a deficiency — they will provide you with advice to help you resolve the issue.