"Cold showers wake up your skin receptors, which causes increased activity to the brain." -Michele Green, MD
And a cold spritz could keep you healthier in general: A recent study in the Netherlands found that on average those who took cold showers for at least 30 seconds each day for a month experienced a 29 percent decline in sick days. And two-thirds of the test group continued taking cold showers after the study wrapped. Who knew icy rinses could become addictive?
"A cold shower can be invigorating and depending on what you are doing beforehand (like working out), could be beneficial,” says Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a dermatologist in New York. “When you work out, your capillaries dilate and heat is dissipated through the skin,” she says. So when you take a cold shower, the water constricts this dilation and the blood is then kept more central. “It feels invigorating, almost like a jolt of energy,” she adds.
Mariwalla recommends a minimum of two minutes and no more than 15 minutes in a cold shower. “You don’t want to take a cold shower that is so cold that it exacerbates any kind of vascular issues (like if you have a common condition called Raynaud’s Syndrome where fingers and toes get a little blue),” she explains, adding that taking a cold shower after shoveling snow (PSA for winter) or spending time in a cool place is also not recommended.