Does Cold Shower Have Any Effect On Your Testosterone Levels?
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It is highly likely that you prefer a warm shower over cold ones unless you're from an extremely hot place. People from such regions adore warm water to take a shower that they go extreme lengths to heat water. Every luxury room gives you the option of warm water.
But do you know that a cold shower offers many health benefits?
This includes a positive effect on your testosterone levels as well. The claims are scientifically proven.
Health Benefits of Cold Shower
These are some of the most widely accepted benefits of a cold shower.
Improves blood circulation
Cold water invokes the blood to move to your organs to keep them warm. Stimulating the circulatory system in this way may keep you healthier and make you look younger.
A study by the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine indicates that short cold showers may stimulate the brain’s primary source of noradrenaline - a chemical that could help mitigate depression.
Maintains skin and hair healthy
Hot water dries out skin and hair. Cold water can close up cuticles and pore of your skin to make it look healthier.
A study done by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England in 1993 shows that the individuals who took daily cold showers saw an increase in the number of virus-fighting white blood cells compared to individuals who took hot showers.
Increases testosterone and fertility
There are many studies that conclude that exposure of higher temperature of the testes may lead to a decrease in testosterone production and infertility. Cold showers are a way to prevent that.
Testosterone and cold temperature
There is a reason why your scrotum hangs outside the body. The scrotum contains the testicles (testes), many nerves and blood vessels. The scrotum has a protective function and also serves as a climate control system for the testes. You see, for normal sperm development, the testicles must be at a temperature cooler than the body temperature. You obviously have noticed that the scrotum loosen up during hot weather and tighten when cold. It's because the special muscles in the wall of the scrotum allow it to relax, moving the testicles farther away from the body to cool the temperature.
How do cold showers increase testosterone?
Now let's get onto the credentials of the claims. There must be research and studies to scientifically prove this.
- The Journal of Reproductive Systems published a study which determined the optimal temperature for DNA, RNA, and protein syntheses in the human testicles. The study concludes that human testicles functions properly in temperatures between 31-36 °C (87-96 °F). Hotter temperatures will negatively impact DNA synthesis, spermatogenesis, and testosterone production as well.
- A study which appeared in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology compared the different sperm parameters according to the season of the year on sperm production day and the season 70 days prior (during spermatogenesis). A total of 6455 consecutive semen samples were collected as part of the basic fertility evaluation. The results showed a significant decrease in sperm concentration from spring toward summer and fall with recovery noticed during the winter. Moreover, the highest percentage of normal sperm morphology was observed during the winter months. As the precursor hormones that instigate spermatogenesis is also responsible for testosterone synthesis, it is obvious that the cold atmosphere boosts testosterone as well.
- A study published by the Endocrine Society analyzed the effects of heat against the testicular weight and testosterone synthesis on rats. The researchers found out that rats that were treated to 43 °C (109 °F) heat for 15 minutes had drastically lower testosterone levels when compared to control group.
- Journal of Andrology published a study in 2002 which examined whether mild testicular hyperthermia (the condition of having a body temperature greatly above normal) induces azoospermia (absence of motile or viable sperm in the semen) and oligozoospermia in nonhuman primates. The scrota containing the testes were immersed in a water bath at 43 °C for 30 minutes once daily for six consecutive days. Semen and blood samples were collected a couple of weeks before, and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks after the first heat treatment. Testicular biopsies were performed before and at 3 and seven days, and 12 weeks after the first heat exposure. A decrease in serum testosterone levels was observed in monkeys just two weeks after heat treatment. Two out of 3 monkeys exhibited azoospermia by 6 or 8 weeks after the first heat treatment, and the remaining monkey had marked oligozoospermia just six weeks after the first heat treatment. This is a clear indication that testis exposed to heat will find it difficult to function properly.
- A study led by the urologist DR Paul J. Turek from the University of California, San Francisco shows that exposure to hot baths or hot tubs can lead to male infertility.
Does testicle massage increase testosterone levels?
There are many claims that massaging the testicles will somehow boost testosterone levels. These claims go onto explain many types of massaging techniques that involve warm water and oils. Other than the fact that these massages give you some sort of self-induced pleasure, there are no scientific studies that back these claims.
If you are from an extremely cold area covered with snow, it is safe to say that hot showers won't affect your reproductive health in any way as you are always exposed to the cold climate. But in case if you are from a warm tropical area, then frequent hot showers may affect your testosterone levels.