How Cold Showers Affect Serum Testosterone Levels
It is no secret that hot water showers or prolong exposure to steam and sauna treatments can adversely affect testicular function. But have you ever heard of the myth that taking showers with cold water helps increase the serum levels of testosterone?
Research scientists explains that male gonadal machinery (or testicles) requires a lower, temperate environment in order to maintain optimal activity as compared to the rest of the body. Various research studies have proved that hot tub showers or any other factor that may increase testicular temperature may lead to low testosterone activity. This definitely raises the question whether cold shower have an evident positive impact on the testosterone level or not.
Perks Of Cold Showers With Respect To Testosterone Levels
It has been observed that the scrotal pouch that encloses the testicles hangs higher at low temperature and dips lower at relatively higher body temperatures (such as state of fever). The scrotal pouch makes sure that the temperature is ideal for the optimum functioning of the testicles. So, if the temperature rises, the sac skin relaxes in order to keep the testicles away from the body (or high temperatures).
To make things more clear and understandable, studies have been conducted on the effects of cold showers on the serum testosterone levels.
According to a new study, human testis functions optimally between the temperature of 31 and 36°C which is equivalent to 87°F and 96°F respectively. If the temperature exceeds this range, it can adversely affect the process of spermatogenesis, DNA synthesis and also the production of testosterone.
Another study was conducted on rats in order to study the impact of heat on the synthesis of testosterone and weight of testicles. The results indicated that in contrast to the controlled group, the rats subjected to heat at 43°C for about 15 minutes were noted to have evidently low levels of testosterone and their testicular weight declined by up to 65.4% (3). The results are expected to be in similar range in humans, as the human testicles are identical to those of wistar rats, however bigger in size.
Another team of researchers examined approximately 6,455 semen samples obtained from a group of healthy men for 3 years, as a part of the study. After thorough analysis, scientists concluded that the quality, motility and volume of the sperms elevated radically during cooler months. The serum levels of FSH and LH hormones (that triggers the process of spermatogenesis) are also responsible for the production of testosterone. Hence a link between cooler temperature and serum testosterone levels does really exist. Other studies conducted on rams and monkeys have also showed that testicular cells when exposed to heat may exhibit poor secretion of testosterone.
Myth or no myth, the researches and studies have laid out in the open that cold showers do really have a positive impact on the levels of testosterone by escalating them up to a significant mark. It has also been proven that heat is harmful for testosterone, it lowers the weight of testicles and also negatively affect the spermatogenesis. Some studies propose that there may not be an instant effect and that it may appear with time.
It is often recommended to take cold showers, wear loose boxers and to sleep naked, just to keep things cool and under control down there. After all, proper functioning testosterone is essential for a man’s health.
- Pääkkönen, T., & Leppäluoto, J. (2002). Cold exposure and hormonal secretion: a review. International journal of circumpolar health, 61(3), 265-276.
- Kukkonen-Harjula, K., & Kauppinen, K. (2006). Health effects and risks of sauna bathing. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 65(3), 195-205.
- La Salle, S., Sun, F., & Handel, M. A. (2009). Isolation and short-term culture of mouse spermatocytes for analysis of meiosis. Meiosis: Volume 2, Cytological Methods, 279-297.