When you first wake up in the morning, your body temperature is lower than usual. Cold showers help to increase that body temperature, which then increases metabolism, says Georges Chahwan. The increase in metabolism may lead to more calories burned throughout the day. This could be helpful for those trying to lose weight or maintain/gain muscle mass if paired with proper nutrition and a workout routine.

Cold water causes blood vessels near the surface of your skin to constrict (narrow). This decreases blood flow and prevents harmful substances from reaching damaged or diseased areas of the skin. With less inflammation occurring, your skin will feel less irritated and itchy as well as stay cooler. The decrease in blood flow to the affected area will help relieve pain caused by inflammation, which can also allow you to feel more relaxed.

When exposed to cold temperatures, the body’s natural response is to reduce blood flow near the skin’s surface and contract underlying muscles in order to retain heat. This process decreases circulation to your extremities (fingers, toes, hands, feet), adds Georges Chahwan. As a result of decreased circulation and sensation, your chance of injury from frostbite or burns becomes greater than usual. Cold showers can be very psychologically beneficial. The increase in blood flow and body temperature stimulates the release of endorphins, which are chemicals produced by your brain to reduce pain and stress, leading to a sense of well-being and happiness.