Can Cold Water Exposure make you ill?

Can Cold Water Exposure make you ill?

Welcome to our Seashell blog posts where we dive into the stories of the Seashell people. We hope to use this space and platform to inspire others and to start important conversations.    

Today we are going to take a quick look at why cold water therapy does not make you sick.

But the cold water will make you sick right?

Cold water therapy, also known as cold immersion therapy, is the practice of exposing oneself to cold water for a certain period of time in order to reap numerous health benefits. Despite its proven benefits, there are some individuals who avoid cold water therapy due to a common misconception that it can make you sick. However, this belief is not entirely accurate. 

Disclaimer: It is important to note that this is not information exempting people from getting unwell from being in water/cold water. Every person is different and has a different tolerance to cold water. 

Please note that you must take responsibility of yourself when it comes to water and how long you are in there for. 

Be prepared, safe and know your limits.

Here are 5 reasons why cold water therapy is not going to make you sick:

1. Cold water therapy does not weaken the immune system.

One of the common beliefs surrounding cold water therapy is that it weakens the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to sickness. However, research shows that exposure to cold water actually strengthens the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, which fight off infections and diseases. 

By stimulating the immune system, cold water therapy can help individuals become more resistant to illnesses, and potentially reduce their risk of getting sick. 

However, individuals with certain health conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, should consult with a healthcare provider before engaging in cold water therapy. 

2. Cold water therapy does not cause hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition that occurs when the body’s core temperature drops to dangerously low levels. However, usually the temperature of cold water used in cold water therapy is not usually low enough to cause hypothermia. In fact, many people enjoy cold water therapy without any negative effects on their body temperature. 

Cold water immersion can be a potential trigger for hypothermia if an individual is not careful or properly prepared. 

Limiting the duration of cold water immersions, monitoring the water temperature, wearing appropriate clothing, and staying hydrated can all help reduce the risk of hypothermia. 

Individual susceptibility to hypothermia varies: Some individuals may be more susceptible to hypothermia than others due to factors such as age, body composition, and overall health. It's important to understand one's own personal risk factors and take precautions accordingly.

3. Cold water therapy does not cause infections

Another misconception about cold water therapy is that it can cause infections. However, the risk of infection is low, as cold water is not a conducive environment for bacteria or viruses to thrive. 

Most bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments, which is not typically the case in cold water. Cold water inhibits the growth and spread of bacteria, which makes it less likely for individuals to contract infections while practicing cold water therapy.

Cold water can actually reduce inflammation: Cold water has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation can often lead to infections, so by reducing inflammation, cold water therapy can indirectly help prevent infections.

If you are using a barrel or pod for example make sure to clean it when necessary. It is different for everyone. If you continue to do cold dips during the summer you may find more algae growing so make sure to be aware of this wherever you are dipping or swimming.

4. Cold water therapy does not cause colds or flu

Contrary to popular belief, cold water therapy does not cause colds or flu. These illnesses are caused by viruses that are spread through the air or by touching contaminated surfaces not by exposure to cold water. 

In fact, exposure to cold water has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections and diseases. 

By stimulating the immune system, cold water therapy can help individuals become more resistant to illnesses, including colds and flu.

5. Cold water therapy can actually improve overall health.

Cold water therapy has been shown to have numerous health benefits which include: 

-Boosted immune system.

-Reducing inflammation.

-Improving circulation.

-Boosting mood. 

-Increased energy and alertness.

-Reduced stress and anxiety.

These are just a few of many. By exposing oneself to cold water, the body is forced to adapt and become more resilient, leading to improved overall health physically and mentally.

Man in a loch
Girl at the beach

In conclusion.

In conclusion, cold water therapy is a safe and effective practice that can provide numerous health benefits without causing sickness or negative side effects. As long as individuals take necessary precautions, such as starting slowly and gradually increasing exposure time, cold water therapy can be a great addition to one’s overall health and wellness routine. 

Thank you for reading our blog about the why cold water immersions do not make you ill. We hope to see more and more people taking to the water to help with their physical and mental health.

We are going our Dip a Day challenge in April 2023 so click on the link for more info.

The ultimate guide to unlocking the full potential of one of nature's most powerful resources. 

Cold water has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to promote health, vitality, and well-being, and its benefits are backed by science. 

Whether you're a seasoned cold water enthusiast or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to harness the power of cold water and take your health and wellness to the next level. 

1 comment

  • Dan Cover on

    Total nonsense. I got sick 2 days after a cold swim in the sea. It is not a virus, but a form of detoxification that I deliberately bought about. Terrain all of the way. Shame on those comments

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