Picture: Pexels Cold shower made it less likely that they would call in sick to work

TAKING a cold shower has long been recommended as a bracing way to wake up – and now a study has found that it toughens us up too.

The study of more than 3,000 participants found that a cold shower made it less likely that they would call in sick to work.

Researchers found that cold showers did not improve health or prevent colds, flu and other illnesses – but they did make it 29 percent more likely that participants would battle through sickness and head in to work.

The reason why is unclear but other studies suggest that exposure to cold releases beta-endorphin hormones, which make dealing with pain easier. Participants also reported having more energy after a cold morning shower.

In the Dutch study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers split participants into four groups. One group took warm showers, while the others introduced a 30, 60 or 90 second blast of cold water into their morning routines.

Those who took cold showers reported a small improvement in their quality of life and 60 days after the study, nearly two-thirds were still taking them. The authors, led by the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said most participants reported discomfort from cold showers, but added: ‘The fact that 91 percent of participants reported the will to continue such a routine (and 64 percent actually did) is perhaps the most indicative of any health or work benefit.’

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