Taking a cold shower on a hot summer day can feel really refreshing; however, people may suddenly develop a serious medical emergency if the shower is taken under certain circumstances. It is suggested that one should not take a cold shower when the following 10 situations apply:
1. When sweating heavily
Sweating dilates the arteries just under the skin, as pores enlarge and blood circulation accelerates. If you are sweating profusely and take a cold shower, the arteries will immediately shrink, the pores will close, and the secretion of sweat will immediately stop. The channels of heat dissipation are blocked, causing you to feel hot and make you susceptible to a cold. In serious cases, a heat attack might be triggered that could threaten your life. To avoid these consequences, rub your body with a small amount of cold water first and wait before taking a cold shower.
2. After drinking wine
Alcohol inhibits liver function and hinders the release of glycogen (the liver’s sugar storage). When taking a cold shower, the release of glucose is further inhibited, which, in serious cases, can lead to dizziness, fatigue, and loss of consciousness due to low blood sugar.
3. When feeling hungry
The symptoms of low blood sugar may become pronounced if you take a cold shower on an empty stomach.
4. After working hard
After a period of hard labor, it is recommended that you rest before taking a cold shower. Taking a cold shower when fatigued can inhibit blood circulation, which may lead to unconsciousness.
5. With a high temperature (> 38℃ or 100°F)
When your body’s temperature rises above 38℃ (100°F), the rate of calorie consumption is increased by 20 percent, and taking a cold shower with a high temperature can cause your body to feel fatigued.
6. When blood sugar is low
Taking a cold shower when your blood sugar is low may lead to unconsciousness.
7. When a woman is menstruating
Women who have their monthly period often have poor blood circulation. Thus, it’s not a good idea to take a cold shower when menstruating.
8. After a workout
Vigorous exercise can easily increase your body’s temperature and open up your body’s pores. Taking a cold shower right after exercising can be harmful to your body, as arteries suddenly shrink, pores close, and the secretion of sweat is halted.
9. With heart disease
Taking a cold shower will increase your heart rate over a short period of time, which might not be tolerated if you have heart disease, or if you have poor liver, kidney, or lung function.
10. During a thunderstorm
Most water pipes in the bathroom are metal and conduct electricity easily. Avoid taking a cold shower during a thunder storm is the best way to avoid electrocution.
Translation by Mona Soong and Audrey Wang.