Cold Showers and Testosterone: Is there Evidence to Suggest that Cold Showers Boost T?

The old school powerlifters of the now fallen Soviet Union were some bad-ass fellows. You see they had this crazy habit of freezing their balls right before big competitions. They didn’t do it from pure joy however.

Their sole goal was to increase testosterone levels, and I know that it sounds crazy, but it’s not when you understand the fundamentals behind such actions.

There’s a reason why your testicles hang in that pouch. It’s simply because the gonads need to be few degrees colder than rest of the body is for optimal function.

Thus, the theory of freezing the ballsack for increased testosterone production has been hovering around the bodybuilding scene for tens of years now.

Are there any cold shower testosterone benefits? Does it really work? That’s what we’re going to find out:

Cold Shower Testosterone Benefits

Cold shower testosterone benefitsMany guys claim that it’s simply a myth that keeping the gonads cold would improve testosterone production.

But it’s not really a myth (at least completely).

Just think about it for a minute, why exactly are your balls hanging in that special pouch? And more importantly, why do they hang lower when it’s hot, and higher when it’s cold?

The “sack” has formed into the human body through evolution. It’s a mechanism that keeps the gonads a tad bit cooler than rest of the body, simply because that’s the optimal temperature for their function.

When it gets hot, the sack works by lowering itself down so that the balls are more cold, in a way they’re escaping the heat of the body.

When it’s cold, the sack stays in place, or goes higher. Whatever the case might be, your balls won’t hang in cold weather simply because they don’t need to “escape the heat”.

So what’s the optimal temperature then? Are there any cold shower testosterone studies?

a) According to this study from Nakamura et al. Human testis perform at their best when they’re around 31-36 °C (87-96 °F). anything hotter than that will negatively impact DNA synthesis, spermatogenesis, and most likely also testosterone production.

b) This study examined the effects of heat on the testicular weight and testosterone synthesis on rat testicles. They found out that rats who were exposed to 43 °C (109 °F) heat for 15 minutes had significantly lower testosterone levels and a staggering 65,4% reduction in testicular weight when compared to control group. The results should be valid in humans as we share nearly identical testicles with male wistar rats (okay maybe ours are bit bigger).

c) The researchers in this study tested 6,455 semen samples for a period of three years. They found out that sperm quality, volume, and motility was significantly higher in the colder months of the year. The same precursor hormones (LH and FSH) that kickstart spermatogenesis, also start the testosterone synthesis, so a link exists for sure.

d) Several animal studies on monkeys and rams have concluded that testicular leydig cells exposed to heat can’t secrete testosterone as well as colder gonads do (study, study).

Conclusion on the Cold Shower Testosterone Benefits

According to the research, there is something to say for taking cold showers and testosterone levels increasing. Those crazy Russians were somewhat right when they froze their balls before big lifts.

Heat seems to be a real testosterone killer, one that reduces testicular weight and negatively impacts spermatogenesis.

Few studies have also found out that the effects may not be instant, they can come with a “lag”.

The theory, and the research above explaining the possible benefits of cold showers, are the reasons why I take cold showers daily, I also sleep naked and wear loose boxers, just to keep the balls cool enough to function properly. This has worked well for me. And I would say that switching to looser boxers might be the easiest way to benefit testicular health there is.


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Cold Showers and Testosterone: Is there Evidence to Suggest that Cold Showers Boost T? was last modified: July 20th, 2017 by Ali Kuoppala
Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance.
Ali Kuoppala
  • That might be due to people having more sex when it’s hotter.

    • Geralt

      Actually i think Dave tried to imply that people in UK have most sex in december and february – as it takes 9 months from that to the birth. So that would support this in a way that cold weather would boost testosterone and sperm activity… But that might just be a coincidence.

    • Garrett

      What else is there to do during cold months than get hot in bed with your lover? Which generally leads to babies (if one is not using protection. And please, people.. unless you WANT TO and are READY TO be a parent.. use protection)

  • Yeah, it’s not a long effect, but when you switch the daily hot shower into a cold one, start wearing loose boxers, and sleeping naked. It’ll quickly add up and make a big difference.

    • Geralt

      Also why not just randomly through the day when you are at home, go to bathroom – take the hand shower – and freeze your balls with it for couple minutes 😀 i dunno if that would have any positive effects, but i just tried.

      • bahadur

        @disqus_g6PkVCICVx:disqus, lol but make sure the water is free from chlorine, otherwise you will be lowering testosterone due to chlorine..

        • Zenfluence

          I agree with this but in theory it has to be better than a chlorinated hot shower…being that cold water closes your pores.

        • Bob

          Is there any evidence for this? I’ve heard about fluoride having this effect not chlorine…

  • Scott

    Couple problems with this article. First, you’ve found a couple studies confirming a correlation between temperature and sperm production, not testosterone production. Any claims made about the latter are purely speculative.

    Second, you’ve found a couple studies confirming the deleterious effects of high temps on T-production, but have found none confirming the amplifying effects of lower temps. All you can really say is that high temps will decrease your t-production, and that lower temperature are optimal for normal T-production. You have no evidence suggesting that lower temps actually increase your production above normal levels.

    In other words, all you’ve really stated is that the balls have an optimal temperature for producing testosterone. No shit.

    I hope you don’t get paid for writing articles this flimsy, if so, I’m in the wrong business.

    • Just so you know, I do make money writing these articles. A lot.

      • Zachary Cameron

        So that’s all that matters to you, Ali? That you make bank with your articles — damn the accuracy or helpfulness?

        I totally agree with Scott’s points. Disappointing that you didn’t own up to, or even acknowledge, any of them.

    • Mark Van Dompseler

      Quite frankly, it may be obvious that the balls require an optimal temperature, that’s all well and good. Most guys probably don’t know this. Most guys also have low-ass T-levels, so in their case, raising these levels to what is considered acceptably normal is essentially boosting them to above average.

      Who cares if it’s speculative? Go spray your balls with cold water for two minutes and tell me you don’t feel slightly more alpha. Higher T is partially a mental state, in my experience.

      I mostly have Ali to thank for my above average T levels. Small, daily, consistent practices add up. If he hypothetically were my endocrinologist and he provided me the same info he has on AM, and my TTest came back as swell as it recently did, then… I would be paying Dr. Kuoppala a hell of a lot more than he probably got for writing these articles.

  • Ivar

    Why not do it like the Russians did it? Do you think a full-body cold shower would have any benefit over the Russian method (only the balls) ?

    Thanks for your time 🙂

  • nick

    Cold shower could also help fat burn.

  • Mike G

    I don’t recommend cold showers unless you’re a certified man-beast. Only big-balled bosses, whom are not afraid of the “pain” of a cold shower, need apply. Seriously, conquering your nerves before a cold shower feels awesome, and it builds mental strength.

    • Bob

      I jump in the shower cool down then run 2 miles and jump back in the cold shower before work, it’s better than coffee at waking you up.

  • DS_Slash

    What about shaving and cold showers? I already take cold showers daily but I usually shave my pubic hair once a week while showering hot, than cold water. Do you guys who shave in the shower, do so while showering cold?

  • Mads Leonard Holvik

    I have taken daily swims in the sea and lakes here in Norway for 7 weeks in a row now. I stay in the water anywhere from 3 til 10 minutes. Normally 3-5. I have noticed a decrease in libido during those weeks, making me think that too much cold exposure might not increase testosterone and libido, if that is what your goal is. It might be that I am drawing wrong conclusions and that there are other factors in play.

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  • Garrett

    I agree with Mike G.

    I will add: to become a man-beast with your painful cold showers.. Start slowly. Decrease the temp at the end of your shower for longer & cooler each time. Your awesomeness & fearlessness will rise, and soon you’ll be flipping hot showers the bird as you bathe in the badassity of the testosterone power of a cold shower.