For the past couple years bro science has taken a new direction. I am sure you have heard about the almighty powers of having cold showers. One of the more popular claims is that you can increase testosterone levels by having regular cold showers.
Cold showers might have some health benefits but when it comes to increasing testosterone levels I am sorry to say I believe we have been lied to.
There are many ways to increase testosterone levels and I am happy to share them with you on this website without forcing you to freeze your balls off in the shower.
The theory behind having cold showers is that it will decrease the temperature of your balls/testicles and provide a cooler more beneficial environment for testosterone and sperm production. Yes, your balls hang outside the body to remain cooler than your core temperature. But let us not forget when they are cold they also shrivel up closer to your body in an attempt to keep warm. Yes, your balls are telling you something and if they could speak they would beg you to stop the madness.
Firstly it is true that:
- The testicles are more functional at the temperatures of 31-36 °C
- Excess heat is bad for sperm production
But just because it has been clinically proven that excess heat is bad for sperm production and testosterone levels it DOES NOT make the opposite true.
This does not mean by cooling your balls to a temperature below the recommendation Temp that it will increase testosterone and sperm production.
You cant just make this claim.
This is like saying being dehydrated is bad for you so by being over hydrated you will improve your health when in reality this is just as bad as being dehydrated.
Actually, there are studies that prove cooling your testicles might actually decrease testosterone levels (more on this later).
Think twice before you freeze your nuts off!
The famous studies that has many men freezing like an Eskimo.
- According to this study from Nakamura et al. the most optimal temperature for your testis is 31-36c and anything warmer will negatively impact DNA synthesis, spermatogenesis.
- This study done on rats discovered that rats who were exposed to 43 °C (109 °F) heat for 15 minutes had significantly lower testosterone levels.
- This study tested 6,455 semen samples for a period of three years. And discovered that the sperm quality, motility, and volume was higher in the colder months of the year.
- According to these studies (study, study) testosterone secretion was limited in monkeys and rams that have their that testicular leydig cells exposed to heat.
These studies mainly prove the correlation between temperature and sperm production, not testosterone production. Yes it is true that the optimal functional temperature for our testicles is 31-36 °C and heat exposure is bad for the testis but we already know this!
Studies haven’t been done on 10-minute cold exposure per day as it would be in our shower scenarios. So where is the proof that keeping our testis below the recommended temperatures will increase T levels?
These studies seem harder to find like Wally at a family reunion.
But guess what?
There are studies proving that decreasing your testicle temperature may be harmful to your testosterone levels. For example:
- This study shows a 10% decrease in testosterone upon cold water stimulation.
- Rats chronically exposed to cold-water immersion had decreased levels of testosterone (study).
- Rats exposed to cold-water immersion had lower ejaculation volume, lower testosterone, lower quality of spermatozoa (study, study, study).
- This study proved that cold factory workers who spend around 3.5 hours per day in a cold room had lower testosterone levels.
All these studies are proving one thing, chilling your balls is bad for your testosterone and sperm production. In these studies, it has also proven that reduce in temperature increases cortisol levels.
Cortisol is testosterone public enemy number 1. The more cortisol we produce the less testosterone we will produce. If one hormone increases the other decreases.
There is some truth that keeping your testicles cool is great for testosterone and sperm production. This can be done by NOT having cold showers but instead by just keeping your testicles between 31-36c regularly. You can do this by paying attention to your sleeping environment I recommend sleeping naked to keep the temperature downstairs cooler. Also, I would suggest to start wearing boxers instead of underwear this will allow the testicles to stay cooler.
As discussed above, heat exposure is bad so avoid having warm baths and very hot showers. And obviously avoid extremely cold temperatures which may have a negative impact on your cortisol levels, high cortisol levels are what we want to avoid. To keep your testis healthy and sperm production at a healthy level I suggest reading this post (10 Ways To Increase Semen Volume And Quality).