Hot or cold bath: What temperature should your bath be?

Too hot, tepid or quite cool – it can be tricky getting your bath the temperature you want it, but is there a perfect bathing temperature to aspire to?

Yoko Ono has said in the past that she puts her “eternal youthfulness” down to the fact she has an ice cold bath every single day, so what else should you take into account when turning on the taps?

Benefits of a hot bath

Research from Loughborough University recently found that soaking in a hot bath for an hour can increase the rate you burn calories after a meal, and may even help to reduce blood sugar spikes after eating – leading to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Researcher Dr Steve Faulkner made the findings when comparing the impact on the body of a hot bath compared to an hour of physical exercise.

He said: “We think the reason is that the bath may encourage the release of heat shock proteins, which may help lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin controlled glucose uptake.

“However, although these findings are interesting, we would always encourage increased physical activity and exercise as the best way to maintain good health.”

[Read more: How to take the perfect bath for your skin type]

Other benefits of a hot bath include:

- Lowering stress levels through relaxation

- Easing joint and muscle pain

- May help you fall asleep more easily

- It can help lower your blood pressure

- Can open up blood vessels, which can reduce instances of headaches

- The steam of a hot bath can ease cold and flu symptoms

[Read more: Why you've been washing your hair the wrong way] 

Benefits of a cold bath:

While many athletes swear by ice baths for easing sore muscles, a cooler bathtime can suit you for other reasons too:

- It'll give you a jolt to wake you up and increase alertness

- Cold water will leave hair shinier and pores tightened

- It can improve circulation

- A burst of cold water can help stimulate weight loss

- Ice water can ease pain, and has even been shown to relieve the symptoms of depression

- A cold bath can also speed up recovery times from exercise induced injuries

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