Habitual cold-water swimming and upper respiratory tract infection

Naomi Collier*, Mitch Lomax, Mark Harper, Mike Tipton, Heather Massey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


It has long been claimed that non-wetsuit cold water swimming (CWS) benefits health (1), and anecdotally cold-water swimmers claimed to suffer fewer and milder infections, though this was not directly measured. A boost to immunity is biologically plausible: stress hormones are released during cold-water immersion (2), and short-term stress may ready the immune system for injury or infection (3). However, very few studies have investigated immune system markers and/or actual illness in habitual cold-water swimmers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-487
Issue number5
Early online date2 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


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