What Does Water Temperature Really Mean?


You’ve probably been warned many times so far not to jump into the swimming pool, sea or ocean without letting your body accommodate the water temperature. Or you’ve heard stories about some good swimmer who jumped into the water and never went back up. And there’s a solid argument for both of these two things. It is called “cold water”.

The water temperature can make a difference not just between a good time and bad time, comfort and unpleasant environment, but also between sickness and health, and in the end, life and death. So, what does the water temperature do to your body, what temperature is good for swimming and which one will make you shake uncontrollably? Let’s find out!

But before we head to the main topic, and to give you the whole information, this article is based on the theory the swimmer has jumped into the pool without any training or protection like a wetsuit, and its purpose is to explain what will happen when you straight jump into the water. And it is also good to know that swimming in cold water makes you more tolerable to the low water temperatures.

Not, let’s head to the subject – what does water temperature really do to your body?

77 Degrees And Above

If you ever step into the pool and don’t feel cold when you first touch the water, it is because you’re stepping into a pool whose temperature is over 77 degrees. This range is mostly used for professional swimmers, water polo players, and other swimming sports as it provides the best atmosphere for your body to compete with the others. Coldwater could shock your body, and because we’re talking about professional athletes, it is good to compete in warm water.

77 – 70 Degrees

This range is mostly used by public pools, and also most of the seas and oceans you’ve visited so far are somewhere in between. Getting into the water this hot can be uncomfortable at the beginning, but as your body gets used to it, you’re good to go. It is not harmful to you, although it could have some negative effect on your breathing and make it a bit heavier. But, as we’ve already written, once you get used to it, there will be no problem, and it shouldn’t take long before you start to feel as comfortable as you’re in the hotter one.

70 – 60 Degrees

OK, now it’s getting worse and challenging. If you don’t often swim in cold water, first you’ll feel a big wave of freezing and it will be really uncomfortable. It is harder to breathe, not to mention to do it regularly and stable. It will also cut the time you’re able to hold your breath. If you know you’re about to swim in the water this cold, it is the best idea to get a wetsuit. It will keep your body warm and make the experience far better.

60 – 50 Degrees

Jumping straight in, especially if the outside temperature is high and your body is warm, could be fatal. If you’re not used to swimming in this kind of water, your body may go into shock if you’re not careful enough. Although the temperature that causes the human body to go into shock could vary from person to person, the best thing to do is not to test this theory.

If you’re careful enough, you should be OK and good to go when it comes to swimming. But, before you do that, make sure you’re healthy, and in a good shape both physically and mentally. Also, wetsuits are necessary and try to avoid swimming in these temperatures without company.

50 Degrees And Below

Water this cold feels like a thousand small needles penetrating your skin. It is extremely painful and causes your body to behave uncontrollably. Breathing is almost impossible if you jump straight into it without any protection. So, a wetsuit is a must, also the other equipment like a swimming cap, socks, even googles and anything else that will keep you warm enough to move. And from here down to even colder temperatures there is not much of a difference, as your body will react similarly to a temperature of 35 as it will to a 40 or 50. Don’t rush it, and if you have to swim in a temperature this cold, follow the procedure and don’t skip anything as it could be the difference between a good time and a tragedy.

Tips And Other Things


As we’ve mentioned already, swimming in cold water could be dangerous, but there are ways to keep the safety risk at a minimum.

  • Don’t rush! Remember, your body is hotter than the water, and it usually takes some time to get used to the temperature. By rushing it or forcing it you could harm.
  • Listen to your body signs! If you don’t feel alright or start to feel dizzy or can’t catch the breath, it is the best idea to stop, go out and let it stabilize. If warming your body doesn’t help, seek medical help.
  • Be prepared! A wetsuit could really help you by keeping you warm. Also, it is a great idea to have a blanket with you for when you get out of the water.
  • Don’t do it alone. Coldwater is not something you should take lightly, and it is a good idea to have someone who could help you if something goes wrong.
  • You probably have a swimming center in your neighborhood or a scuba diving center, and you’ll find someone willing to give you some professional tips and tricks on how to stay warm and behave in cold water.

Globo Surf Overview

Swimming is fun. Swimming in cold water is not so much fun, but it can be challenging, and create an interesting experience if you won’t try something different from the usual beach games. The only thing you have to do is to follow the safety procedures, be smart, and try not to force anything. This article should help you understand the cold water’s affection on your body a bit better. It is definitely something you should try, but it also means you’ll have to be as responsible as you can. If you think it is possible, try it out. If not, skip it and enjoy the beach – there are tons of interesting things to do.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!