Does it matter what temperature you like your showers? Does it matter if you’re an athlete or someone else who is physically active, and regularly uses your body and muscles at a higher level than the normal person does? Some conventional athletic wisdom is that cold water, and especially using a sort of shock treatment of cold water that is applied to the body for more than a brief period, is good for muscles that are fatigued and rebuilding after high use. Some people prefer the opposite; using high temperature water to soothe the aches and pains of well used muscles to ease into the recovery phase.
Which is better for the body remains the question. Both views have reasonable arguments to support them.
Cold water can help push the lactic acid that builds up in muscles as they’re used out of the muscle fiber and into the rest of the body. The cold helps constrict the blood vessels, encouraging the body to move the acid out so rebuilding can start sooner.
Heat can help cover over the pain of muscles that aren’t damaged, but merely sore; and lower pain levels encourages you to continue exercising, which makes them stronger.
Medical research says both views have merit, and in many cases it comes down to personal preference. You should do what feels best for you, your body, and how you want to maintain your personal exercise programs.
When you’re done in the gym, should you turn up the heat or ice down? Which is best for your body? #HealthStatus
- 1Cold showers are said to constrict muscles, limiting lactic acid buildup.
- 2Hot showers allow muscle inflammation to run its course, resulting in a shorter injury time.
- 3After a tough workout, alternating between a few minutes of a cold shower then a hot shower can help with recovery.
Many athletes consider a cold water bath as one of the best methods of regeneration. Despite the discomfort associated with it, they believe that immersing in icy water is beneficial for the rapid return of muscles to the mold. On the other hand, we have supporters of hot, relaxing post-workout baths. They are also convinced of the rightness of the method they prefer. Dislikes with preferences, but let’s try to find out what science can tell us about it.
Many athletes consider a cold water bath