After an intense workout, the first thing you will probably like to do is go right into a bathtub or a shower. It is important to take shower after an exercise or workout to stay healthy and free of bacteria. Some gym trainers might have told you the benefits of taking a cold shower.
So, Is it okay to take a cold shower after workout?
Yes, taking a cold shower after a workout is very beneficial for your overall health. For a complete post-workout recovery, cold showers are more effective as compared to hot showers. Taking a cold shower after a workout can help you feel more energized. It helps you stay active. Also, it is beneficial for weight loss.
In this article, you will get to know about various scientifically proven health benefits of taking a cold shower after a workout. Let’s dive deep into the science behind getting cold showers.
Table of Content
Is it Bad to Take a Cold Shower After a Workout?
Most people think that taking cold showers after a workout is dangerous. Well, it’s just a myth that you should not take a cold shower when you have sweat all over your body. It has no scientific evidence.
If you’re perfectly healthy and you’re not suffering from problems like high blood pressure or any other heart diseases, you are completely fine to enjoy the cold shower benefits. So, it is not at all a bad choice to have a cold shower after a workout.
Science Behind Taking a Cold Shower after Workout
Scientifically, cryotherapy is the term used for cold showers or cold water baths. It has a lot of health benefits from the scientific perspective Cold showers are a major part of physiotherapy-related treatments nowadays.
According to science, taking a cold shower can improve your overall mental and physical health as it has a relaxing effect on your body as well as your brain.
Especially, after a workout, when you need a complete recovery from muscle aches, cold showers can work wonders. The vasoconstriction phenomenon can help treat exercise-induced muscle soreness and inflammation. So, a cold shower after a workout has research-based benefits.
What are the Benefits of Taking a Cold Shower after Workout?
There are several health benefits of taking a cold shower after a workout. All of these benefits are research-based and have proper scientific evidence. Here are the top 10 amazing benefits of taking a cold shower after a workout.
Improve Your Mood and Mental Health
Taking a cold shower can trigger the release of the hormone norepinephrine. The release of this particular hormone is associated with vigilance, attention, focus, and mood. Less production of this hormone leads to depression however a considerable release of this hormone helps improve your mood and overall mental health.
Reduces the Risk Of Chronic Inflammation
Although, inflammation is necessary for the process of healing. However, chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases. It can lead to diabetes, heart diseases, and liver problems. It can also lead to earlier aging. Taking a cold shower can reduce the risk of chronic inflammation and thus improve your physical health.
Constricts Your Blood Vessels
Cold therapy or a cold shower increases vasoconstriction which improves the blood flow throughout your body. When the blood circulation is improved, it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and hypertension.
Improves Your Immunity
According to scientific evidence, taking a cold shower after a workout three times a week can increase the number of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are the army of your body that work against harmful bacteria. Hence, a cold shower can enhance your immunity and can protect you from certain diseases.
Increase Your Mental Toughness
When you take a cold shower, it improves your overall mental endurance. It enhances your ability to face tough situations. It prepares your mind to face the harsh conditions of temperature as well as other difficulties of life. It increases your tolerance to being uncomfortable hence increasing your mental toughness.
Increase Metabolic Rate
Taking a cold shower can increase your metabolism. It makes your body system work at a faster rate. Because of this, it activates the brown fat in your body that produces more and more heat to burn fat. Hence, taking a cold shower can help with weight loss.
Reduces Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness
When you perform an intense workout, your muscles get fatigued because of the accumulation of lactic acid. If you take a cold shower after a workout, it will reduce lactic acid production and hence relieves post-exercise muscle soreness and fatigue.
Tightens Your Skin
Taking a cold water bath can shrink the pores on your skin and hence tightens your skin. It also makes your skin bright and glowing. The sweat after exercise can clog your pores and hence result in acne. Cold water closes the pores and does not cause acne or breakouts.
Increase Mitochondrial Biogenesis
When you take a cold water bath after a workout, it increases the production of mitochondria. When the number of mitochondria increases, they increase the power production inside the cells. Hence, they increase your endurance and energy levels.
Improves Your Sleep
Taking a Cold shower after a workout can relax your mind and body. That is the reason you sleep peacefully for a longer time. This improved sleep can help your body recover from post-workout muscle tears and injuries. It also improves your mental functioning.
Should You Take a Cold Shower Right after a Workout?
A lot of people ask how long I should wait to take a cold shower after a workout. Well, it is not wise to immediately take a cold shower after a workout, as it can be dangerous. At least have some recovery time.
After an intense workout session, it is very important to help your body return to the resting phase. For this purpose, you have to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes before taking a shower after a workout.
This recovery time is essential to calm yourself. It is important to regulate your heartbeat and body temperature before getting into the bath. For this, take a few deep breaths until your mind and body are relaxed. After that, you may take a cold shower.
Who Should Avoid Taking a Cold Shower After a workout?
No doubt, taking a cold shower after a workout is Advantageous to health, however, there are certain precautions. Some people should not take a cold water bath after a workout. These are as follows:
People with Heart Diseases
People who are already suffering from heart disease should not take a cold shower after a workout. This is because taking a cold shower can put extra stress on their weak heart. The increase in blood circulation in these patients can lead to a heart attack during a cold shower after a workout.
People with Reduced Immunity
People who are more likely to suffer from diseases do not have enough immune strength. Such people can easily catch diseases such as flu and fever by taking a cold shower after a workout. So, it is wise not to take a cold shower if you don’t have enough immune strength.
What are Some Tips to Take a Cold Shower After a Workout?
If you’re a beginner and you want to take a cold shower after a workout, you should be careful about the temperature of the water. Initially, the water should not be too cold. Start with slightly cold water and then gradually decrease the temperature.
You can also alternate between the hot and cold shower, as it is very helpful in reducing fatigue. For this take a warm shower for 2 minutes and then a cold shower for 1 minute. This type of alternative therapy is very helpful in improving your blood circulation.
Question: why is it bad to take a cold shower after a workout?
It is not bad to take a cold shower after a workout until you’re seriously ill. If you are suffering from the flu, fever, or any other type of illness, you should avoid taking a cold shower.
Question: How long should you wait to take a cold shower after a workout?
After performing an intense workout, it is necessary to take shower after your body is calm and your breathing rate is normal. Ideally, you should wait for 20 to 30 minutes.
Question: Should I take a hot or cold shower after a Workout?
In most cases, it is your own choice which one suits your body. But when it comes to benefits, cold water showers are more effective as they have a lot of plus points regarding overall health.
Taking a cold shower after a workout is very common among athletes and bodybuilders. It is of enormous health benefits. It not only helps your body recover from acute muscle soreness but also helps in weight loss by enhancing your metabolism.
However, you must consult a fitness trainer or a doctor before opting for a hot or cold shower after a workout. As different bodies respond differently to severe temperature changes, hence you should be careful in this regard.