By Kerry Hale

Showering After A Workout: Hot Or Cold Showers For Recovery

  • Thursday 09 March 2023
  • 4 minute read

If you’ve worked up a sweat while exercising, there’s no better feeling than showering afterwards.

Maybe you like a long, hot bath after a workout? Whatever your preference, discover the do’s and don’ts of post-workout showering and bathing in our guide.

The benefits of showering after exercise 

A post-workout shower gets you feeling and smelling fresh again while helping soothe muscles and prevent aches and pains. However, a shower or bath isn’t a substitute for a proper cool-down routine after your workout. Read on to find out more about showering after a workout. 

Questions about showering after a workout

Does showering or bathing after a workout help you recover?

Showering or bathing after a workout can help your muscles recover, providing you stretch beforehand and use the right temperature. Shower jets massage your muscles, removing lactic acid, which causes aches and pains. Soaking in a bath can also relieve muscle tension, helping you physically and mentally unwind.

Is a hot or cold shower better after a workout?

While hot showers can help reduce muscle soreness, cold showers are better for rinsing off sweat, so both have their benefits. However, stepping straight into a cold shower after working out can cause your muscle to seize up and increase your heart rate. It’s best to start with a lukewarm shower and adjust it gradually to your preferred temperature.  
 

The benefits of a hot shower after working out 

  • Reduces muscle soreness 
  • Feels more relaxing 
  • Warms you up after exercising outdoors, especially during the winter

 

The benefits of a cold shower after working out 

  • Rinses sweat off your skin more thoroughly, preventing clogged pores 
  • Helps cool you down after working out in a high-temperature environment (i.e. gym, hot yoga) 
  • Soaking in cold water may improve recovery time 
  • A short burst of cold water at the end of your shower can boost the immune system 

Learn more about the power of a cold shower to discover the potential health benefits. 

Should you shower before or after a workout?

While it may seem counterintuitive to shower before exercising, it can help warm up your muscles before your pre-workout stretch. Showering after a workout allows you to wash off sweat or dirt while soothing your muscles, which is more beneficial.

How long should you wait to shower after working out?

You can shower after your post-workout cool-down. Cool-downs should usually take five to ten minutes, lowering your heart rate and stretching your muscles sufficiently. 

How long should you take a bath after working out?

Soak in the bath for as long as you like after working out! Baths are a great way to unwind following an intense workout, helping your body relax. 

How to incorporate your cool-down into your shower

If you want to incorporate your cool-down routine into your shower, ensure you lower your heart rate with some gentle movement and stretch your muscles before stepping in. You should also adjust the temperature to lukewarm, which will help your body regulate its temperature. Very hot or cold showers can shock the body, so we recommend altering the temperature gradually to your preferred level. 

Questions about bathing after a workout 

How to soothe sore muscles in the bath

Adding Epsom salts to your bath is one of the best ways to soothe muscles, as they contain magnesium sulphates which help relieve tension. The warm water will also help your muscles relax. 

When should you have an ice bath?

You can take an ice bath after exercising if you’ve already stretched or lowered your heart rate. Ice baths may aid muscle recovery and reduce inflammation post-workout, but they aren’t the right choice for everyone. Some studies show that ice baths hinder muscle growth, so take a warm bath if this is your primary fitness goal. 

Ice baths may be dangerous for those with cardiovascular conditions. If you sit in them for too long, you could risk hypothermia. However, they can energise you and cool you down after a sweaty workout. 

Customise your post-workout shower routine with Mira Activate digital showers. You can pre-set the temperature from the handy smartphone app, so it’s ready when you step in.

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