In addition to chugging all the water (bonus points if it’s Vital Proteins® Collagen Water™!) following a tough bodyweight CrossFit workout, the most common thing to do post-exercise is to hop in the shower. Although ridding your skin of the sweat and bacteria from your workout is obvious, there’s one thing that sets a lot of people apart when it comes to this next step: water temperature. So, it’s time to ask yourself: Should you take a hot or cold shower after your workout? And is one better than the other? Keep reading to find out which one you should be incorporating in your post-workout routine.
It all comes down to personal preference. No one is the same, so if you’re a fan of taking cold showers, feel free. Do you fancy hot showers? Step right in. That being said, however, there are things to consider about each temperature level. Although taking a hot shower after a strenuous workout may feel relaxing and can help open airways (ideal if you’re feeling less than stellar), opting for too-hot water can strip the skin of natural oils, causing it to feel dry, itchy and be without moisture.
When it comes to taking a cold shower after working out, positive results have been reported. A 2019 study found nine people who had taken a cold shower after working out in a hot environment experienced decreased heart rates and reduced cardiac stress.** While the study is small, it’s a promising one.
As previously mentioned, there hasn’t been much research conducted about the connection between cold showers after working out and muscle growth. That being said, cold water immersion, aka ice baths, have long been viewed as popular post-workout rituals for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Why, you ask? Dunking in an ice bath can help boost recovery – at least according to recent research. A 2015 study observed 21 men for 12 weeks found that cold water immersion can help build muscle and speed up recovery following a strength workout such as high-intensity interval training.**
There are also beauty benefits that come along with taking cold showers. Even though it may come as a shock to your system, rinsing your hair with cold water before leaving the shower closes the hair cuticle, adding shine and making your hair look smoother. Using cold water also helps seal in the moisture from your daily conditioner, which can help strengthen and add length to your hair.
Vital note: This article has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Your licensed healthcare professional can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen.
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