What’s the first thing you’d like to do after getting home from the gym? Or after a home workout, a trek and the likes?
“Drink water!” – Says my mind!
“Please go and take a bath!”- Shouts my body!
Obviously! Who likes to sit around with sweat all over! However, the question arises if to take a shower with cold water or hot water? More often than not I find people saying take a bath- with a cold shower as it makes them feel better!
But, did you know that what you choose, why you choose and what happens after you choose your bathing water has a lot to do with good health!
Let me explain this better by getting a little technical and a little scientific. Many trainers and fitness experts feel that cold shower or ice bath is the best after a sweaty workout.
Cold shower after a sweaty and hot gym is a shock to the system. The immediate drop in the body temperature directs the blood flow towards the vital organs which leaves the muscles alone to repair and manage with the lactic acid accumulation which has happened. When this happens, vasoconstriction takes place (Vasoconstriction is the constriction of blood vessels which increases the blood pressure) which reduces the temperature of the damaged tissue
Cold water prevents the swelling and typical pain which sometimes happens after any strenuous workouts. Cold water shower works in the same way as the ice pack will work for a post workout injury. This also helps in increasing the blood circulation in the body.
If you have any post workout pain or soreness- Go ahead with cold water shower for some relief.
But, there are some do’s and don’ts while you take a cold-water shower. People with high blood pressure issues should avoid taking post workout cold water shower. Water can be at room temperature; extremely cold water is also not a good option.
Well, the argument doesn’t end here. While some experts believe that hot water shower is better than a cold shower. Let’s check the theory behind what hot water does to your body after a workout!
If cold water causes vasoconstriction as mentioned above, hot water causes vasodilation (Dilates the blood vessels which decreases the blood pressure).
Hot water shower stimulates the blood flow to the skin and helps in soothing the muscles. When the blood flow increases to the muscles, the lactic accumulation disperses out reducing the post workout soreness and reduces the uneasiness. As far as it is a soreness pain; hot water shower can work but if at all there is a post workout injury and the tissue has got damaged then please go for an ice pack and cold-water shower. Hot water might make you relax but ice will actually start healing the damaged tissue.
When I say hot water, it doesn’t mean boiling hot water! The temperature of the water can be slightly more than the room temperature which gives you soothing relief.
The argument of whether hot or cold water will always remain. Basis, the above explanation choose what suits you the best and go ahead with that option!