What’s Better: a Cold or Hot Shower After a Workout?

After exercising do you take a cold or hot shower and does the temperature matter? If you’ve heard of recovery showers you know that they can boost muscle or injury recovery by alternating between hot to cold temperatures. So, the answer seems to be both a combination of a cold and hot shower.

You should start with a cold shower after a workout to decrease blood flow, reduce inflammation, and stiffen the muscles and joints to reduce pain. For the early stages of an injury, cold showers work well at reducing the body’s response to injury. Then, switch the shower to a hot temperature to improve muscles and joint recovery and to reduce stiffness and aid in mobility.

Post-workout recovery should be a combination of stretching, foam rolling, yoga, and alternating between cold and hot showers. You can also try out an ice bath. It’s all about figuring out what works for your body as it differs from person to person. Remember to be patient as you won’t see results in a day, it takes time to have an effect.