Cold Shower After Exercise: What Are Its Benefits And Side Effects?

Every fitness freak or a professional athlete knows how relaxing it is to jump in warm shower after they have finished their hard exercise program. Warm water helps to soothe and relax tired and achy muscles. However, taking a cold shower is also beneficial according to many fitness and health experts. Taking cold shower has become a common trend among professional athletes as it not only soothes the tired muscles but also boosts the overall health.

We will discuss about the benefits of a cold shower after a workout and also the side effects of taking a bath after exercise with cold water.

Benefits Of Cold Showers After Workout

Let us find out why experts recommend cold shower after exercise:

  • Cold shower after exercise or a hard workout is beneficial for the muscles. It reduces inflammation of the muscles which is normally stressed out after hard exercise.
  • Cold shower also helps to reduce pain in muscles as it numbs the nerve ending.
  • Many fitness experts believe that cold water bath is more effective than taking rest, especially for relieving muscle soreness which occurs few days after exercising. One study conducted on cyclists and runners and those into resistant training programs revealed that cold water shower after exercise were more effective in reducing the pain and soreness of muscles that occurred after two to three days.
  • Experts also believe that after a workout, cold shower helps to bring back the body’s normal temperature easily.
  • Taking cold shower after exercise increases the testosterone level in men. This not only increases libido among men, but also helps to increase the overall energy level and health which is so necessary for a sportsperson.
  • A cold shower after exercise also reduces depression.
  • The inflammation which occurs as a result of exercise and workout gets reduced by taking cold water bath. It has an analgesic effect without any side effect or dependence.
  • Now the question arises how much the water should be cool. According to fitness experts the temperature of the cold water should be 10 to 15 degree C; this means it should be lukewarm. Many medical professionals believe that taking shower with extremely cold water is not good for health. It can produce shock since the body is hot after doing exercise. Instead lukewarm water gradually brings back the temperature to normal.
  • Taking short period of cold water bath can significantly reduce the level of uric acid in the blood. It is beneficial for those patients suffering from gout and who are exercising.
  • It increases the level of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant which helps other antioxidants to work efficiently.

Side Effects Of Cold Water Bath

As we have discussed the benefits, we should also be aware about the side effects of cold shower after exercise.

  • Since after taking cold shower the blood vessels constrict. People suffering from heart diseases should not indulge in cold showers and bath. It can precipitate in catastrophic heart event.
  • If you are having high blood pressure, you should not take cold shower or cold bath after exercise. This is because the blood vessels will constrict and that may diminish the supply of blood to the brain cells leading to an event such as stroke.
  • For those athletes and sports person who find difficulty in sleeping may feel relieved by taking alternating warm and cold shower.

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