Soaking in a Jacuzzi certainly feels amazing when you just got out of a gym. But do you really get any hot tub benefits after workout or are they just myths?
In this article, we will bust the myths altogether and learn if hot water can alleviate muscle soreness or worsen it.
You’ll also find tips in the later section on the right timing when to use a hot tub. There’s no one sure way of doing it, though. It will all depend on the type of workout you just did.
Hot Tub Benefits After Workout
It’s all too common for athletes to use a cold compress or cold water immersion after a workout. This practice is like a tradition that only a few dares to question if it’s really effective or not.
When you immerse your muscles in cold water, it actually helps in reducing inflammation. While it may be beneficial if you’re actually injured, it may end up to detrimental if your muscles are sore due to a good workout.
In this case, the inflammation your muscles get is a healthy response and is necessary for your tissues to adapt. Suppressing this reaction by immediately soaking it in cold temperatures will limit the improvement you’re trying to achieve.
On the other hand, immersing muscles in hot water is actually beneficial in helping your body recover from the rigorous training. Below are the 3 major benefits you get from soaking in a hot tub.
Reduces Muscle Stiffness
Reduces Risks of Getting Injured
Whether it’s the SaluSpa Hawaii Hydrojet or an actual Jacuzzi, dipping your body in their hot water can help increase blood circulation. An improved circulation helps deliver and distribute biochemicals needed to heal the muscle. When you help your muscles recover, you are actually preparing it for the next level of training.
Heat helps your tensed muscles relax as a result of the blood vessels expanding. This targets the muscle soreness commonly experienced after a high-intensity training or workout. As a result, provides relief to muscle aches due to stiffness.
If you’re being consistent, immersing yourself in a hot tub after a workout is the same as soaking before the next session. When you look at it from this angle, you’re actually loosening up your muscles. In a relaxed and loosened state, your performance will improve greatly reducing the risk of getting sprains or torn ligaments.
There is a rule of a thumb you have to remember before heading to your club’s Jacuzzi. Never soak immediately after a workout. You need to allow some time for your inflamed muscles to adjust to the effects of your training.
This can take at least 30 minutes to a full day, depending on the intensity of the workout.
When it’s time to get in a hot tub, keep these 2 things in mind:
- Keep yourself hydrated. You’ve already sweat it out during your workout, and soaking will cause you to sweat out some more. Take sips of your favorite energy drink, green juice, or water.
- Use light massage only. The good thing about a hot tub is that it has the ability to massage you while soaking. Refrain from using any deep tissue or pressurized massages during this period after a workout. Your muscles are still recovering so a light bubble massage should be more than enough.
Later, you can reward yourself by enjoying pressurized massages from spas like the ones found here: lazeup.com/best-inflatable-hot-tubs-with-hydro-jets/.
One of the best benefits of soaking in a hot tub after a workout is the positive effect it provides, both mentally and emotionally. After soaking, you will be refreshed, your mood will improve, and you’ll feel eager for the next session. It becomes a powerful motivation to achieve consistency.
Hot Tub After Lifting
When you’re training to improve your muscles and gain more mass, soaking in a hot tub immediately after lifting may prove to be unfavorable.
The improved blood circulation ends up distributing the blood throughout your body, pulling it away from your deep muscle tissue.
As you may already know, you need to keep the blood deep in your muscles for as long as possible to feed it with oxygen. The best way to do this is to soak after your muscles have cooled down.
Hot Tub After Running
You will also need to take a rest after running before soaking in a hot tub. You will need to allow your leg muscles to adapt to the training it went through first. When it’s time to enjoy the hot tub experience, your muscles will be more than ready to receive the benefits of increased blood circulation.
The wait time increases depending on the length and intensity of the run. If you just did a marathon, you should extend the wait from 36 to 48 hours.
New studies have debunked the belief that muscles recover better when immersed in cold water or chilled. As published in the Journal of Physiology in Karolinska Institute, warming muscles can help with recovery better because it improves the absorption of loss carbs and other nutrients like electrolytes.
The image of immersing yourself in a hot tub while taking sips of water or energy drink is further justified.
Wrapping It Up
If given the choice between using cold or warm water after a workout, the best answer would be both. Cooling your muscles act as preparation for the amazing hot tub benefits after workout. It is a great reward for your workout, and you know you deserve it.