Hot or cold water bath after workout?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by ananda, Nov 11, 2007.

?

What kind of bath/shower do you have after workouts to promote recovery

  1. Hot

    28 vote(s)
    53.8%
  2. Cold

    7 vote(s)
    13.5%
  3. Alternating hot and cold

    7 vote(s)
    13.5%
  4. We vikings don't bathe

    10 vote(s)
    19.2%
  1. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    Do you have a cold or hot bath/shower after workout/training? Or alternate hot-cold ?
    I ask from the perspective of quicker muscle recovery.

    I do know that icing helps healing of injuries. I read that the Bryan bros have an ice-bath after matches.

    Is this a factor at all in recovery ? Will it have any impact (I understand that rest and diet are most important).

    (Edit: when i meant bath/shower it does not necessarily mean entire body .. i mean mainly for the legs and arms muscles.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
    #1
  2. precision response

    precision response New User

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    shunting - alternating between hot & cold.
     
    #2
  3. mary fierce

    mary fierce Banned

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    I really enjoy a hot bath. Should I change because someone found that a cold one might "promote recovery?" Would you?
     
    #3
  4. bubbatex

    bubbatex Rookie

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    It is a well know fact that cold is much better for recovery than hot. But is needs to be real cold. And it is something that you don't necessarily need to do after every workout, just the real strenuous ones. Ice down your legs and arm about 15 minutes - or if your legs really took a beating, sit (or stand if you have something deep enough) in ice water for about 10-15 minutes (yes it hurts like hell at first, then gets better!).

    Yes Mary, you should change - a hot bath actually slows your recovery. And "someone" didn't just find this out - it is know to millions of athletes across the world.
     
    #4
  5. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    I use more ice than heat. After I play, if I have a problem with occasional jumper's knee, I will ice them down off and on. I then will take my shower, but I don't use a lot of heat. Today, I'm icing my knees after yesterday's long bout of tennis.

    Here's an article on when to ice and when to heat: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ss7.htm

    -Robert
     
    #5
  6. mary fierce

    mary fierce Banned

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    Not everything that is "well known" is true. What parameters of "recovery" were measured to determine this? What time course? (in other words, an advantage measurable at 6 hours may be gone by 12 hours, so there may be no meaningful advantage the next day.)
     
    #6
  7. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Actually, someone posted a link to a Japanese (I think) study that demonstrated that heat is better than ice. (Do a search and you might find it.) That would be contrary to years of practice and research.

    I know I feel better after icing. But, that's me. Do what works for you.

    -Robert
     
    #7
  8. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    mary, i understand your decision. Actually, if i were playing, say every other day, i would not care.
    i practice 6x a week, and 2 hours on the average.
    Although, my body is happily taking the 2 hour beating and recovering by the next day, but i thought if i could give it a little more recovery (and perhaps prevent injury in the process), then why not.

    I enjoy the hot bath, too!!!! But i have begun throwing in some cold in between.
     
    #8
  9. bubbatex

    bubbatex Rookie

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    Yep, I found one that was done by Australians that said when comparing hot and cold treatments, cold showed no extra healing qualities.

    I guess I should have left Mary out of my original comments (I apologize Mary)! Do what makes you feel best - I personally like ice!
     
    #9
  10. Mister G

    Mister G Rookie

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    Cold shower? Screw that. I HATE cold showers... haven't had one in over a decade. Brrrrr.....

    I love steaming hot showers.
     
    #10
  11. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    haha. mebbe i should rephrase slightly ...

    i mean cold or hot water over legs and arms. Need not be the entire body.... it's recovery of arm muscles i mainly mean here.
     
    #11
  12. LionsNC

    LionsNC New User

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    I keep a couple of ice packs in the freezer all the time and when I play some long matches I will come home and ice my elbow, knee(s) or all the above. Then I follow that with a hot shower or bath, the hotter the better. And of coarse couple Advil gel caps before I play seem to help too.
     
    #12
  13. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Why is cold better? Heat loosens the muscles and helps them stretch. Stretching and blood flow are essential to recovery.

    I take warm/hot sea salt baths.
     
    #13
  14. Mister G

    Mister G Rookie

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    Ahhhh ok... still dont like the idea though. Icepacks are fine though.
     
    #14
  15. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    I've been taking cold showers since boot camp, when I found I actually enjoyed them. They are invigorating, though they don't do much for germs. There are times when I do take a hot shower, but those are usually cold days after a run or bike ride when I'm frozen.

    -Robert
     
    #15
  16. KoreanHB

    KoreanHB Guest

    professional body builders recommend alternating to help recover fast.
     
    #16
  17. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Ananda, according to an ATP article I read, after you play tennis the best thing to do is light cardio like jogging or stationary bike for about 10 minutes than spend 15 minutes doing static stretches. Within 30 minutes get a protein/carb small meal in you to replenish glycogin stores. Both ice and heat is beneficial for recovery-try both or alternate to see what works best. Also, whirlpools and sports massages are great too. Be sure before you play each day to do light cardio for ten minutes to warm up muscles and tendons, followed by 10-15 minutes of dynamic stretches. Also, don't forget to continue to weight train so your body can handle the work load you are placing on it.
     
    #17
  18. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    thanks for the many excellent tips posted by you.

    apart from the stretching i seem to do most of the stuff, just not as much as you say.
    warm up: 2 rounds of tennis court warm up, some slow hitting. Often if i have had a snack before play, no jogging!

    cool off: jogging around to collect tennis balls!

    i play in the mornings. do some weights at home on 2-3 evenings, forearms more often.
     
    #18
  19. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Ananda, the stretching before and after you play is critical-it does take more time but you will see a big difference! I admit the thought of jogging or riding a stationary bike after you had played for two hours then stretching does not sound very appealing but apparently the increase in blood flow flushes out lactic acid. Also, with warmed up muscles that are stretched out will aid your movement and stroke production. If you can't warm up before you play at least start out with mini tennis and gradually move back toward the baseline and be sure you don't run wide for any balls until you have hit for 10 minutes. At this time do at least a few stretches for your legs and shoulders. If you can afford it sports massages once a week or every two weeks, along with whirl pools help greatly too. Pros get massages after they play every day.
     
    #19
  20. Psyballa

    Psyballa New User

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    I always love a warm shower after playing tennis. Alternating between cold and warm water is for muscle recovery, isn't it? But taking a shower after any physical activity in general helps prevent muscle stiffness anyway.
     
    #20
  21. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Nobody wants to take a cold shower. Hot water anyday over cold water in the shower, but I do ice injuries.
     
    #21
  22. firstservethenvolley

    firstservethenvolley Banned

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    Cold showers are really refreshing after practice or at the end of the day.
     
    #22
  23. bryan01

    bryan01 New User

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    Warm baths are good for improving circulation and keeping the body relaxed. Adding bath salts to warm baths can make it easier for people to sleep if they have problems doing so.
     
    #23
  24. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    I take cold showers, but only because it cools you off after working up a sweat on a hot day. I can't stand taking a hot shower after spending 3 hours in the scorching sun playing tennis. However, they're more like luke-cold than actually breathtaking cold. On the verge of cold, maybe?
     
    #24
  25. joeyscl

    joeyscl Rookie

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    I thought circulation (aka: warm shower/bath!) was good for recovery..?
     
    #25
  26. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

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    cold--i mean ice bath--we do these occasionally after football, and boy you feel brand new the next day!

    oh and after like practices and what not i like to start with a cold shower, and after in there for 5 minutes or whatever turn it a little warmer--but never a HOT shower
     
    #26
  27. Murray_Maniac

    Murray_Maniac Banned

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    I take a Cold shower if it was 90 + degrees farenheit out. Otherwise I do warm. Idk whats the best though.
     
    #27
  28. waxnator

    waxnator New User

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    Doesn't heat increase swelling? If you get an injury, you don't heat the area because it opens up blood vessels.

    If it's scorching hot day, a cold shower/ice bath is the BEST feeling in the world. Just my opinion. :)
     
    #28
  29. Punisha

    Punisha Professional

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    in the afl the football players all have ice baths after matches... dunno if it helps...
     
    #29

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