Q&A: Post-Workout Shower
Q: After a workout, like everyone else in the world, I usually take a shower. Should I take a warm shower or a cold one?
A: Actually, a combination of both is best. By immersing the body in alternating temperature extremes, you can increase blood flow and promote muscle recovery. The hot water causes your blood to rush away from your internal organs and towards your skin. The cold water causes the blood to rush away from your skin to keep your internal organs safe and warm. You can do this in hot tubs, cold plunges, the bath or in the shower.
If you can, try a hot/cold contrast immediately after a workout. Not only will the increased blood flow promote muscle recovery, the cold water in particular will decrease the natural post-workout inflammation. So it might even help you avoid some post-workout soreness.
The best way to utilize the hot and cold water is to contrast between the two and build up to longer durations under the cold. Finish in the cold if you'll be participating in more activity that day or still have a long day at work. This will help stimulate your nervous system, which will help with focus and energy.