It’s no secret that hot tubs are a great way to unwind after work, find arthritis relief, or get a better night’s sleep. Now, new studies have shown that there are benefits of using a hot tub after a workout that can improve athletic performance, such as lowering resting body temperature and increasing sweat rate. So, is including a hot tub session in your post-workout routine the right move for you? Let’s examine the latest study and what it means.
Hot Tub After Workouts Study
We’ve all heard of using ice baths after a workout for better recovery, but scientists recently wondered about the potential benefits of using hot baths instead. They conducted a study to test the potential benefits of soaking in a hot tub after workouts. Volunteers were split into 2 groups, and both groups were asked to run on a treadmill for 40 minutes. Group 1 followed their workout with a soak in a 104°F bath, while Group 2 followed their workout with a “thermoneutral” bath at 93.2°F. Although it may seem that roughly 10° may not make a difference, you may be surprised by the results!
Benefits of a Hot Tub After a Workout
The scientists noted that several key indicators of physical condition and stamina quickly start changing for the participants who used the hot tub after their workouts. They noticed the participants showed signs of enhanced ability to cool their bodies—by sweating sooner and sweating more during future periods of exercise. They also noticed that participants’ core temperatures were lower during rest and exercise. Similar studies conducted have also found an increase in volume of blood plasma—an indication of a strong heart. All of these factors together add up to one thing: soaking in a hot tub after a workout can help your body learn heat adaptation, resulting in better athletic performance.
Other Takeaways from the Study
Although the scientists in the study quickly realized that the benefits of soaking in a hot tub after a workout go beyond just muscle relaxation, there were several other points to note:
• Start for Short Periods of Time
During the study, the scientists noted that it was challenging for participants to soak in a hot tub after a grueling workout. This is primarily due to the fact that the scientists were asking participants to soak for an extended period of time—up to 40 minutes—in order to quickly produce measurable results for a limited study. However, the scientists concluded that individuals soaking in a hot tub for a much shorter period of time would still see benefits, especially if the soaks were incorporated into a regular training schedule. If you are adding a hot tub soak to your post-workout routine, it’s important that you start with only a short soak to allow your body to adjust, and continue to hydrate. Never push too hard or neglect your limits—watch for signs of overheating (light-headedness, dizziness, or nausea).
• Recreational Athletes Get More of a Performance Boost
One of the main discussion points of the study is who would benefit the most. The scientists concluded that if you’re a recreational athlete, soaking in a hot tub after workouts would provide more noticeable benefits to your performance. Elite athletes, who already exercise at a higher level—close to 9 hours per day—already have high-performance levels and would not see as much of a change. However for elite athletes, who compete in events where every millisecond counts, using a hot tub after workouts could still boost their competitive edge.
• Ideal for Athletes Preparing for Warm Weather Events
The scientists also concluded that using a hot tub after workouts is ideal for athletes who live in cold climates to help train for events in warm weather. Let’s say you live in Maine, where the snow can be measured in feet in those cold winter months. You’re beginning your training for a triathlon in the nice and warm state of Florida in late spring. If you’re familiar with Florida in the slightest, you know winter temperatures don’t usually dip below the 50°Fs and summers regularly hit 100°F. No matter how strictly you adhere to your training routine, your body will not be prepared for the change in temperature. Incorporating a hot tub after your workouts will help your body with heat adaptation, so your body will be less stressed by the temperature change.
Visit Your Hot Tub Dealer in Sacramento, CA
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or you like to enjoy light activity, hot tubs are always a great idea, and at Blue Lagoon Spas, you can customize your spa for your specific needs. We offer an excellent selection of high-quality spas for every price point, all of which are California Energy Rated and ETL listed, saving you energy and money. Contact us today, and we’ll help you select the spa that’s perfect for you.