While you’ve probably showered after a workout, showering before exercising can be just as beneficial. Are you ready to shower and then hit the gym?
A pre-workout shower loosens muscles, improves blood circulation, and relaxes your body—perfect physical conditions for a good workout. For the ultimate gym readiness, finish a warm shower with a burst of cold water and then hit the gym. Restore your natural homeostasis with an after-workout shower.
The thought of a shower before getting all sweaty over some weights or hitting the treadmill may not be your idea of good water use, but could the benefits outweigh your skepticism?
Let’s find out if showering before and after a workout is worth it.
Should You Shower Before a Workout?
A pre-workout shower has many benefits, and it may boost your health more than you ever believed possible.
There are several benefits of taking a shower before you have a workout:
A hot shower will warm up the muscles of your body. As a result, these muscles will be more flexible, allowing for a greater range of movement after a hot shower.
Improves Blood Circulation
When your body is warmed, your blood will also become hotter. As a result, the blood in your body will flow faster, opening up capillaries and reducing the risk of a stroke.
A Relaxed Body Is Ready to Exercise
If you are tense and worked up after a day at the office, you won’t be able to focus and breathe efficiently while exercising.
Taking a soothing shower before you workout can help clear brain fog and increase your mental focus on the workout activity you are busy with.
Since you’ll be physically more prepared and mentally more aware when gyming after a shower, it is no stretch to state that a pre-workout shower can even reduce injuries.
When it comes to showering before the workout, there are a few drawbacks that may affect your choice.
Showering Takes Time
When you are already rushed for time and struggle to find time to have a workout, then those extra 20 minutes for a pre-workout shower may be a bigger time requirement than you have.
Public Showers Are Risky
Public showers are always risky, so if you attend a local fitness studio, you may not want to shower twice and increase the chances of you being exposed to germs.
Showering Can Leave You Feeling Faint
If you aren’t used to showering so frequently, the sudden rise in blood pressure can cause you to feel faint.
Trying to exercise when you don’t feel well can lead to other health complications.
Showering Twice Requires More Products
When you shower twice (pre and post-workout), you will need to use more shampoo and shower gel, and you’d probably need an extra towel too.
This can become quite costly, especially if you need to moisturize after each shower.
Should You Shower After a Workout?
While you probably shower after a workout to clean up and head out into the world, you may find that post-workout showering changes somewhat if you showered before your workout too.
Post-Workout Showering Cleanses Your Body
A shower after your workout will help you wash away sweat and grime from your body after lifting weights or using talcum for specialized training.
It also feels better to be clean and showered before putting on a fresh set of clothes.
Post-Workout Showering Soothes a Tired Body
When you’ve completed a strenuous workout program, you may feel tired.
A good shower with some massaging with your loofah and shower gel can really help your circulation to clear out waste products that could cause muscle cramps if you just leave it.
This speeds up recovery time between workout sessions and limits muscle soreness.
Post Workout Showering Restores Your Body’s Normal Temperature
When you’ve just worked your body by stretching and lifting weights, your core temperature rises.
A cool shower can help return your body temperature to normal, preventing the risk of you catching a chill on an otherwise hot and sweaty body.
You may not think there’s a drawback to showering after a workout; after all, you’re hot and need to clean up. Yet, a shower can also do damage to your body.
Hot Showers Can Cause Dry Skin
If you like a hot shower after your workout, it can really take a toll on your skin’s moisture content.
Dry, flakey, and itchy skin can be the result if you shower before and then after your workout.
Greater Exposure To Hard Water
Most of the U.S. has hard water that is used for showering and other potable functions.
Hard water can lead to your skin drying out and even trigger allergies due to the calcium and lime being deposited on your skin.
Showering twice increases your exposure to hard water unless the shower is fitted with a water filter.
Shower Water Temperature
Should You Take a Cold or a Hot Shower Before a Workout?
Before a workout, it is best to take a hot shower as this warms up the body and prepares you for a workout.
Cold showers will leave your muscles stiff and create joint discomfort since the muscle fibers shrink in cold temperatures.
Should You Take a Cold or a Hot Shower After a Workout?
After a workout, it is best to start with a warm shower, cleansing your body and easing sore muscles.
When your body is clean, turn down the hot water selector and up the cold water selector so the water temperature gradually decreases.
Cooler water in a post-workout shower will leave your body feeling tingly and healthy.
Using a sauna or steam room at a lifestyle club or gym can be a good way to open your skin pores and cleanse, while also soothing tired muscles. There is some risk to using a steam room after a workout. A workout already increases your blood pressure, and a steam room heats the body, further raising the blood pressure. This could cause a stroke.
While a bath may seem like a good idea after a workout, it is better to shower instead. Taking a bath will immerse your body in hot water, which can further increase the blood pressure and potentially lead to fainting.