Can taking a cold shower cause cramping?

Question:

Hi Marc,

I have heard of people getting cramps or stroke from showering too soon after an intense workout.
Is it a myth or is there some truth to that. If there is truth to it, how long should one wait before showering or freshening up?

Best regards,

Moody

Answer:

Moody,

It goes like this.

Let’s say you workout super hard, it’s hot. Your body is at it’s top level temp. You instantly take a very cold shower.

Your blood vessels constrict quickly.

Not only can you cramp up but you can do a lot more damage.

Don?t let that statement alarm you.

For example…

Have you ever gone in a hot tub, been very warm and rushed to jump in the pool?

The shock is refreshing but it’s usually not cold enough to do any serious damage other then to cool you down quickly and feel ‘neat.’

However, when you are hot and you take a cold (very cold) shower, you can restrict the blood vessels very quickly which can cause cramping.

So just how long should you wait?

Put it this way.

Get your post-workout nutrition. Drink some cold water.

Then hit the shower and make it cold or cool but not freezing.

That will lower your body temp but not shock you and cause your blood vessels to constrict too quickly. In fact, done right it can be beneficial and help in recovery!

Hope that helps Moody.

Update:

Thanks to a fellow listener who pointed this out, it seems that ice baths are employed by rugby players to aid in recovery. Notice that when you read this article, the pictures all show them waist deep and legs are mentioned.

I’m guessing that flusing the blood out of your upper body would be a bad idea! :-)

Why rugby players love ice baths

Categories: Natural Bodybuilding