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What is the effect of cold showers after very intense training (body fully covered in sweat, high pulse, increased body temperature)?

I'm especially interested in how it affects perspiration.

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  • $\begingroup$ I haven't done a full case-control study on this but I'm pretty confident one will stop sweating a few seconds after entering a cold shower ; ) What do you mean exactly? $\endgroup$ – Artem Apr 1 '17 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ I assume, because the pores close, but after the shower the body would continue sweating, at least if the temperature is still too high, I guess? Also are there any health issues involved in this delayed perspiration? $\endgroup$ – mike Apr 1 '17 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ A shower is very good at transferring/absorbing heat, if anything your body temperature will cool down significantly faster in a cold shower then by sweating alone. The recommendation of cold showers/cooling post exercise has to do with reducing inflammation in the muscles. $\endgroup$ – Artem Apr 1 '17 at 22:52
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Taking cold showers(10-15 ℃) after training or workout have many benefits:

  • It helps in lowering the damaged tissues temperature by constricting blood vessels.

  • Cold helps numb nerve endings which provides instant localised pain relief.

  • Brings down heart rate and increases circulation.

  • It minimises inflammation and help you recover faster.

  • It is more effective in relieving delayed-onset muscle soreness, which generally occurs one to four days after any physical activity.

  • It reduces uric acid levels, so it is beneficial for people suffering from gout.

  • It boosts glutathione levels in the body which is a very beneficial antioxidant.

Those who should avoid cold showers:

1] Those who suffer from heart diseases as constriction of blood vessels can lead to a heart attack.

2] People having high blood pressure, because blood vessels will constrict and can reduce the supply of blood to different organs, especially the brain.

Ice bath:

In sports therapy, an ice bath, or sometimes cold-water immersion or cold therapy, is a training regimen usually following a period of intense exercise in which a substantial part of a human body is immersed in a bath of ice or ice-water for a limited duration. While it is becoming increasingly popular and accepted among athletes in a variety of sports, the method is controversial, with a risk of hypothermia, with the possibility of shock leading to sudden death. Many athletes have used cold water immersion after an intense exercise workout on the belief that it speeds up bodily recovery; however, the internal physical processes are not well understood and remain elusive. Generally research into the health effects of cold water immersion as part of an athletic training regimen is inconclusive, with some studies suggesting a mild benefit such as reducing muscle damage and discomfort and alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness, with other studies suggesting that cold water immersion may slow muscle growth and interfere with an overall training regimen.

[Source 1]

[Source 2]

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References:

- A cold shower maybe more beneficial to your fitness[Dr. Mercola].

- Cold shower after exercise.

- Effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body(NCBI)

- The effects of cold water immersion and recovery of inflammation

- Ice bath (Wikipedia)

- 8 do's and don't's of Ice bath

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    $\begingroup$ Thx for the answer! Could you add some information on the effects of showers below 10-15 ℃? And are there any side effects, because of (possibly temporarily) suppressed perspiration due to closed pores? $\endgroup$ – mike Apr 2 '17 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ Almost all of the claimed benefits you list here are unlikely to be true, even your own reference (onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP272881/full) doesn't support your claim about inflamation! A Cochrane review of Ice Baths found only Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness showed any effect, and even here the evidence was weak: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008262.pub2/… $\endgroup$ – Jack Aidley Apr 3 '17 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Jack Aidley There are many contrasting articles about inflammation. I added both the articles so that the OP can read about that. You may have observed that applying ice after injury reduces inflammation. link.springer.com/article/10.2165/11531940-000000000-00000 and journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/… says that there can be a reduce in inflammation. On ice baths , I have mentioned that in the answer that the processes are not well understood. All my claims are backed by references. $\endgroup$ – user237650 Apr 3 '17 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ The claims you make may or may not be in your references, it's hard to tell since you don't link your claims to particular references, but your references are a pretty mixed bag - including a link to a site that credulously discusses Spleen Qi, for example - and the more credible of them are more skeptical. $\endgroup$ – Jack Aidley Apr 4 '17 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Jack Aidley The first claims of benefits are from the Dr. Mercola website. Dr. Mercola is a reputed medical practitioner. The other references are for further reading and then the Ice bath one I have mentioned the references. $\endgroup$ – user237650 Apr 4 '17 at 13:43

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