I workout every two days, I mostly do 45 minutes-workouts 'heavy-lifting' oriented (deadlifts, squats, bench press, weighted pull-ups, abs), and, each week, one of these workouts is more cardio-oriented.

I usually take cold showers each days at 7 PM, but I'm working out at 11 AM (or 4 PM for cardio days).

The thing is that I've read that cold and hot showers have various effects, but they are generally considered to be post-workouts. For instance, hot showers are supposed to help to build muscle while cold showers reduce inflamation, so muscle growth, but they reduce cortisol levels (so it improves testosterone level which is needed for muscle growth).

Do cold/hot showers still have an impact on muscle growth hours after a workout? If so, how should I adapt them? (For example: hot showers on workout days, cold showers on rest days)

  • 1
    Not an answer to your question, but I've personally found that evening cold showers, before bed, help me sleep a lot better, and since sleep is so important to a whole host of health and fitness related stuff, there may be an indirect benefit there.
    – Dark Hippo
    May 18, 2018 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


One study found that cold water immersion post exercise attenuated long term gains in muscle mass and strength. However, the study used 10 minutes of complete immersion, which is a significantly more intense exposure than a cold shower at the same temperature. The cold-exposure also occurred immediately after exercise, and it would be reasonable to expect that the detrimental effects would be lessened if it occurred 8 hours later, rather than immediately at the end of the workout. However there's no data available on that, so this is mere guesswork.

I'd suggest that you make a personal assessment of the effects of your cold showers on your own behaviour and motivation. I.e. If you find that you have more muscle soreness when you skip the cold showers, and that muscle soreness could result in you skipping a workout, then the fact that the shower lets you get an additional workout in will almost certainly have a greater positive effect than any strength-detrimental effects it may also have. Or if you feel more motivated or energised after a cold shower, and those benefits may make it worthwhile. Even if these effects are only placebos, they're still beneficial if they help you work out more or improve your life in other ways.

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