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Contrast Temperature Showers

Contrast Temperature Showers

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Contrast Temperature Showers infographic
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Description

Contrast showering is a method used by many professional athletes to improve muscle function and health [1, 5].

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How to Do It

  • Alternate between hot and cold water in 20-30 second periods while taking your usual shower. 
  • For hot water periods, chose a temperature around 38° C (100 degrees fahrenheit) 
  • For cold water periods, chose a temperature around 16 C. (60 fahrenheit) 
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Benefits

  • May improve recovery after muscle damage [1]
  • May reduce pain 
  • May improve blood flow
  • May improve health [2]
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Time Commitment

Your usual shower time

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Why it works

Hot and cold water have different effects on peripheral blood-flow [5]. Hot water tends to dilate blood vessels while cold water constricts them. Therefore, alternating between hot and cold water can stimulate blood supply to muscular tissue which helps in reducing spasms and inflammations.

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Suggested Frequency

Daily

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Supporting Studies and Articles

  1. Bieuzen, F., Bleakley, C. M., & Costello, J. T. (2013). Contrast Water Therapy and Exercise Induced Muscle Damage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062356
  2. Buijze, G. A., Sierevelt, I. N., van der Heijden, B. C. J. M., Dijkgraaf, M. G., & Frings-Dresen, M. H. W. (2016). The Effect of Cold Showering on Health and Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE, 11(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161749
  3. Higgins, T., Greene, D., & Baker, M. (2016). The Effects of Cold Water Immersion and Contrast Water Therapy for Recovery from Team Sport: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31, 1. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001559
  4. Juliff, L., Halson, S., Bonetti, D., Versey, N., Driller, M., & Peiffer, J. (2012). The influence of contrast shower and water immersion recovery modalities on performance, physiology and psychological recovery in female netballers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15, S107–S108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2012.11.262
  5. Mooventhan, A., & Nivethitha, L. (2014). Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body. North American Journal of Medical Sciences, 6(5), 199–209. https://doi.org/10.4103/1947-2714.132935
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Side Effects

None

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Required Equipment

None

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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

- Katharine Hepburn

- Miranda Kerr

- Ha Ji Won

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Related Products

None

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Suggested Time of Day

Your preferred shower time mornings are best

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Notes

  • There is no scientific evidence that contrast showering will improve performance or increase body temperature.
  • Cold exposure may stimulate fat loss

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Category

 Health  Digestion
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