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Should I Shower Before or After Running? Expert Advice

It’s your utmost responsibility to take good care of your body while still young and healthy. For this matter, running can be the best and easiest workout routine to reach this goal. However, there are certain questions you need to answer to get the most out of your morning run, including: should I shower before or after running? Should I use cold or hot water? Should I shower immediately after the run?

Should I take a shower before or after running? Although this might seem like a simple question, it’s crucial to know the answer to it in order to get the best results. Both showers before and after a run have their advantages. Some people even do both, so the choice is all yours depending on your needs and the conditions of your marathon.

Moreover, choosing between cold and hot water can be challenging. Both have their advantages, which again depend on the circumstances of your run. You can even mix between warm and cold water in your post-run shower. However, it’s important to note that professional athletes usually prefer cold showers. Read on for more information about this subject.

Shower Before or After Running?

So, should I take a shower before or after running? While showering after you run is the obvious choice, some studies show that showering before your marathon has its advantages as well. It can be argued that showering before running isn’t for everyone, but it can be beneficial for some people rather than others.

On the one hand, taking a shower before running is a beneficial step before your warm-up. A warm pre-run shower helps raise the temperature of your body and increase your blood flow, which in turn loosens your stiff muscles. A cold shower before running can boost the ability of your body to endure a prolonged intense workout. If you’re one of those people who have a hard time waking up in the morning, a pre-running shower is good for you.

On the other hand, taking a shower after your run is an ideal way to cool down. A shower after running is not only a means of relaxation but also a proven way to reduce the risk of harmful bacteria that would rapidly grow on your sweaty body. All in all, taking a shower after running helps you restore the natural homeostasis of your body.

Should I Shower Immediately After Running?

While hopping in the shower right after running seems like an incredibly tempting idea, it’s not as good as you think. You should rather wait for at least 20 minutes before hitting the showers in order to avoid the shock that might occur due to the difference in temperatures.

During this time, there are things you can do to cool down, which would help you get the best out of your shower.

You shouldn’t take a shower right after running. It’s essential that you give yourself some time until you stop sweating altogether before you get into the shower. That’s because you need to cool down before you shock your body with water at a different temperature. You can cool down by performing low-intensity stretches that can help decrease the temperature of your body and restore its resting state.

One more thing on the list of what not to do after running is staying in your running clothes before you hit the showers. After your run, you should take off your sweaty running clothes and spend the first twenty minutes rehydrating your body with a smoothie or a soft drink if you’re not so much into water.

This helps your body cool down to avoid the sharp difference in temperatures that might occur if you hit the shower while still sweating.

Is It Bad to Take a Cold Shower After Running?

While it’s true that the steamy water of a hot shower can be beneficial for your sore muscles, there is scientific evidence to show that cold showers are actually the best option for thoroughly cleansing your sweaty body. A cold shower can help decrease cardiac stress and heart rate if you ran in hot weather.

Some people believe that cold showers are what they really need after a run to cool their bodies down, though others believe that warm showers are better to cleanse your body and relax your muscles.

Yes, the choice is up to you. However, it’s been reported that most professional athletes take cold showers after their workouts or intense activities. According to a study conducted in 2019, a cold shower after intense activities such as running can have many health benefits such as quickly decreasing cardiac stress and heart rate, especially if you’ve run in high temperatures.

In fact, in that study, heart rates measured 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours after exercise were shown to decrease more rapidly with cold showers than hot showers. While not as comfortable, a cold shower can help you get your body back to it’s normal state after an intensive bout of exercise.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research


So, should I shower before or after running? While a pre-running shower can be good for some people, it’s not necessary for everyone. On the other hand, a shower after running is important to restore the body’s temperature and vitalities. However, you shouldn’t hit the showers right after running because the difference in temperatures can shock your body and further stiffen your muscles.

Moreover, you should take a cold rather than a hot shower because it can help decrease heart rate and cardiac stress. It’s recommended that you start your shower with warm water and then turn to cold gradually.

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.