In the past I told you about how cold water therapy can help you lose man boobs, burn fat, and even grow muscle.
Here's my detailed article on this topic:
But one thing about cold water therapy always had me a tad perplexed.
See, in my program, the Ultimate Man Boob Busting Exercise, I explain how blood flow occlusion training helps boost muscle growth and boost testosterone.
A cold shower on the other hand, does the opposite. Instead of occluding blood flow, it INCREASES blood flow to your muscles.
Despite studies showing that regular cold exposure helps boost muscle growth and burn fat, could this mean that having a cold shower immediately after a workout, will REDUCE muscle growth and blunt the post-exercise testosterone boost we need to help get rid of man boobs?
Well it turns out that it DOES.
In a study published in the Journal of Physiology, 21 active men did strength training twice per week for 12 weeks. After each workout, one group sat in cold water for 10 minutes, while the other group did active recovery.
By the end of the 12 weeks, the group who did active recovery after their workouts, ended up with greater gains in both muscle mass and strength.
The scientists also measured acute changes in post-workout anabolic biomarkers and found that cold water immersion blunted post-workout activation of key proteins in muscle cells for up to two days.
So what does this mean?
Should you avoid cold showers completely?
Not at all.
If you refer to my article above, it still stands that regular cold showers help boost muscle growth and help burn fat.
Just avoid having a cold shower immediately after a workout.
Should you always avoid cold showers immediately after a workout?
In the vast majority of cases, I would say yes.
Let your body cool down for a couple of hours before you hit the shower.
If you absolutely must shower immediately after your workout because you are going to work or something, then have a hot shower.
Then later in the day, you can have a cold shower.
The only scenario in which you would benefit from a cold shower immediately after a workout, is if recovery is your prime objective.
If you are competing in something and need to do skill-based training daily, then a cold shower immediately after your workouts will help you recover faster between workouts.
This is why Olympic athletes have ice baths after their workouts, and will continue to do so regardless of the findings of this article.