Nearly everyone understands the importance of taking a shower following a workout. A post-workout shower aids in recovery, helps relieve muscle soreness, and cleans sweat and bacteria from your skin to reduce the risk for infections and breakouts. But did you know that taking a shower BEFORE your workout also comes with benefits?
You may be thinking, why would I shower before my workout if I’m going to get sweaty anyway? Wouldn’t showering before my workout be pointless and a waste of time?
Showering before your workout offers a number of science-proven benefits that can actually enhance your performance, and bring you closer to reaching your fitness goals.
Check out the following seven benefits to showering before your workout.
1. Increase your alertness
The first spray of cold water that hits your body when taking a cold shower will trigger spikes in both heart rate and oxygen intake. As a result, you benefit from increased alertness and energy levels that can set you up for an amazing, productive workout.
2. Boost your endurance
Showering in cold water before your workout is also shown to increase your body’s endurance level and capacity for exercising at higher intensity levels for longer periods of time. So for instance, if you’re running outdoors in hot summer temperatures, taking a cool shower before your workout can boost your endurance and help you finish strong.
3. Loosen your muscles
Taking a hot shower before exercising helps reduce muscle tension, tightness, and stiffness — all of which could otherwise lead to injuries like muscle strain, runner’s knee, and Achilles tendinitis. But taking a warm or hot shower beforehand can help you relax so you experience a safer, more productive and fulfilling workout.
4. Reduce your body odor
Showering before your workout removes all the sweat, bacteria, and other debris from your skin that accumulated while you slept or went about your day. This type of skin funk can contribute to smellier, more intensified body odor when you start sweating during your workout. Not only is bad body odor a reflection of poor personal hygiene, but it can end up distracting you and those around you who are trying to have productive workouts themselves.
5. Achieve greater physical comfort
Skipping a pre-workout shower can accelerate the rate at which you feel grimy, sweaty, and uncomfortable during your workout. Physical discomfort can distract you from the task at hand and have you thinking about ways to improve your comfort level instead. Arriving at your workout feeling fresh and clean can help minimize distractions in the form of clammy and sticky skin, unpleasant odors, and a general sense of discomfort from not having recently showered.
6. Feel more prepared to excel
Many people shower in the morning before going to work so they can feel refreshed, alert, and ready to tackle the day ahead. Why not approach your workout in the same manner? After all, your workouts are highly important for your health and overall wellness, and should be made a priority. Showering before your workout helps you mentally prepare for an important job ahead and can indirectly help you stay focused on your performance.
7. Meet more friends
If your goal is to connect with like-minded individuals at your gym or fitness club, consider showering before your workout to become more approachable and less annoying to fellow gym-goers. Not many people are thrilled about the idea of making friends with the smelliest person at the gym, let alone exercising near them. But maintaining good personal hygiene and showering before your workout can prevent you from deterring potential amazing workout buddies.
Content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medical treatment.