Showering after running is good for you for multiple reasons. It not only gets you clean and protects you from skin inflammation but also helps naturally lower your heart rate and core temperature. Most people wonder how long they should wait to shower after running?
Technically, wait around 20–30 minutes after your run to take a shower. Many runners found that after running at a fast pace and showering thoroughly quickly, they would continue to sweat profusely for 15–20 minutes afterward, depending on the intensity of their run and the weather outside.
Additionally, showering after a run helps your muscles recover and boosts your body’s ability to bounce back and be ready for your next run.
So, should you shower after running? The best way to find out is to look at scientific studies and find out: Should you take a hot or cold shower after running? What are the benefits of showering after running? And finally, what to do if there is no time to shower after a workout?
Table of Contents
- 1 How Long Should I Wait to Shower After Running
- 2 Should You Shower After Sweating?
- 3 What to do if there is No Time to Shower After Workout
- 4 Hot or Cold Shower After Running
- 5 Benefits of Showering After Running
How Long Should I Wait to Shower After Running
Always try to find time to cool down and let your body come to normal temperature before you even think about a shower or a bath. Wait around 20–30 minutes after your run to take a shower.
Jumping into a cold shower after a hot run might cause your muscles to stiffen or speed up your heart rate. So I suggest you do some low-intensity stretches and re-hydrating to give your body some time to get back to its resting temperature and heart rate.
Follow the following steps to help your body cool down and come to normal temperature:
- Start your shower at a lukewarm or moderately warm temperature after relaxing your body with stretches and slow exercises such as yoga or jogging.
- Near the end of your shower, apply cold water to your body to complete your cool-down phase.
Should You Shower After Sweating?
Skipping a shower after running once in a while for some inevitable reasons may not cause any significant health issues. However, try not to make it a habit.
But remember that not taking a shower after your run will allow all the sweat, oil, dirt, and other grime a chance to accumulate on your skin, causing a host of skin-related issues.
It is a good idea to shower after sweating. Experts found that during intense workouts, you may develop heat rash, skin breaks down, and skin breach risk by bacteria, which grow rapidly on sweaty skin. Showers help prevent it.
Over time, skipping the post-run shower can also lead to infection. Experts recommend that after your run to get rid of the sports bra and shower. Sweaty sports bras are a common cause of fungal infections under and around the breasts because fungi grow more rapidly in warm and moist environments.
What to do if there is No Time to Shower After Workout
If you really do not have time to take a shower after running, use the following steps until you can take a proper shower:
- Wipe off your sweat by applying a clean, dry towel to help get rid of sweat that would otherwise lead to clogged pores.
- Use antibacterial body wipes to clean your skin, wash your hands with warm water and soap, use deodorant, and switch into some fresh clothes. Always double check if the wipes that you use are intended for use on the skin.
- Use cleansing and soothing wipes intended for your face to dissolve sweat accumulated on your chin, forehead, and neck to protect you against acne and reduce face redness.
- Switch into some fresh clothes, including your undergarments. When changing your running choose breathable, loose-fitting cotton till you can adequately shower.
- Wash your hands using antibacterial soap to eliminate any bacteria you might have picked up from any shared treadmill at the gym or outside during your run.
Keep in mind that none of these can replace a post-run shower; however, they can help you feel refreshed and hygienic until you can take a proper shower.
And make sure that you do get a full shower within 24 hours of your workout or even sooner if you can.
It is better to take a delayed shower than no shower at all. And do not forget to wash your sweaty clothes before re-wearing them again.
Hot or Cold Shower After Running
A 2013 review of the medical literature showed that hot water immersion effects after a workout were unclear. However, the advantages of bathing in cold water after a training session seem to provide a clear recovery benefit.
A steamy hot shower may feel good on your muscles after running; however, a cold shower may be the scientifically-backed method of rinsing off your sweat. The reason is showering can get lactic acid, the natural chemical reaction that induces soreness out of your muscles.
Cold water immersion, such as an ice bath, helps recover faster after a strength workout; additionally, it helps build muscle and boost recovery, according to 12 weeks study of 21 men.
Furthermore, a cold shower helps reduce your heart rate and decrease cardiac stress quickly after exercising in a high-temperature setting, reported another small 2019 study.
Benefits of Showering After Running
There’s not a much better feeling than that post running high with the feel-good endorphins that make you feel invincible, knowing you accomplished something really great. So, what are the benefits of showering after running?
Showering After Running Clears Your Skin of Bacteria
It might be dangerous to not shower after running. If you do not shower after exercising, you are giving the sweat and natural oils gathering on your skin the chance to create a waxy build-up, according to Arash Akhavan, MD, founder of the Dermatology and Laser Group in New York City. And this can cause inflammation in our pores leading to acne breakouts.
After sweating, showering becomes even more vital if you do more outdoor workouts, such as running, to clean yourself of things like outdoor dust and environmental pollution toxins on your skin.
When you take a shower with soap, your sweat is washed away, along with dead skin cells that can serve as hosts for bacterial intruders.
Showering After a Run Helps Prevent Clogged Pores
When you run, your pores open to release sweat from your sweat glands.
These same pores can get clogged by skin cells or excess sweat if you do not clean your body soon after sweating heavily.
Clogged pores may also lead to acne breakouts.
Showering After a Run Boosts your Immune System
When you take a shower after a run with cool water, you can provide your immune system an immediate boost if you perform it frequently.
Taking a daily shower that begins warm and ends with a 30 to 90 second-burst of cold water significantly reduced sick days they used at work, showed a study of over 300 individuals.
Taking a shower after running should be an essential part of your post-run routine.
It is recommended to wait around 20–30 minutes after your run to take a shower. For better performance, start your shower at a lukewarm or slightly warm temperature after relaxing your body with stretches and slow workouts such as yoga or jogging.
If you really do not have time to take a shower after running, follow the outlined steps in this article.