This technique, known as contrast water therapy, involves showering for about 20 minutes, using hotter water for three to four minutes before suddenly switching to cold for one minute and then back again…
This has been found to have numerous benefits, including, for example, helping to reduce muscle ache after exercise. During strenuous exercise oxygen-rich blood cannot reach the muscles to match the rate at which oxygen is used. In response, muscles release a substance called lactic acid which causes a painful burning sensation and can delay recovery after exercise.
However, contrast water therapy is thought to help rid the muscles of lactic acid and speed recovery. Meanwhile, a study published last year by the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam found taking a ‘hot-to-cold’ shower every day slashed absences from work due to sickness by almost 30 per cent.