A tough workout session is all about pushing your body to its limits. And while the gains of such a session will be awesome, the downside is that you’re going to feel sore and fatigued. 

In fact, the idea of getting over this fatigue will make you crave some form of relaxation and recovery. 

Now, the two popular natural recovery methods that are sure to cross your mind are a sauna session or a hot tub. 

But which one is better for workout recovery, you may ask?

Well, this is exactly what this article tries to answer. 

So, let’s dive right in and explore the pros and cons of both sauna and hot tub to find a definitive answer.

Sauna after workout 

As you might already be aware, a sauna is a small enclosure designed to provide dry heat, typically between 150°F and 200°F. So, unlike humid steam rooms powered by the likes of a Delta steam generator, there will be little humidity here. 

Now, this intense heat, combined with low humidity, induces sweating. And this has several post-workout health benefits.

Pros of sauna for workout recovery 

1. Increased circulation: The heat from a sauna causes your blood vessels to dilate, thus improving blood flow and circulation throughout your body. And this increased circulation can help flush out lactic acid and other metabolic waste products that accumulate during exercise, helping reduce muscle soreness and stiffness significantly. 

2. Relaxation and stress relief: The warm sauna ambiance induces a state of deep relaxation, which helps alleviate stress. This is particularly beneficial after a challenging workout since exercise itself can be a source of stress on both your body and mind.

3. Weight loss: While not a primary source of weight loss, the sweating induced by the dry sauna heat can lead to potential weight loss. However, it’s important to note here that this is not a permanent weight loss solution. But it can complement your overall weight loss journey nonetheless. 

Cons of sauna for workout recovery 

1. Dehydration risk: Sweating profusely in a sauna can lead to dehydration if you don’t replenish the lost fluids by drinking enough water. So, make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session.

2. Heat intolerance: People might experience discomfort or even heat-related illness when exposed to the intense heat of a sauna. More so, if they have certain medical conditions or are not accustomed to the excessive heat.

Hot tub after workout

A hot tub, also known as a Jacuzzi, is a large tub filled with heated water. They’re often equipped with jets that provide a massaging effect.

And like saunas, hot tubs also have some post-workout benefits. 

Pros of hot tub after workout 

1. Muscle relaxation: The warm water and massaging jets of a hot tub help soothe and relax your sore muscles after a workout. Moreover, the buoyancy of the water also takes pressure off your joints, providing relief from exercise-related aches and pains.

2. Stress relief: Like a sauna, a hot tub can induce a state of relaxation and help reduce stress levels. The combination of warm water, massage, and a peaceful outdoor setting can be incredibly calming and therapeutic. In fact , hot tubs are easy to take outdoors and can be quite safe after dark too if you’ve got some high illumination solar powered street lights

3. Social experience: Hot tubs are often designed to accommodate a few people at once. And this makes them a great option for socializing and bonding with your friends or family members after a workout session.

Cons of hot tub after sauna 

1. Skin irritation: Prolonged exposure to hot tub chemicals like chlorine or bromine can cause skin irritation or dryness.

2. Overheating: While not as intense as a sauna, the hot water in a hot tub can still raise your body temperature. This can lead to dizziness, nausea, or other heat-related symptoms if you stay in too long or if the water is too hot.

3. Maintenance: Hot tubs call for regular maintenance, including cleaning and balancing the water chemistry. And this can be quite complicated to achieve in a DIY home hot tub. 

Which one should you choose after a workout?

The answer to whether you should go for a sauna or hot tub after a workout depends on your liking and what you’re looking to gain out of it. 

For instance, if you’re looking for relief from muscle soreness and stiffness, a hot tub may be the better option. 

Similarly, if you’re looking for a more intense detoxifying experience or want to indulge in a stress-relieving experience, a sauna might be the way to go.

In fact, there’s no need to choose one over the other. That’s because you can enjoy the benefits of both saunas and hot tubs as part of your post-workout routine. 

To sum up 

Notwithstanding what you choose between a sauna and hot tub, it’s essential to listen to your body and not overdo it. 

In fact, you should stay hydrated, take breaks if needed, and consult with a healthcare professional if you’ve got underlying medical conditions.  

At the end, your choice for workout recovery method comes down to your own preference and what you find most enjoyable.