Sitting in a hot tub can feel like the ultimate bliss, so it’s no wonder people assume a hot tub soak is beneficial to their athletic training. While a spa soak can certainly provide positive results, it’s all about timing. In fact, soaking in a spa too soon after your workout can cause more harm than good to your body. Check out the following tips for deciding when to hit the hot tub during your training sessions:

Pre-Workout

Slipping into a hot tub for a quick soak before your workout can help prep your body for exercise. The hot water loosens and relaxes your muscles, so they’re not stiff when you hit the gym. Soaking beforehand can also increase blood flow and circulation. However, sitting in a spa can dehydrate you, so remember to drink plenty of water before beginning your workout, and don’t forget to stretch.

Post-Workout

Hitting the hot tub immediately after your workout is not recommended because your muscles are inflamed and you’re already dehydrated. The warm water will only further dehydrate you and delay your recovery process. To receive the most benefit from a post-workout soak, wait between 24 and 48 hours after exercising before hopping in the spa.

Avoiding the tub for a day or two to allows your muscles to recover and stabilize after the inflammation period. At this time, when you soak the hot water will increase blood flow to your muscles, which helps with repairing them. By this point, you can fully indulge in your spa and revel in the serenity. Sit back and relax; you deserve it after your strenuous workout!

Follow this advice to use your hot tub to your advantage during your next training session.