Hot Tub for Sore Muscles: How Does it Work?

This post explains the benefits of hot tubs for sore muscles and why they are so great for reducing pain and stiffness.

If you're an avid athlete or workout enthusiast, you've probably experienced some muscle soreness after a particularly rigorous session. While it's natural to feel soreness after working out, it can be a bit frustrating when getting back into shape again. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with muscle soreness. One of the most effective is using a hot tub. There are many reasons you should consider using a hot tub for sore muscles. But first, let's look at the science behind muscle repair and recovery.

Muscles Take Time to Recover

When you feel winded, your body has depleted its oxygen supply and begins to use anaerobic respiration to make up the difference. The burning sensation comes from the lactic acid, which is a byproduct of this process, preventing you from pushing too hard and permanently damaging your muscles.

Hot tubs are great for relaxing after a workout. They're also a great way to reduce soreness and help you recover faster. When you soak in a hot tub, your muscles relax, and blood flow increases. This allows the blood to carry more oxygen to your muscles, which in turn helps them recover faster.

hot tub for sore muscles featured image

A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that you get the benefits of hydrotherapy when you're in a hot tub after a workout. The warm water helps increase the blood flow from the extremities into the core and speed up the processing of lactic acid and other metabolites produced by exercise.

Hot Tub Speeds Up Muscle Regeneration

Hot water encourages the movement of muscle repairing metabolites. Improved blood flow from the heat allows these nutrients to reach those places needed the most. As a result, your muscles recover faster and will enable you to work out with greater intensity.

hot tub speeds up muscle regeneration

In addition to helping to relieve muscle soreness, hydrotherapy can help reduce anxiety and stress, increase your metabolism, improve circulation, and lower cholesterol levels. Hydrotherapy is associated with decreased cortisol levels, the body's primary stress hormone, and increased somatotropin (STH), the growth hormone that helps repair our body.

Whole Body Massage from Hot Tub Jets

A hot tub is an excellent alternative to a professional massage. You can get the benefits without spending your hard-earned money on a massage therapist.

Hot tubs are just as effective as professional massage but are much more convenient and not as expensive. It's like having your own personal massage therapist at your beck and call.

Modern hot tubs come with jets installed to provide whole-body massage. Some models allow you to make adjustments with the water and air pressure. However, we recommend using medium settings because too much pressure could disrupt muscle recovery while your body is trying to heal itself.

How to Incorporate Hot Tubs in Your Workout

how to incorporate hot tubs in your workout

Here are some points to remember if you're planning on using hot tubs for your workout sessions:

  1. Allow your body to cool down before going in. Soaking in a hot tub with an elevated body temperature puts you at risk of overheating. Walk it off or do some stretching until your body is cool enough.
  2. Make sure your heart rate has returned to normal. Hot water raises your heart rate, and going into the hot tub right after your workout session increases your heart rate even more. Sit it out until you're ready to go for a soak.
  3. Limit your sessions to around 10 to 20 minutes. Don't push too hard. Brief hot tub sessions done regularly are just as good and could even be more beneficial than one long hot tub session.
  4. Stay hydrated. Have a bottle of water nearby. Going in a hot increases your body temperature just as much when doing cardio. This means you also lose body fluids, and you need to replenish them right then and there.


For centuries people have been using hydrotherapy to heal sore muscles, and today hot tubs are doing pretty much the same thing in the comfort of our homes. They are proven effective at relieving muscle aches and pains, improving circulation, and relieving stress. If you suffer from achy muscles and joints or want to make it a part of your regular workouts, you should definitely have one. You'll be amazed by how well it works!