Although there are mixed views on hot baths, research shows that once the water temperature exceeds a certain heat (40° C) it has a stimulating effect, i.e. It increases the heart rate, so not always a good idea to have very hot bath straight before bed.
A bath of 40° C or more is fantastic for tight, aching muscles and because it increases circulation it’s great for helping to release toxins from the body. It’s good for the skin too; the steam opens your pores letting in warm water to flush out dirt and grime.
Bathing in water between 38 – 40° C stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and increases the secretion of noradrenaline. In turn, this reduces strain and stimulation both physiologically and psychologically, bringing about a feeling of relaxation and well being.
Warning: If you suffer from a heart condition, high blood pressure, are pregnant or have any other medical condition, please consult your doctor before a hot or cool/cold bath.
Immersing yourself in cool or cold water gives an exhilarating rush from your head to your toes. Water of between 16 and 27° C rapidly increases circulation and is said to stimulate the metabolism.
There’s no denying a cold bath wakes you up physically and mentally, so it’s great first thing in the morning or for when you want to revive yourself after a long, hard day.