Often times athletes find themselves training throughout the year for destination-based competitions and races. Many times these athletes are training at home in milder conditions and competing in hot weather which requires some amount of acclimation.
A recent study has shown that a using a hot tub post-workout can help with acclimation and thermal strain for trained athletes competing in the heat. The study sampled 16 individuals of which 8 were endurance athletes and 8 recreational athletes. It showed that hot water immersion after workouts on six continuous days showed temperature acclimation in all participants. The more endurance based or expert athletes showed less heat acclimatization because their bodies were already used to higher levels in body temperature (they were already more heat-adapted) where the more recreational athletes showed better acclimation. For more details you can view the study on the FIP website. There’s also another recent article in Outside Magazine that addresses the benefits of using hot tubs for heat adaptation, conditioning, and improved performance.
Hot tubs have been used for years for by people leading highly active lifestyles for recovery purposes and it’s interesting to note that they have additional unforeseen benefits when it comes to training such as heat acclimation.