How Long Can You Stay In A Hot Tub?
A bit of an attention grabber, that headline, but it is similar to the main questions we get asked:
- how long can you stay in a hot tub safely
- how long is it safe to sit in a hot tub
- why can’t you stay in your hot tub long?
Many new hot tub owners, or potential buyers, are looking for the answers to many hot tub related questions that have crossed their minds, so here’s a run-down of “poaching times” you can allow yourself in your hot tub so you are not turning yourself into a hard-boiled egg unintentionally.
Are There Any Hot Tub Time Limits
So, how long is it safe to sit in a hot tub?
A good recommendation is between 15 and 30 minutes in your hot tub. An absolute maximum of 45 minutes to 60 minutes is recommended.
Anything over an hour is considered very risky – especially for male fertility in the first instances.
However, there are a number of variable factors to be taken into consideration. Many people could be at serious risk by spending too long in their hot tub and be putting their bodies under unnecessary strain without even realizing it.
Why Not Personalize Your Hot Tub Timing
The amount of time you can safely stay in a hot tub depends on a number of variable factors.
The ambient air temperature.
If it’s really cold outside your body will probably cool more quickly (especially if you are not fully submerged) and you will be able to comfortably stay longer in the hot tub.
Similarly, on a really hot day, you may overheat much more quickly. You may well already be overheating or dehydrated when you get into the hot tub which can make things worse.
Your physical health.
If you are in good physical shape then you can, most probably, safely stay in the hot tub for the recommended period of time without any issues. However, if you have a heart condition, blood pressure issues or are pregnant it can be a good idea to avoid hot tubs, reduce the temperature/time you are in the hot tub or at the very least get the advice of your doctor.
Children are also less good at regulating their temperatures so should be in the hot tub for less time than recommended for adults.
Your physical makeup.
Apparently, women can withstand heat more comfortably than men. This is to do with your body and muscle mass – it would stand to reason that more petit people would have a different reaction to extreme heat than larger people?
How deep you are in the water.
Think about it. If you are totally immersed right up to your neck then there is less exposed body area for the heat to escape. Your face is probably in a cloud of steam as well which in turn is adding to the heat build-up within your body.
If you are only waist deep then there is plenty of exposed skin area around your body keeping your core and organs cooler and helps dissipate the accumulating heat.
Ok, this is obvious! But, if you are wanting to extend the amount of time that you can safely and comfortably stay in the hot tub then reducing the temperature a little will make a big difference!
Most people like the water around body heat, somewhere between 36 degrees C and 39 degrees C with 40 degrees C being the absolute maximum, as this temperature does not raise your body heat too quickly.
HOT TUB OVEREXPOSURE???
Is there such a thing???
How long can you stay in a hot tub before you die?
Here’s what happens to your body when you are in a hot tub?
When your body temperature rises small blood vessels beneath the skin rapidly dilate. You are probably familiar with how some people go red when they are hot. This is because excess blood is just below the surface of your skin.
Having this can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and the heart has to pump harder to compensate for this and to keep the circulation going.
As you remain longer in the hot water, assuming that it’s hotter than your body’s core temperature at around 98 degrees F, the heat will gradually transfer inwards and your core temperature will increase.
Now that’s not to say that all of this heat is a bad thing! The warmth is lovely and relaxing, being in the hot tub is said to actually help lower blood pressure, the lower blood pressure can relieve headaches and migraines and is especially useful in treating most aches and pains associated with rheumatic troubles, despite the fact you are actually poaching yourself slowly.
Obviously, it puts you in a good mood as it takes your cares away, it’s utterly relaxing / de-stressing and can help you sleep better providing you are not in there too long. It has been said you can even burn off as many calories as going for a short walk if you get a good sweat on!
One point to be watched is using a hot tub during pregnancy in the second and third trimester – see our blog for further information…
This is all well and good singing a hot tub’s praises, but how do you know when you have had enough?
What are the symptoms of staying in the hot tub for too long?
Your heart will be pumping away like mad to compensate for the blood pressure drop.
You might just feel it pumping away, hear it in your ears or you could feel slightly breathless as your heart is demanding more oxygen.
If you start to feel burning sensations on the skin, this could well mean you have sensitive or broken skin which means you could be at risk of skin irritation and infection. It works in a similar way to being out in the sun for too long, or it could simply mean your water is too hot.
Keeping your hot tub at a sensible temperature should avoid this issue altogether as being too hot, it may feel irritating at the time, but it will be far worse later on if you endure it. Keeping your hot tub at a sensible temperature to avoid this annoyance shouldn’t make it an issue
Light-headedness or dizziness.
Again this is related to the lower blood pressure issue. Be particularly careful when getting out of your hot tub and make a point of standing slowly, as, you will be at risk of losing your balance and falling or slipping over.
Obviously being thirsty is a symptom of early dehydration, but, as the condition worsens, dizziness develops, often accompanied by a headache, mild nausea, confusion, listlessness, irritability and even the possibility of unconsciousness can follow owing to the lower blood pressure mentioned above.
Nausea and vomiting while being in a hot tub.
Apart from being a symptom of dehydration some people feel nausea and vomit if they overheat or stay in the hot tub for too long. There is possibly a link to eating just before or actually in the hot tub. Probably best to avoid it just in case!
More than likely this is a body’s reaction to being overheated as it tries to expel further heat generation owing to the digestion of food.
One would imagine anyone getting into a hot tub within an hour of consuming a heavy meal would definitely suffer this condition.
Do hot tub chemicals damage my skin?
If you are using chlorine in your hot tub it can potentially cause skin irritation. It’s also irritating to the eyes and lungs as well. One of the main symptoms is dry skin, in more severe cases this can develop into a rash as well. Chlorine is also not great if it comes into contact with an already present skin condition such as eczema.
You can minimize the problem by making sure that you check that you have the correct chemicals in your hot tub on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to have a shower when you get out of the hot tub to cleans the skin. Moisturizing and applying vitamin C cream can also help.
Problem is, although most hot tub suppliers recommend using bromine as the initial sanitizer as a basis for setting up your hot tub after you drain it periodically to reduce potential bacteria infections, you do need to add chlorine to provide a neutral pH.
But there’s a lot more to it than simply setting up your hot tub…
Check our blog out here to find out more…
Want to go chemical-free???
Check out our blog running a hot tub without chemicals
Can hot tubs make you ill?
Hot tubs are warm and damp places and, if not properly cleaned and disinfected, bacteria will spread quickly. You are also likely to be in close proximity to other people who might cough and sneeze their germs into the lovely warm atmosphere ready for you to breathe in.
Cleanliness is the key. Check the hot tub chemicals regularly and keep up with the maintenance schedule. It can also be helpful if people shower before going into the hot tub as well.
Our bodies harbor a great deal of sweat and other secretions that will all end up in the hot tub if you are not careful and it is the bulk of these secretions that provide food for most of the bacteria you wish to avoid in a hot tub.
Check out our previous posts regarding hot tub health issues… hot-tub-side-effects
Does a hot tub damage my swimming costume/bathing suit?
In a word yes. Hot tubs aren’t particularly good for swimming costumes.
It’s the chlorine that affects them.
If possible rinse out your bathing suit/swimming costume after using it in the hot tub by hand in cold water with a little washing liquid and hang out to dry. If you hot tub frequently it can be a good idea to have a dedicated, not so posh, bathing suite just dedicated to use in the hot tub.