Soaking in a hot tub is a great way to relax, de-stress, and enjoy time time with friends and family. However, too much time in the hot tub can lead to various health problems, so it’s important to be mindful of how long you’re spending in the water.
It’s generally safe to spend about 15 minutes soaking in a hot tub at 104 degrees Fahrenheit or about 30 minutes at 100 degrees. The length of time varies depending on the bather’s age, health, and other factors. If you feel nauseous, dizzy or develop a headache, get out of the hot tub immediately.
When it comes to spending time in a hot tub, it’s important to understand that not everyone has the same tolerance for high heat. It’s vital to take note of any changes in your body — and to get out if your body starts sending signals that it’s too hot. Let’s take a closer look at how to determine the right amount of time for you so that you can enjoy your tub safely.
How Long Can You Safely Soak in a Hot Tub?
As a general rule, the maximum amount of safe time you can stay in a hot tub is roughly 15 minutes at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Alternatively, you can soak for about 30 minutes if the water temperature is lower, such as at around 95–100 degrees Fahrenheit.
That said, there are several factors that can impact the amount of time you can safely soak in a hot tub. It all depends on your health, stage in life, and other various conditions.
The amount of time you can soak in a hot tub is determined firstly by the temperature of the water. As noted above, the higher the temperature, the less time your body can safely tolerate it.
Sometimes, just turning the hot tub temperature down can lengthen the time you can safely remain in the hot tub.
Nonetheless, most people prefer to keep their hot tub at around 102 degrees Fahrenheit — and that limits the amount of time you can spend in the hot tub to about 15 minutes.
Your age also affects how long you can soak in a hot tub. A healthy middle-aged adult can stay in elevated temperatures for roughly 15 to 30 minutes. Those over 65 should always consult a doctor before using a hot tub.
Children, on the other hand, have different rules entirely. Teenagers are typically able to use a hot tub at the same intervals as an adult, but children under the age of 12 shouldn’t use one at all in temperatures close to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Their bodies don’t sweat enough to regulate their internal temperatures, which can lead to serious consequences.
Children aged 5 to 12 should only use a hot tub if it’s set below 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and even then, it should only be for a quick dip. No one under the age of 5 should get in a hot tub, regardless of its temperature.
Unfortunately, children aren’t the only demographic that should avoid using a hot tub. Pregnant women should also refrain from using one — or at the very least, they should turn the temperatures down to 101 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Even with that lower temperature, experts say that a pregnant woman shouldn’t soak for more than 10 minutes or they risk serious complications.
Hydration and Intoxication
When your hot tub is set to such high temperatures, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated — and the higher the temperature, the quicker it will set on.
It’s always a good idea to keep a drink nearby to make sure you are well hydrated. Dehydration can decrease the amount of time you can safely spend in your hot tub, and it can have serious health consequences.
However, that drink shouldn’t be alcoholic because alcohol can further dehydrate you. Furthermore, you might not realize how the alcohol is affecting you because the high temperatures can mask intoxication — or bring it on faster than expected.
Overall, when looking to determine how long you can spend in the hot tub, you should always think of your health first. If you suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or circulatory problems then it might be wise to speak with your doctor before getting into a hot tub.
With a green light from your doctor, you can use a hot tub without concern, as long as you stick to the recommended time and temperature set out by your doctor.
If you’re taking anticoagulant medication, you should also consult your doctor about safe hot tub use. The medication may cause drowsiness, and hot tubs can make the fatigue even worse. In fact, you could become drowsy faster than you realize and pass out in the hot tub.
What’s the Maximum Temperature a Hot Tub Can Reach?
Most hot tubs come pre-programmed with a maximum temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which limits the time you can safely stay in the hot tub to 15 minutes.
Most people prefer to keep the temperature at 102 degrees Fahrenheit, as long as their health conditions permit it. Even though the temperature has been lowered by 2 degrees in this case, it’s still recommended to spend no more than 15 minutes at a time the hot tub.
What Are the Health Benefits of Soaking in a Tub?
Despite the risks, there are still many health benefits to using a hot tub regularly. These include more than just being the highlight of a good outdoor barbeque party. Other benefits include:
- Stress Relief
- Muscle Relaxation
- Improved Sleep
- Pain Relief
- Better Cardiovascular Health
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity
- Calorie Burning
Signs That It’s Time to Take a Break
Even if you’re within the allotted time to remain in the hot tub, you should always consider how you’re feeling while soaking. Everyone handles heat differently, and 15 minutes might be too much for some people.
There are several signs to watch out for, and, if any of them develop, you should get out of the hot tub immediately. Those signs include:
- Fainting Spells
- Dry Skin