Lady Gaga is many things: Haus Laboratories founder, Oscar-nominated actress, Italian girl from New York. But as anyone who’s been to her Las Vegas show (or watched her Super Bowl halftime performance a few years back) can attest, she’s also an athlete.
Gaga took to Instagram with a snippet of the recovery process she has to go through after each performance. “Post show routine: ice bath for 5-10 min, hot bath for 20, then compression suit packed with ice packs for 20,” she wrote. In three successive photos, Gaga shared each step of the routine, which includes two separate bathtubs and a compression suit that looks like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
According to Lee Hanses, a physical therapist with Bespoke Treatments in Seattle, each step has a role in getting her body ready to make magic on a Las Vegas stage night after night.
“Contrast baths are used after a tough workout or a period of increased activity to help reduce inflammatory processes, delay muscle soreness, and to decrease fatigue and pain levels,” Hanses tells Allure. “The whole body or just one part is immersed in hot water between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit, then cold water that is between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit; and this process of alternating between the two is repeated for up to 30 minutes.”
Although it may sound uncomfortable, the process will ultimately help the body regain comfort. “The cold temperature of an ice bath causes our blood and lymph vessels to constrict and decrease the flow rate of our body fluids. Hot temperatures will do the opposite; they cause our vessels to dilate and allow fluids to flow more quickly,” Hanses explains. “By alternating these two actions, we are promoting continued pumping of our blood and lymph vessels after activity is done. The movement and delivery of fresh nutrients and oxygen, coupled with the removal of lactic acid and carbon dioxide from our muscles, aides in a quicker recovery for optimal performance.”
Unfortunately, Gaga needed much more than contrast baths on Thursday night after taking a scary fall off the stage with a fan in Las Vegas. “When they have to X-Ray almost your entire body…Just Dance. Gonna be ok👌,” Gaga posted in an Instagram caption accompanying an x-ray of her hand. People reports that Gaga said she’s in a lot of pain since the tumble, but that hasn’t stopped her from attending a bachelorette party for Sarah Tanno, Haus Laboratories’ global artistry director, or returning to the stage this weekend.