Saunas and Weight Loss – Debunking the Myth with Studies

3 min


Saunas and Weight Loss

In Scandinavia, bathhouses or saunas have long been used as a way to interact socially and for their many health advantages. Even though they are not as popular in the USA, you may still find saunas in many community centers and gyms.

Saunas are usually a nice approach to unwind and have good perspiration, but can they genuinely help you drop some weight? The answer is….

Analysts still have a lot to find out about the way the heat from these saunas affects our bodies. (UW Health)

How Does A Sauna  Work?

A sauna is described as an area that is heated to temps between 150ºF and 195ºF (65.6ºC and 90.6ºC). Finnish-style bathhouses are usually considered “dry,” while Turkish ones have lots of water vapor. People usually spend around 20 to 40 minutes in a sauna.

As the humidity and temperatures levels vary, sauna usually works the same when it comes to the way your body reacts.

Following are the most common types of saunas:

1. Wood Burning

In this type of sauna, stoves are usually used to heat rocks. Humidity is low, and temperatures are high.

2. Electrically Heated Sauna

An electric heating unit installed on the walls or floor is usually used to heat the area. Humidity is low, and temperatures are high.

3. Heavy Steam Rooms

You might know these as “Turkish saunas.” Humidity is high, at 100% and temperatures are low.

4. Infrared

This type of sauna makes use of light waves to warm your body without heating the room. The extensive benefits are similar to more traditional bathhouses.

Let’s Get Into Saunas and Weight Loss

Is It Possible to Sweat Off Weight?

There’s a little bit of weight reduction happening while you are in the bathhouse. That is actually because you are sweating off your water weight. Once you start drinking again, the water weight comes back.

The higher temperatures trigger the heartbeat to increase in a way similar to a workout. However, this increase only triggers a bit higher fat burn than while resting.

The sauna can probably help you melt off some extra calories from fat, but don’t rely on perspiration sessions alone to reduce weight. It is not a highly effective tool for proper fat loss.

Risks of Dehydration

Extreme temperature makes the body sweat. When the body sweats, it loses fluids. If the body loses more fluid than what it is taking in, it will become dehydrated. There’s a probability of getting thirsty from being in saunas.

In accordance with Harvard Medical School, an average joe loses one pint of hydration during a short period of time in the sauna. On the other hand, when you drink plenty of water before, during, and after the time in the sauna, you’ll replace essential fluids lost by perspiration.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Serious lack of fluids is actually a medical-related emergency. It is very important to give consideration to the body and consume plenty of essential liquids if you are using a sauna.

Keep in mind all these signs and symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration:

  • not urinating as often as normal
  • throbbing headache
  • lack of moisture in your mouth
  • feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • extreme thirst

Seniors and people with persistent health conditions such as all forms of diabetes, renal system ailment, and cardiovascular system failure, or women who are expecting a baby, are at high risk of becoming dehydrated.

Bathhouses and Cardiovascular Health

The higher heat levels you go through in any sauna induce your arteries to open up and shift closer to your skin’s surface. When arteries enlarge, the blood circulation improves, and the blood pressure level gets lower.

A number of research studies have found connections between improved heart health and regular sauna use. On the other hand, those who have cardiovascular system complications, such as an abnormal heart rhythm or recent cardiac arrest, are usually advised to stay away from bathhouses.

People who have high blood pressure levels can use bathhouses. However, the American Heart Association (AHA) warns against relocating between extreme cold and hot temperatures as it can certainly increase your blood pressure level. At the same time, people who are on heart medications ought to seek advice from their doctor before using a sauna.

Wrapping up

Research studies from Germany, Finland, and Japan have discovered health advantages to regular sauna use. For healthy and balanced adults, relaxing in saunas at a temperature around 190ºF (87.8ºC) is usually considered risk-free. For those who have a chronic health issue or are expecting a baby, they will need to seek advice from their doctors first.