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Do Saunas Help You Lose Weight?

Do Saunas Help You Lose Weight?

Saunas certainly help lose weight, but in different ways

Key Takeaways:

  • Weight loss from a sauna comes from sweat

  • A sauna does not directly burn fat.

  • Sauna use causes a temporary up-regulation of metabolism

  • Sauna use should be considered within an overall weight loss strategy as it can increase energy expenditure. When leveraged with a caloric deficit, fat loss will occur.

Understanding Weight Loss

Typically when someone refers to weight loss they are actually talking about fat loss. Weight loss can occur from something as little as some water lost. Losing weight during sauna bathing is facilitated through sweating. This is of course, all water weight and not fat loss. On the contrary, saunas do aid in fat loss, even though they do not directly burn fat. They do this through the up-regulation of metabolism. They is driven through the elevation of core temperature.

Sauna Water Loss

Sauna bathing will cause you to lose water weight temporarily. This is due to the large amount of body sweat while in use. As extreme heat occurs the body attempts to cool itself during by releasing body sweat, thus, losing water weight, this is totally normal and contributes to healthy lifestyle especially when excess water is present. Having excess water stored within your body can actually be harmful and contribute to high blood pressure so staying active is always necessary. Blood pressure lowers when lose excess water leaves the body. It is important to hydrate properly post sauna so that healthy water weight gain will occur and severe dehydration is avoided.

What is Basal Metabolic Rate?

Basal metabolic rate is defined by Oxford to mean “the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going, such as breathing and keeping warm”. This essentially is the measure of how much energy one uses in a day. There are many things that you can do to increase your daily energy expenditure such as increasing muscle mass, walking, cardio workouts and even daily sauna use.

Does a Sauna Increase Metabolism?

The health benefits to a sauna are quite immense. Increasing core temperature is a very valuable form of therapy that saunas perform. Some do this better than others such as far infrared saunas. These penetrate deep below the skin in order to increase core body temperature drastically. The increase in body temperature will up-regulate your basal metabolic rate. So yes, a sauna does increase metabolism.

Using a sauna does indeed help assist in a healthy metabolism. It is important to note that this only occurs for the time that you are in the sauna as well as a short cooldown period after use. This is not something that will permanently alter metabolism, but with daily use, you can certainly see a rise in total energy expenditure along with a host of other benefits.

Why Does Metabolism Increase with Core Body Temperature?

In a far infrared sauna especially, core body temperature can increase about 2-3 degrees fahrenheit based on our independent tests. This can result in approximately a 20% increase in basal metabolic rate during the time in which you use the sauna, and for a short period after. But how many calories would this translate to? About 20% above what your body would have naturally burned. This spike in basal metabolic rate occurs due to the amount of ATP required to fuel processes that are driven by higher cellular kinetic energy. These processes relate to any sort of movement based activity. This can help contribute to your overall weight loss journey.

How to Sauna For Metabolic Benefits

The boost in metabolism that occurs from sauna use will begin once the core body temperature starts to increase. Traditional saunas heat the air around you which make it difficult to rapidly increase your core body temperature. Infrared saunas heat you up rather than the air around you, this will cause a further increase in core body temperature allowing for even greater metabolic gains. The generalized question of How Long Should I Sauna is going to be dependent on many factors such as how often you plan on using it, current time allowances, etc. These are further discussed in the article linked above.

Do Saunas Burn Calories?

In a sauna session, especially with the use of a far infrared sauna, core body temperature dramatically increases based on our testing. This results in an increased metabolic rate during that period. Due to this, one can expect an increased amount of calories burned in relation to basal metabolic rate. This is often why sauna use and fat loss can be correlated.

Does a Sauna Burn Fat?

Many people believe that saunas or exercise can directly burn fat, but this idea is actually based on a misunderstanding of how fat loss occurs. In fact, a sauna does not directly burn fat, but it can increase energy expenditure, which can contribute to fat loss. To create a fat-loss environment, we must burn more calories than we consume. This can be achieved through activities such as cardio, weight training, and sauna sessions, which all increase energy expenditure. So, while a sauna may not directly burn fat, it can still play a role in a well-rounded fat-loss strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle. Fat loss in general can also contribute to a host of other benefits such as reduced rates of high blood pressure from having excess fat, increased blood flow and circulation as well as many others. Remember, the key to fat loss is to create a deficit of energy by burning more calories than you consume in a healthy diet.

Weight Loss and Health

Excessive weight gain can be apparent from many causes such as too much stress, overeating and unhealthy lifestyle. If you are someone who carries excess weight, burning fat may be key to living a healthy lifestyle. In regards to sauna use, weather it is a traditional sauna or infrared sauna, blood vessels expand as core temperature rises, circulation throughout the entire body increases, this can even help boost respiratory function, helping you shed pounds. So in all, sitting in a sauna can certainly help contribute to a healthy weight loss program.

Is a Sauna Good for Hormones?

Now that we have established the health benefits that saunas have on metabolic rate, it may be safe to assume that they also help in some hormone secretion. Are saunas good for hormones? As a part of the core temperature increase there are several hormones that ramp up in production such as Noradrenaline.

Overall, the correlation between saunas and losing weight is commonly misunderstood. Saunas allow you to sweat at high rates, causing water loss. If you avoid hydrating after sauna use you may see a drop in bodyweight, but this is not related to fat loss from the sauna. The main driver of fat loss from sauna use pertains to the increased core body temperature up-regulating metabolism. This will burn some extra calories, because of this sauna use can be a tool in fat loss strategies to help you lose a few pounds.

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