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Should I Sauna Before or After a Workout?

Should I Sauna Before or After a Workout?

There are only a few critical mistakes someone can make when it comes to sauna timing, learn about them here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hydration is most important.

  • Try both to find your preference.

  • Post-workout sauna is suitable for most.

  • Try only a short sauna session pre-workout.

Using a sauna pre or post workout may be based on personal preference, but there are some key strategies to consider in order to keep yourself safe and using your time effectively.

body temperature while working out

There are a couple of factors to consider when planning your next sauna session. The use of a sauna causes increases in hormone secretion. This can be leveraged to help aid in muscle recovery. Not only that, the increase in blood flow can help decrease muscle soreness after workout sessions.

In the same breath, oftentimes people can be dehydrated post-workout which can have risks if a sauna is used without proper hydration. It is important to note that hydration is key, regardless of the time you choose to sauna.

Health Benefits of a Sauna Session

sauna or steam rooms sweat
  • Muscle Recovery

  • Burn Calories and Body Fat

  • Improve Cardiovascular Health

  • Decrease Muscle Tension

  • Improve Overall Blood Flow

  • Improve Brain Health

  • Increased Hormone Secretion

When using a sauna for maximum health benefits, it is important to note that the time between a sauna session and a workout session should be longer than most people think.

Generally, the relationship between using a sauna directly before or after lifting weights coincides from gyms often having sauna there, making it very convenient.

Using a sauna, especially a far infrared sauna is absolutely still supplementary to a workout. Leveraging high amounts of blood flow is one of the most important aspects of a sauna in aiding workout sessions. Additionally, a sauna session can cause a drastic spike in growth hormone secretion that can last hours. This process can help the recovery process as well.

Sauna Before a Workout

sauna bathing before a workout
  • Hydration is extremely important.

  • Consider just a few minutes.

  • A short sauna session can prime blood vessels.

Pros:

  • Kickstarts blood flow.

  • Serves as a warm up for muscles.

Cons:

  • Can cause dehydration.

  • Less muscle fullness during workout.

  • Potential sluggishness post sauna.

  • Relaxes you before a hard workout is coming.

Some of the most important factors of having a great pre-workout routine, involves optimal hydration, a proper warm up routine as well as proper nutrition if you choose not to workout in a fasted state.

While sauna sessions do dilate blood vessels and can serve as a great way to warm up the body for a workout, using a sauna for an extended period of time prior to a workout or weights session, may leave you feeling slightly sluggish and dehydrated.

If you'd like to sauna before a workout routine as a warm up, consider using it for just a few minutes until right before you're about to break a sweat. This will allow you to maximize blood flow, while retaining hydration.

Sauna After a Workout

sauna after a gym session to lower blood pressure
  • Assure you're hydrated and fed well prior to and during the workout.

  • Avoid long sessions directly after a workout.

  • Consider a short rehydration break between the workout and sauna session.

Pros:

  • Enhances muscle recovery.

  • Decreases muscle soreness.

  • Drives nutrients to repair muscles.

  • Decreases lactic acid.

Cons:

  • Could lead to dehydration.

Post workout sauna sessions are likely going to be the best option for most people. This allows for you to maximally perform within the gym and still leverage the benefits of a sauna after.

As long as you ensure you're properly hydrated before your sauna session, using a sauna after a workout will allow for your body to heal the broken down muscle, helping you recover to the fullest extent.

Hydration Is Key for a Great Sauna Session

The most prevalent issue with using a sauna session so close to a workout is proper hydration. For optimal muscle contraction and performance, hydration is key, meaning if you were to sauna right before a workout, it could lead to dehydration during the workout itself.

Many people near the end of their workouts are also not properly hydrated, which could lead to dehydration while using a sauna. This could be not only dangerous, but less beneficial due to the slowed blood flow.

Ideally, you should add a bit of space between the gym and a sauna session in order to make sure you drink plenty of water in between. Simply adding 30 minutes to an hour in between the workout and sauna session could set up up for success within both activities.

the ideal home sauna for sore muscles

One of the best ways to achieve this is getting a home sauna. Home saunas are extremely convenient and far more affordable than you may assume. They allow you to sauna whenever works best for you without having to worry about leveraging a gym sauna, with tons of other people.

Infrared saunas made for the home are truly the best way to get all the health benefits of a sauna, within the comfort and privacy of your own home.

When's the Best Time for Sauna?

Using a sauna either for the morning or the night time can have benefits of their own. Oftentimes the cooldown effect of a sauna can be relaxing, which allows for sauna to be suitable before bed.

However; using a sauna in the morning can allow for you to leverage the release of endorphins to kick start your day with a relaxed and clear mind.

While there are certainly more aspects to consider, the health benefits will be nearly the same regardless of the time of day.

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