Some people find it a cultural thing, yet others find it a health and weight loss thing. Saunas made so much controversy over the years, that we all ended up confused. Does sitting in the hot room makes your fat meltdown like a charm?

 

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Like really, imagine this: All you have to do is sit in the room made of wood, lift the temperature out, and voila – you're fit and thin like you always wanted to be. Sounds too good to be true?

Yeah, I think so.

I found so many facts and “facts” on the internet about this and decided to do my own study and find out really what's the deal about it.

 

Types of sauna and how they work

 

Sauna is a small room or building designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions or an establishment with one or more of these facilities. (1)

Basically, there are two main types of sauna:

  1. Dry (Finnish) sauna
  2. Wet / Steamy (Turkish) sauna

 

Dry (Finnish) sauna

 

These saunas are called dry because air humidity is 10-15%, and that is obtained by pouring water on the heated stone placed in the sauna furnaces (wooden houses). The temperature in Finnish saunas range from 70 to 95 degrees C (158 – 203 degrees F).

 

Steamy (Turkish) sauna

 

Unlike the Finnish sauna, the Turkish sauna has a slightly longer history of use.

The basic characteristic of the Turkish sauna that makes it special is moisture. The moisture in Turkish saunas is higher than in Finnish saunas, 50-100% (well, it's almost always 100%), and the usual temperature is about 40 to 60 degrees C (104 – 140 degrees F).

The working method is almost the same for both of them, a room is heated to a certain temperature either with electrical machines or with wood-burning stoves. The difference is humidity and temperature.

Finish saunas are more used for sweating and detoxing your body while Turkish ones are more used for hydrating your skin and clearing out your lungs.

When using a sauna it's recommended to use it between 15-30 minutes.

 

Other types

 

Bio Sauna

 

Bio sauna belongs to the category of Finnish sauna type. We could say that this is a little milder version of the Finnish sauna since they are in the lower temperature and it is possible to release the steam inside the sauna in combination with the essential oils.

sauna weight loss

Infrared Sauna

 

Based on electromagnetic energy infrared sauna is used to heat the bodies and not the air around them. Infrared energy is naturally occurring from the sun and is absorbed by all objects.

 

Salt Sauna

 

One of the different types of sauna is a salt sauna. The name itself tells that this sauna has an increased concentration of salt which has a beneficial effect on our health and body (still not scientifically backed up). It is well-known that people who have problems with the respiratory system regularly visit the salt rooms and salt saunas. Salt saunas range from 40 to 50 degrees C (100 – 140 degrees F).

 

Myths

 

Sauna = HIIT

 

So one of the most stupid myths I heard out there is that you can burn up to 1000 calories just by sitting in a sauna. And yet a bigger wonder is that there are people out there who actually believe this shit.

Let's say you actually spend like 30 minutes (which is a maximum) in the sauna. That would mean that you burned 33 calories per minute! When we take into consideration that HIIT training burns around 10-14 calories per minute, use your common sense. Sitting in the hot room versus burpees 20 minutes – the same result? No way.

Truth is that big temperatures increase your heart rate, but it's more likely that you will lose around 50 calories for 30 minutes, just by sitting in the sauna. And that even depends on the temperature, because not all of the people out there can stand 200 degrees F heat.

 

Saunas are just for cold climates

 

Just because they came from the Nordic cultures doesn't mean they are only for people who have 65 degrees F summer.

Studies have shown that using a sauna can have big health benefits for everyone, but we will talk more about that later.

 

Using sauna for detoxification through sweating

 

I know I said up there that Finnish saunas are used for sweating and getting rid of the toxins but that's just not true. “The concentration of metals detected in sweat is extremely low. Sweat is 99 percent water. The liver and kidneys remove far more toxins than sweat glands.” (2)

Regular sweating is good but not for detoxification purposes. It's good because water must circulate through our bodies in order to engage all cells to work their job.

 

Infrared light is harmful to my skin

 

No.

Tanning beds use Ultra Violet (UV) light which is proven to be harmful to skin and causing cancer. However, infrared light is the natural light that is emitted from the sun and all objects have the capability to absorb it. The infrared sauna uses the same technology just as neonatal units which help babies regulate their own body temperature.

And no, you won't be cooked like you're in the microwave. That's also UV, not infrared.

 

Truth

 

Now that we covered the main myths it's time, to tell the truth, and back it up. Also, it's important to know that not everything is science. People should really use their common sense because these things can be logically concluded.

 

Sauna promotes weight loss

 

Yes.

Now, before these experts start throwing hate on me because I said it, take a closer look. It promotes WEIGHT loss.

If we define weight as a simple number that is displayed when we step on the scale which measures the mass of our organs, bones, fat, muscles, water, etc. then yes, after few sauna treatments that number will drop down (3). But what we really burned inside our bodies?

Well, to be honest with you – water.

It doesn't matter are you trying to lose weight in a sauna or in the gym or in your kitchen, the first pounds we drop are the water pounds. That's just the way it goes.

Professional fighters use saunas to drop huge amounts of weight in a very short period of time – dehydration. That gives them the ability to gain more weight right after weigh-ins and grants them bigger power tomorrow on the fighting match. A great example of this is Connor McGregor and his weight cuts and weight gains in 24h. However, this method destroys cardio. Which is also something we can see in Connors matches.

However, besides just losing water scientists discovered another method that can be used to actually burn fat.

 

The sauna as modified High-Intensity Interval Training.

 

There was a study where 16 males aged 20-23 had 10 sauna sessions (15 minutes in the sauna, 2 minutes out) every 1 or 2 days. Scientists measured their cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and a bunch of other things, and the result was positive – sauna can be used to lose weight as modified HIIT. (4)

However, it's still a myth that it can be the same as HIIT. Even though changes are proven on both ends, HIIT still provides a greater burning effect in a shorter period of time, which makes it a king of weight loss.

 

Heart health

 

A study from 2015 has proven that Finland men are much likely to die from heart disease (5). And yes, it's because of the usage of the sauna.

Spending time in the sauna will increase the heart rate and boost the blood flow in your body, which can be considered as mild cardio. Therefore, there's nothing bad with jogging while sitting. If that makes any sense.

 

Things to keep in mind

 

Do avoid sauna if you are suffering from a heart condition. American Heart Association recommends “not moving back and forth between cold water and hot tubs or saunas” as this can result in increased blood pressure.

Do not mix alcohol with sauna. This combination can have fatal consequences.

Dehydration is an extremely dangerous thing so do not spend over 30 minutes in the sauna. Also, don't set the highest temperature right away. Raise the temperature gradually and listen to your body all the time. If you start feeling sick or lightheaded, exit and cool down.

Make sure to drink water after using the sauna. Water that came out through your skin, must be compensated.

While losing water you are also losing essential minerals and vitamins. Vitamin deficiency can cause a plateau and get out of the plateau can be a real pain in the butt.

Make sure you buy multivitamin complex and use it on daily basis. It's really inexpensive but very valuable to your body.

If you are a female, I recommend getting Opti-Women because it's designed to fit your body needs.

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If you are a male, then Opti-Men is the best choice for you.

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Even if you just want to relax in the sauna, you can do so. Spa centers often have saunas, and to be honest with you it's a real pleasure relaxing there.

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That's it, folks!

Cheers,
Vladan Ubiparip
Founder at Extreme Loser
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