These days, saunas come in all shapes and sizes... but are they all created equal?
That’s what we’ll be finding out today, as we look over the health and weight loss benefits on offer while donning a sauna suit, and compare them with traditional and infrared saunas.
There’s a range of health benefits on offer with traditional and infrared saunas, but does this extend to the use of sauna suits?
High-performance athletes have pioneered the mainstream charge toward saunas, as well as practical and portable sauna alternatives like sauna suits, but there is one key question remaining- are they any good at helping you lose weight?
Let’s suit up, and find out.
How Do Sauna Suits Work?
Sauna suits are incredibly simple.
They’re essentially a sealed up suit that allows the body to heat itself up without ventilation, which causes the body to sweat in an attempt to regulate its internal temperature.
They are often used in combination with exercise to increase the amount of perspiration expired from the body.
There’s no doubt that sauna suits work, particularly if you look at the world of competitive athletes who appreciate the flexibility that a sauna suit offers.
his is particularly true in the case of professional boxers that need to shed excess weight in a short period of time.
They do, however, come with a range of potential health risks, with some organisations going as far as banning them altogether for use by their athletes.
Does A Sauna Suit Help Lose Weight?
Sauna suits have been proven to be an effective means of losing weight, however, they’re limited when it comes to just how much weight you can lose. In a session, your body sheds excess water weight in the form of perspiration, but that is where the weight loss stops.
They’re often used as an addition to a workout, rather than a primary means of weight loss to accelerate the body’s sweat response.
When combined with some form of vigorous exercise, sauna suits are extremely effective at helping the body to lose water weight through sweating, which is why they’re often used by professional athletes like boxers ahead of a weigh-in or fight.
What Are The Dangers Of A Sauna Suit?
As mentioned, there are a number of health risks when it comes to prolonged and intense sessions in sauna suits, especially when they’re combined with rigorous exercise.
A study from the Journal of Temperature linked upper-body sauna suits with an increased risk of heat fatigue and strain on the body, with the most extreme cases exhibiting signs of severe dehydration and illnesses linked to heat exposure.
On the whole, sauna suits are profoundly more taxing on the body’s vital systems than a traditional or infrared sauna.
The CDC in the United States has noted that sauna suits increase the risk of the body’s thermoregulation failing, adding stress to the renal and cardiovascular systems, as well as muscle strength, endurance and sensitive electrolyte systems. In extreme cases, people have died while combining sauna suits and exercise, which led the National Collegiate Athletic Association to ban the use of sauna suits for their athletes.
How Long Should You Wear A Sauna Suit?
With the dangers we’ve just talked about in mind, it’s advised that you keep your time inside a sauna suit relatively short to avoid potential symptoms of heatstroke, and dehydration.
Keep your initial sessions inside a sauna suit anywhere between 20 to 30-minutes.
Remember that it’s essential to always hydrate before and after use, as well as monitor your body’s response while using the suit to gauge your heat tolerance.
This applies to all forms of heat exposure, whether you’re using a traditional sauna, sauna suit or an infrared sauna. For more information on exactly how long you should stay in a sauna, we’ve covered this in a previous post.
Sauna Suits VS Infrared Saunas For Athletes And Weight Loss
While sauna suits are indeed effective at reducing the body’s weight through perspiration, they fall short when it comes to being a comprehensive means of losing weight.
While losing water weight can be essential for a professional athlete, if you’re looking to trim down your body, targeted infrared light is much more effective and is significantly less taxing on the body than exercising in a sauna suit.
We’ve talked previously about why athletes are increasingly turning to Clearlight infrared saunas, as well as how many calories you can burn inside an infrared sauna, but before wrapping up, let’s compare the main differences between sauna suits and our saunas when it comes to the weight loss. Inside an infrared sauna, as your body regulates its temperature, you perspire and lose weight through sweat.
In addition to this, infrared light in the sauna penetrates underneath the skin and stimulates subdermal fat cells with targeted light energy.
Combined with increases to the body’s metabolism, cardiovascular and lymphatic system, you’re soaking up a host of added benefits to the body simply by opting for an infrared sauna over a sauna suit.
For a list of the full health benefits on offer inside an infrared sauna, click here.
If you’re looking to combine the benefits of working out while sweating up a storm, check out our 4-person Sanctuary Yoga infrared sauna, which offers more than enough space to practice yoga, work out or simply meditate while soaking up the targeted health benefits of infrared light that our saunas offer.