Work It Out: Lose Weight or Gain Muscle with a Sauna

Saunas have long been known for their healthy detoxification and relaxation benefits. However, most people don’t know that saunas can help you cut OR bulk, and can be used to help lose weight or gain muscle. Saunas can be instrumental to your health and fitness goals and we’d like to show you how to best utilize this powerful wellness tool.

Learn how saunas can help you cut OR bulk:

CUT – Sauna Use for Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight, detoxification seems like a natural first step. What better way to start your health journey than ridding your body of toxic substances and jump starting your metabolism?

Saunas have been determined to be a good detox method because of the sweat you release while sitting in a sauna. However, as you sweat out the toxins retained in your body’s fat cells and intercellular fluid, you are also losing weight and increasing your metabolism.

Initially, the weight you lose is from the water weight shed from sweating. This weight loss is not permanent, but the sauna does more that just make you sweat.

To help you lose weight permanently, the sauna raises your body heat, driving your body to increase it’s metabolic rate by 20%. This increase in body temperature makes you burn more calories. But the real beauty in using a sauna for weight loss, is that your body keeps burning calories longer – up to several hours after leaving the sauna.

BULK – Sauna Use for Muscle Gain

In addition to helping you lose weight, saunas can help you bulk up with muscle. Many people think a sauna session sounds like a relaxing way to end a workout, but it’s also a way to maximize the effect of your workout.

The heat from the sauna places your body in a mild stress state, forcing it to produce heat shock proteins. These proteins repair cellular damage that occurs in response to heat exposure. By activating your body’s internal antioxidant defense system, these proteins help stimulate muscle growth.

Exercise, which is also a stressor that produces heat shock proteins, followed by a sauna session is a great way to boost your muscle gain.

In addition to helping heat shock proteins, sauna sessions enhance insulin sensitivity. Better insulin sensitivity makes muscles use amino acids and glucose more efficiently, so less insulin release is needed. More efficient amino acid use allows your body to build new muscle with those amino acids.

Increased insulin sensitivity actually helps both muscle gain and weight loss because greater insulin sensitivity makes your body more resistant to fat gain. With too much insulin in your blood, your fat cells don’t release fat stores easily, and your body holds on to that fat. Additionally, insulin sensitivity is a part of blood sugar control, which impacts weight gain.