Hanging out in a sauna can be incredibly relaxing and can aid in stress relief. Can you have a beer or a glass of wine in the sauna to further help you relax?
You should avoid consuming alcohol while in the sauna because it will exacerbate the dehydration caused by the heat of the sauna. The lack of proper hydration will also cause you to feel the effects of the alcohol more quickly than you would otherwise. For the same reasons, alcohol should also be avoided directly before or after a sauna visit.
Keep reading for more information about how alcohol consumption in the sauna can affect you, and why you’re better off sticking to water while you sweat.
What happens to the body inside the sauna?
Even if you’re a regular at your local sauna, you may not know exactly what’s going on inside your body during your visit.
The major selling points of a sauna include a variety of health benefits include:
- Improved blood circulation – The heat of the sauna increases your body temperature and raises your heart rate while causing your blood vessels to dillate.
- Lowered blood pressure – The heat causes your blood vessels to dillate, lowering your blood pressure.
- Detoxification – Sweating in the sauna can flush harmful toxins from your body, relieving the stress on your kidneys and liver.
- Improved complexion – Between the temperature and the resulting sweat, your skin releases toxins that could lead to breakouts or a dull complexion. It also stimulates your face’s sebaceous glands, which can improve your skin’s skins natural moisture.
Should you hydrate before using the sauna?
Saunas tend to be around 150ºF to195ºF with relatively low humidity. Basically, the whole point of a sauna is to create a situation where you will sweat profusely. If you were sweating that much in any other situation, you’d definitely have your water bottle on you!
As with any other situation where you’re likely to become dehydrated, it’s important that you make sure to drink the right amount of water. You should plan on having two glasses of water before going into the sauna, and having another once you’re done.
Hydrating before going into the sauna allows your body to store the water it needs to allow your liver and kidney to detoxify properly.
Is it okay to drink alcohol while you are in the sauna?
Some people believe that drinking alcohol in the sauna cancels out because your body will absorb the water while the detoxifying effects of the sauna will flush the alcohol from your body.
In fact, drinking alcohol in the sauna will only intensify the effects of the alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic and will lead to dehydration on its own, so pairing it with a situation in which you are already dehydrated means you will feel the effects of the alcohol much more quickly and more intensely.
Drinking alcohol affects your entire system. Your body retains the toxins present in alcohol till the next day, regardless of sauna “detox.” This can lead to elevated blood pressure that can be dangerous especially for those who experience irregular heartbeats or hypotension.
Drinking in the sauna can also lead to an increased occurrence of physical injury.
Since drinking in the sauna will intensify the effect of the alcohol, you’re likely to become intoxicated even if your drink wouldn’t typically that affect you. This can lead to accidents in the saunas. Relatively minor injuries such as sprains and burns are common, but more serious injuries including heatstroke have been documented.
Can you drink alcohol before using a sauna?
If you can’t have a drink during a sauna, could you pre-game your relaxation, so to speak, and have a drink before heading in?
Due to the lingering effects of alcohol in your system and the large amount of water you’ll lose through sweat during a sauna session, you should avoid consuming alcohol before a sauna.
Instead of drinking a beer or a glass of wine before visiting the sauna, you should focus on upping your water intake. Ideally, you should consume two glasses of water before heading in to ensure you’re properly hydrated.
Alcohol, however, will only serve to dehydrate your body, making it more difficult for your body to produce the cleansing sweat and potentially leading to a dangerously accelerated heart rate or even heat stroke.
Does a sauna sober you up?
A sauna is a great way to detoxify and alcohol is a toxin, right? It only makes sense that visiting a sauna can help you sober up. Doesn’t it?
As you might be able to guess from the way we judge intoxication (Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC), alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream after imbibing and that’s what makes you drunk. The detoxification you experience in the sauna is exclusively for the toxins that can reside in the pores, which are flushed out by the extreme heat and sweat.
In fact, the extreme dehydration that can occur when you’re drinking and then spending time in the sauna can actually make you drunker than you were before, and it will certainly make your hangover worse.
Entering a sauna while intoxicated is not advised because, in addition to becoming severely dehydrated, you may injure yourself or become very ill as you may be less aware of your own physical reactions at that point.
Can you sweat alcohol out?
After alcohol is consumed, your liver will metabolize the alcohol stored in the blood. The liver then works overtime to dissolve the alcohol, as it takes a longer time for alcohol to leave the body. The undissolved particles are usually passed out through urine, breath, and sweat.
During the excretion period, you will produce more sweat than usual, but that doesn’t mean you’re “sweating out” all the alcohol. Usually, it takes an average of an hour to excrete the toxins of alcohol.
Sweating out alcohol can hasten the process of removing harmful toxins from the body, but it is not recommended that you try and speed up that process.
Instead, you should focus on drinking more water, which will not only help you feel better overall, but it’s a surefire way to ward off tomorrow’s hangover.
Is sauna good for a hangover
You went out drinking last night and had a little too much – is it possible to put the sauna’s magical detoxifying powers to work?
While it is not advisable to visit the sauna with alcohol in your system, it can be very helpful the morning after. The increased blood circulation will do wonders for your headache, while the sweat session will help to purge the leftover toxins from your body.
If you’re going to visit the sauna with a hangover, make sure you’re well-hydrated! If you’re not sure you’ve had enough water, limit your time to 15-20 minutes.
Can you drink alcohol after using a sauna?
If you’ve had a good sauna experience, chances are you’re dehydrated when you exit, even if you were diligent about your water consumption pre-sauna.
Wait about 15 minutes after your sauna before drinking alcohol. You should ensure that your body is feeling more like “normal” – your heart rate has returned to normal, you’re no longer sweating – before imbibing.
Right after your sauna, you should drink another glass of water, fruit juice, or even a sports drink to help your body rehydrate.