When trying to lose weight, burn fat or lose calories, many people like to use a sauna suit during their workout session in order to ensure they get the best results. But do sauna suits work for weight loss, burning fat, and losing calories?
A sauna suit is a full-body outfit designed to increase your body temperature in order to make you sweat more while exercising. Wearing a sauna suit during a workout session can make you weigh less at the end of the session, but that weight loss is a result of water lost through sweat and not fat loss as you are not actually burning more calories.
Continue reading to find out the effects of sauna suits on your weight loss, fat burning, and calorie consumption.
What are sauna suits?
You may have seen some particularly dedicated gym-goers working out in a sauna suit, but what is that exactly?
A sauna suit is a garment made out of synthetic materials designed to keep in the heat in a workout session. Neoprene is a commonly used material in sauna suits. The suits have cuffs around the ankles and wrists to trap the heat.
Wearing a sauna suit during a workout session causes more perspiration. You will likely weigh less than you did before the workout session.
However, the weight lost is only temporary as it is only water weight. The body needs an adequate amount of fluids to transport nutrients and oxygen to tissues and organs and maintain a healthy blood volume.
Because of this, the body then works to absorb fluids immediately after your workout session in a sauna suit. This is replaced again after proper rehydration, making the weight loss is temporary.
Wearing a sauna suit prevents heat from leaving your body. This results in the heat being trapped against your body and causes you to warm up faster than you would normally. It may seem weird to heat yourself during a workout session, but there are benefits.
How do sauna suits compare to real saunas?
Now that you know what a sauna suit is, you may wonder if wearing one is basically the same as spending some time in an actual sauna.
A sauna suit is a waterproof suit that retains body heat and causes a buildup of sweat and heat as you exercise, while a sauna is a small room used as a steam bath or hot air for refreshing, cleaning the body, and general relaxation.
According to a March 2018 study, using sauna heat training to adapt to heat is effective but not as useful as exercising in hot conditions or using a sauna. You can use the sauna suit to stimulate heat, but it can’t be compared to the real thing.
Do sauna suits work for weight loss?
Saunas are a popular way to aid in weight loss – will a sauna suit have similar benefits?
Any weight loss from wearing a sauna suit is temporary. Your body will return to its original weight after rehydration. The only way to lose weight permanently is by eating a healthy diet and partaking in an intensive exercise regime. However, a sauna suit can complement weight loss if it is used properly alongside healthy workouts and dieting.
Weight loss should be taken one day at a time and should be seen as a long-term goal. It is not something that can be achieved in one day. Aim to lose between 1 and 3 lbs per week from healthy exercising and calorie-restricted dieting.
A sauna suit can motivate you to exercise more due to the fact that the high temperature will make you feel like you’re doing a great job during your workout session.
Everything coupled together in the right manner can get you in the best shape.
Do sauna suits burn more calories?
Sauna suits make you sweat more, but they do not directly affect the number of calories you burn.
As you sweat, your weight decreases, but not because you are burning calories; you are just losing water weight. When you rehydrate after the whole process, your weight will increase again.
However, using a sauna suit can help keep the body healthy and is a step in the right direction for healthy living.
Will sauna suits help you lose belly fat?
Permanently losing belly or body fat has nothing to do with sweating but rather burning of calories. The calories being burned must be greater than the calories being consumed.
Increasing the number of calories you burn per day by working out and decreasing how many calories you take into your body by eating healthy are the two best ways to permanently lose belly or body fat.
Coupled with a sauna suit, they can all work together to achieve a common goal which is keeping you in shape.
How to use a sauna suit to lose weight
A sauna suit does not contribute directly to permanent weight loss, but when used effectively with healthy calorie-restricting dieting and workout sessions, it can play a role in weight loss.
Here are some tips on how to use a sauna suit effectively:
- Ensure the sauna suit fits you perfectly.
- Place the elasticated bands carefully on your ankle, collar, and cuffs.
- Ensure you hydrate well.
- Move from low-impact to high impact exercises.
- Clean your sauna suit after use.
How long should you wear a sauna suit?
It is important to note that exercises carried out while using a sauna suit should not be too intense. It should be between moderate and a little vigorous.
People have different needs or reasons for using a sauna suit, but you should not wear a sauna suit for more than 45 minutes at a time. Overstaying your time in a sauna suit will not only ruin your session but might be detrimental to your health.
If you feel like it’s getting too hot for you, it is not bad to pause and take a break. Also, ensure you drink water very frequently before, during, and after workout sessions. You cannot expect your body to feel as good as it should if you keep on sweating intensely without drinking enough water.
Ensure you keep bottles of water by your side at all times. Water at room temperature will be very good. Make sure you do not drink too much at once but rather take small quantities over and over again.
Sauna suit pros and cons
It’s no surprise why a sauna suit is now one of today’s sportswear trends. And it is important to note that although a sauna suit has its benefits, incorrect use also has its risks.
Whether your aim is to lose weight temporarily or increase the intensity of your workout session, wearing a sauna suit can help you in quite a number of ways.
The liver and the kidneys are the body’s best detoxifiers and the sauna suit is known for trapping heat and increased sweating. The heavy sweating induced by the sauna suit can lead to the release of toxins from the body.
The temporary weight loss caused by the sauna suit is due to the fluid loss that should be replaced as sweat.
Some other benefits of a sauna suit are:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased circulation
- Improved immunity and healing
- Increased exercise intensity
Sauna suits have some benefits but there are some cons as well. According to a 2018 study, exercising in a sauna suit increases the risks of physiological strain and causes larger sweat losses.
These conditions can lead to dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
Sweating profusely and losing water due to the high temperature can cause electrolyte and mineral imbalance in the body. If you are going to use a sauna suit, you should not wear it for too long and ensure you stay hydrated by drinking water very frequently.
The water loss in a sauna can be dangerous because it prevents the sweat from evaporating from the body. When the sweat is unable to evaporate, the body is not able to cool itself adequately. This leads to an increase in loss of fluids which may lead to dehydration which can negatively affect the blood volume.
If not taken care of properly, it can result in a stroke or a heart attack.