There are many myths about saunas. What we do know is that saunas have been around for centuries, but the validity of their benefits is constantly questioned- is it possible for saunas to boost testosterone?
Saunas do not directly boost testosterone; however, they indirectly reduce cortisol and insulin levels which have been scientifically shown to reduce testosterone. Use the sauna 2-3x per week for 20 minutes to improve mood levels that increase libido. Incorporate a healthy diet, TM, and adequate sleep for the best outcomes.
Keep reading to learn if saunas can boost testosterone levels and how to use them to do so.
Can the sauna boost testosterone levels?
With all of the added benefits of using a sauna every week, you can’t help but wonder if increased testosterone is one of them.
Generally speaking, the answer is no- the sauna cannot boost testosterone levels. However, when used 2-3x per week for 20 minutes, saunas can reduce hormones like cortisol and insulin that harm testosterone. They can also improve mood levels that can lead to an increased libido.
Infrared saunas, specifically, are the best type for these benefits because of the way they work. They heat our bodies from the inside out, thus producing results more quickly.
While cortisol levels usually spike during sauna use, afterward, these levels drop by around 25%.
Likewise, insulin sensitivity is heightened, and our body is able to regulate blood glucose more efficiently. This, too, plays a role in allowing testosterone levels to rise.
Are saunas bad for testosterone?
As with everything, overuse can be harmful. When used excessively, saunas can negatively affect your body’s testosterone production.
If you use an infrared sauna more than 2-3x a week, you risk increasing prolactin and cortisol levels, which drive down testosterone. Additionally, your body will adjust to the temperature more quickly, and the positive effects of sauna use will lessen.
The trick is to keep your body confused and learning. Once it knows how to handle a situation, it will adapt to survive (which may lead to fat storage or a decrease in testosterone to preserve energy).
Research shows that for cortisol to affect testosterone, it must be raised to a critical level of about 160% above resting. After time, this can result in loss of libido and impotence in men and menstrual cycle irregularity and fertility issues in women.
How to use the sauna to boost testosterone
In order to preserve the sauna’s many advantages as they relate to testosterone levels, we should adhere to the following set of guidelines.
The best ways to use a sauna for boosting testosterone are:
- To choose infrared
- For two times per week
- With transcendental meditation
- In addition to a healthy diet
- With adequate sleep
To Choose Infrared
These saunas are the most effective type of sauna for boosting testosterone levels.
Infrared saunas aid in removing unwanted toxins from our bodies, increase weight loss, and produce glowy skin. All of these help combat signs of low testosterone like low libido, an increase in body fat, and a lack of self-confidence.
They heat our bodies first, then the air around us. The infrared heating panels operate at around 140 °F, which causes an increase in white blood cells and a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol.
For Two Times Per Week
Overusing a sauna can have adverse effects.
The perfect cocktail of sauna use for inhibiting factors that reduce testosterone levels is 2-3x a week for 20 minutes at a time.
As I mentioned above, using a sauna every day allows your body to adjust and can cause the benefits to subside. If you’re tracking your levels and feel like your testosterone is still depleting even when you’re using the sauna mildly- your prolactin levels may be too high.
Remember that while these tips are (generally speaking) helpful, everyone’s body is different.
With Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation is a wonderful practice for many reasons. When paired with a sauna- you feel unstoppable.
Transcendental meditation was born in India in the 1950s and involves sitting completely still while repeating a personalized mantra for up to 30 minutes. This can be done in the sauna as the perfect way to reduce the cortisol levels that inhibit testosterone production. Include breathwork for the ultimate unwinding experience.
A recent U.S. study looked at the use of transcendental meditation to lower cortisol in premenopausal women. They found that the extended practice of transcendental meditation reduces the response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis to glucose in these women.
Any way you can reduce your stress levels will allow for testosterone production to commence.
In Addition to a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is a significant factor when asking if saunas boost testosterone. Saunas can only do so much.
It is recommended that you drink plenty of water, consume healthy fats like avocados, and eat adequate amounts of lean protein (eggs, chicken, and fish). Supplements like vitamin D, zinc, and creatine are also advantageous. Pair this diet with the benefits of a sauna, and you can help boost your testosterone production.
Coconut and salmon are other excellent sources of healthy fat. Stay away from fatty proteins like red meat, which can create an inflammatory response and actually decrease testosterone.
Try taking a morning walk in the sun to boost vitamin D levels- over half of the population is deficient. Dairy and nuts are great sources of the mineral zinc, which is pivotal in converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (this helps initiate puberty).
Lastly, creatine helps us build muscle and endurance, which leads to more testosterone production.
With Adequate Sleep
If I had to pick the single, most important contributor to health, it would be adequate sleep. The same applies to boosting testosterone.
Enough sleep is the cornerstone of testosterone production. It can turn into a vicious cycle- lack of sleep can deplete testosterone levels, and lower levels can negatively impact your sleep quality. In one study, sleeping for only 5 hours, eight nights in a row, decreased testosterone levels in men by 12.5%.
There are other practices we can put into place that help improve sleep quality and boost testosterone levels.
These practices are:
- Daily exercise (15-30 minutes)
- Limit caffeine intake (consume before noon)
- Reduce alcohol use
- Stop using your phone/TV 30 minutes before bedtime (replace with reading)
- Incorporate the sauna into your routine (ridding your body of toxins will help you get a better night’s sleep)
Simple steps like those mentioned above will dramatically increase the amount of deep sleep you get every night and help your body produce more testosterone.
A sauna is a powerful tool that can be used to improve mood and reduce cortisol and insulin levels, which have been statistically shown to decrease testosterone.
This reduction in specific hormones has an indirect but positive effect on the libido. To get the best results from your time spent in the sauna, it’s important to include other methods like healthy dieting, transcendental meditation, and getting enough sleep each night.
This will allow for saunas to assist in boosting testosterone!