Should You Drink Water in the Sauna? (How Much & How Often!)

The temperature in a sauna can get up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is high enough to cause dehydration if you aren’t careful. To counteract that, should you drink water in the sauna?

You should drink at least two glasses of water before and two glasses after (not during) a sauna session to replenish what was lost from sweat. The best fluid to drink is herbal tea for the antioxidants and electrolytes. Keep all liquids at room temperature for the most optimal hydration result. 

Read on to find out if you should drink water in the sauna- how much and how often, if it’s a good or bad practice, and find out how much water you actually lose while inside a sauna.

Is it good or bad to drink water in a sauna?

If your body loses fluids through sweat and it’s not replenished quickly enough by drinking, you risk becoming dehydrated, which can lead to nausea, dizziness, or fainting. It’s obvious that you sweat a lot more than usual in a sauna; however, is it beneficial or detrimental to drink water while you’re in the sauna?

While drinking water in the sauna helps cool you off, it’s best to hydrate before and after use. Hydrating before gives your body the reserve it needs to allow your liver and kidneys to detoxify properly. Hydrating afterward allows for your body to replenish fluids that were lost via sweat. 

A 2014 study mentioned that people with a high BMI are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated, and they should pay special attention to getting enough fluids before and after a visit to the sauna. 

How often should you drink water in the sauna?

Whether you’re visiting an infrared, traditional, or steam sauna, it’s essential to keep the fluids in your body balanced.

You should aim to drink two 8-ounce glasses of water before and after every sauna session. If the temperature inside reaches 180 degrees or more, then increase that amount by one glass for a total of 5 glasses per visit- with another additional glass if you have certain pre-existing conditions (for example, kidney disease).

If you’re visiting the sauna frequently, then you must keep hydrated in between sessions. A good rule of thumb is to treat it like any other workout and drink a little bit of water every thirty minutes.

What should you drink in a sauna?

While sweating, our body releases toxins and a significant amount of water and salt. Now that we know it’s crucial to drink water pre and post-sauna use, what exactly should you drink?

The best choice of fluids before stepping into a sauna is room temperature or lukewarm tea. Teas with herbal or green tea leaves are ideal, while black and coffee teas are too dense. Post sauna, drink some more herbal tea or a glass of fermented kvass drink.

Other great choices include fruit juice (to combat lightheadedness and low blood sugar) and still mineral water – both served at room temperature—both aid in replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes. Always avoid any alcohol or soda as both can dehydrate you further!

What should you eat in the sauna?

Like drinking, never eat while in the sauna. The warm air, combined with dry heat, is not conducive to digestion and can cause bloating. However, you can eat a healthy snack or light meal beforehand to help you sweat more- but what?

It is recommended that you eat approximately two hours before a sauna visit. Good, light options include fruits and vegetables, pasta, and fish. It is best to avoid foods like sweetbreads, desserts, smoked foods, meat, and dairy. 

Although you’ll be hungry after sweating in the sauna, be sure to wait one hour before eating and keep it light and healthy.

How much water do you lose inside a sauna?

You are constantly sweating, so how much water is lost that will need to be replaced?

According to Harvard Medical School, each 15-minute session in the sauna causes an average of 1 pint of fluid loss. After about an hour in the sauna (or two 30-minute sessions), you can lose up to 5 pounds of water weight, although most will come back as you rehydrate. 

The good news is that you will not become dehydrated if you continue to drink fluids, paying particular attention to the amount of time you spend inside.

Signs of dehydration in the sauna

At this point, you know how much water to drink and what foods will help, but there are a few signs to pay attention to if you think you may be dehydrated.

Signs of dehydration:

  • dizziness
  • dry mouth or feeling of thirst
  • dry lips and eyes
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • not having to urinate as usual or strong pee smell

It’s critical to notice the subtle differences between regular sauna use and dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated and take notice of any deviations from your usual routine.

To make the most of your sweat session, you should drink water before and after you’re in the sauna. Drinking at least two glasses of water before and post sauna will help make up for any fluids lost in the heat. For optimal hydration, drink herbal tea instead of soda or coffee. Keep all liquids at room temperature so they can be absorbed into your body more efficiently!

By following these simple guidelines, you can make sure to stay hydrated and healthy while enjoying the many benefits of sauna sessions.