People are always talking about using saunas for weight loss. But which kind of sauna are they talking about? Is one better than the other?
Steam rooms and saunas are both good for weight loss. Most of the research surrounding weight loss has been conducted in dry saunas, so it’s hard to compare. However, steam rooms are better for muscle recovery because the wet heat penetrates your muscles.
Keep reading to find out more about steam rooms vs saunas for weight loss!
Can steam rooms and saunas help with weight loss?
First off, can steam rooms and saunas even help you lose weight?
Steam rooms and saunas can both help with weight loss. You can burn 100 calories an hour in the sauna. The higher your BMI is, the more weight you will lose in the sauna. Steam rooms and saunas also help lower your stress, which is a leading cause of weight gain.
You can burn about 25 calories in a 15-minute session. This means you burn 100 calories per hour! If you regularly have half-hour sauna sessions, you can burn an extra 400 or so calories each month.
The higher your BMI is to start, the more weight you will lose in the sauna. This means you have more to gain by visiting the sauna if you’re looking to lose a lot of weight.
Stress also has a very big impact on your weight. You may gain weight due to stress because it makes your body metabolize food differently. You also might be too stressed to cook healthy meals, or you may stress eat.
Let’s talk about how dry saunas work.
Dry saunas range from 150 to 195°F. A 15-minute session three times a week is ideal. That’s when you’ll start seeing results like lowered stress and weight loss. To detox, stay in for at least 8 minutes.
If you’re using a dry sauna after exercise, wait about 10 minutes before hopping in. Using the sauna after a workout is great for weight loss because it extends the amount of time that your metabolism is boosted.
You burn around 50% more calories while in the sauna than while at rest. You also see an increase in hGH which helps for workout recovery.
If you’re an infrared sauna fan, listen up!
Infrared saunas range from 120 and 140°F. A half-hour session three times a week is ideal. Staying in that long will usher in benefits like reduced stress, boosted metabolism, and increased blood circulation.
If you want to reap the most benefits, you should spend at least 20 minutes inside the infrared sauna at 120°F. Staying in for 30 minutes gives your body time to increase its metabolism if you’re looking for weight loss.
Steam rooms are great when your skin needs a little extra moisture.
Steam rooms range from 110 to 120°F. They have a humidity of 100%. A 15-20 minute session three times a week is ideal. For weight loss, stay in for at least 15 minutes.
After seven 15-minute sessions, you’ll have lowered total serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, and weight reduction.
If you want to detox, stay in for at least 10 minutes. This is how long it takes to induce sweating. You can sweat out arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.
Is a sauna or steam room better for weight loss?
So if saunas and steam rooms both help you lose weight, which one is better?
It’s unclear if saunas or steam rooms are better for weight loss because most studies have been conducted on the effects of dry saunas. However, steam rooms help your muscles recover from exercise more quickly. This is because wet heat penetrates muscles better than dry heat.
Steam rooms are better for muscle recovery because wet heat penetrates muscles deeper, faster. In this way, steam rooms are better for weight loss because they help you recover from exercise.
Using the sauna or steam room helps you lose weight, in part, by boosting your metabolism. Your baseline metabolism depends on body size, body composition, sex, and age. Using the sauna can increase your metabolism by up to 33%.
Saunas and steam rooms also help you burn calories by raising your heart rate. This is a physiological response to excess heat.
Water weight vs burning calories
What’s the difference between water weight and burning calories?
You lose water weight by sweating out moisture, not by burning calories. You can lose water weight in the steam room and sauna because they make you sweat so much. But they help you burn calories, too!
You lose some weight after using the sauna because of all the water you sweat out. While this isn’t a long-term weight loss solution, it can be helpful if you have a weigh-in for sports.
How steam rooms and saunas could help burn calories
Time to talk about how exactly steam rooms and saunas help you burn calories.
Here are some examples of how steam rooms and saunas could help burn calories:
- Increased heart and respiratory rate
- Workout recovery
- Increased metabolism
- An incentive to use the gym
Now let’s elaborate on these bullet points.
How does sweating help you lose weight?
Steam rooms and saunas help you lose weight through sweating.
Sweating itself doesn’t cause long-term weight loss, but you do lose water weight by sweating. If you have a weigh-in for a sport this can be helpful.
Sweating is also a sign that your body is working overtime. So even though sweating doesn’t make you lose weight, it’s a signal that you’re burning some extra calories.
Increased heart and respiratory rate
What’s the big deal about having an increased heart and respiratory rate?
Steam rooms and saunas help you lose weight by increasing your heart and respiratory rates.
Saunas lead to an increase in heart rate and increase your oxygen consumption. The cardiac load of using a sauna is equal to moderate exercise.
Breathing in extra oxygen helps your body lose fat!
How do saunas help with workout recovery?
Steam rooms and saunas help you lose weight by helping your body recover from workouts.
There are lots of benefits to using the sauna after a workout.
Using the sauna after working out can help mitigate delayed-onset muscle soreness by up to 50%. Saunas dilate your blood vessels to bring extra blood and oxygen to your sore muscles.
Saunas could also improve your cardiovascular health. This means you’ll have better workouts in the future!
Just be sure to wait at least 10 minutes after exercising before entering the sauna so you don’t overheat or become dehydrated.
Let’s boost that metabolism!
Steam rooms and saunas help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism.
Your metabolic rate will increase by up to 33% just from using the sauna once. This is why you burn up to 50% more calories in the sauna than while at rest.
Your metabolism is how fast you metabolize your food, aka burn calories. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn.
An incentive to use the gym
Some people just don’t like going to the gym. Can saunas help?
Steam rooms and saunas help you lose weight by giving you some extra incentive to use the gym.
This one might seem silly, but the thought of jumping in the sauna is a huge incentive to use the gym. If you’re not a workout buff, you might need that extra push.
Reward yourself with a nice sauna session after your workout! It’ll feel good while helping you burn some extra calories.