A while back, Sauna Suits became a storm on social media and everybody was wearing one in the gym. Back then, most of them were just bin bags and ducktape – you could hear them rustling away in the corner of the gym.
While Sauna Suits aren’t as popular (or trendy) as they once were, they are still popular and sold as a way to lose weight and increase fat burning, to improve fitness, to heal from injuries quicker and rid the body of toxins. While there are benefits to a sauna and heat exposure, we wanted to fully understand whether the claims around Sauna Suits can be substantiated or whether they are garbage (more use for those binbags).
Are Sauna Suit good For Losing Fat? – False
Ok, so we can understand whether or not the sauna suit actually increases your metabolism, it’s handy to understand what it is. Your metabolism is really how much energy your body is using at a time – those with a high metabolism will burn through more calories than those who have one that is low. The idea behind a sauna suit is that if ou increases your metabolic rate, you will burn more energy and therefore, burn more fat.
The idea is solid however, it is much more complicated than this. The way your body burns energy depends also on your diet, your training intensity and your training style. There are also some who suggest that the body starts to burn carbohydrates when you’re hot, and fat oxidisation may slow down resulting in the wrong energy being burned.
It seems that it is far more effective to increase the intensity of your workout than wear a suit, which may actually hamper your training.
PS: wearing a suit at rest will also have very few benefits. You’re best getting into an actual sauna after a workout to enjoy the recovery benefits.
A Sauna Suit will Increase the Intensity of the workout & increase fitness- false
There is some truth to this: your workout will feel really intense. Your head will pound, your body will feel exhausted and you’re going to be a right mess after it. But, this doesn’t mean that your body is improving – it means that you’re making your body work too hard and it’s suffering from heat exhaustion.
Fitness and training in warm climates is rough and can build mental endurance, but it doesn’t always mean that you’re getting the most out of the training session. It is arguably more effective to train for harder and longer than it is to put a sauna suit on during the workout. Use the muscles, not exhaust the whole body.
The likely outcome is that you push your body temperature up and decrease your effort, resulting in a lowering of performance. It also means that you’re very likely to increase the likelihood of an injury or suffer dire consequences of heat exhaustion or dehydration.
The only possible benefit of wearing a sauna suit while working out is to lose water before a body-building competition, or get used to an environment where the temperatures are high. Say you’re training for a competition in a hot country. But, you could easily put the heating up to the same effect.
Sauna Suits Will Remove Toxing From Your Body – False
Weirdly, this claim has almost no basis and is somewhat of an egrigor (it is true because people say it, and therefore, becomes a truth). It is just a myth that has floated around social media from people who (annoyingly) don’t know any better. It is factual – toxins are not removed from your body by sweating. The only way you’re going to detoxify your body is by drinking lots of water (maybe green tea) and peeing a lot.
What you’re losing with a sauna suit is. body sweat which contains salts and electrolytes which are essential for your body’s energy and functions. To lose those without replacing them is actually a huge negative to your performance. What you’re losing is stuff you need.
Sauna Suits Help With Recovery (True) & Healing an Injury (False)
There is again some truth to this, but it is not entirely true.
Firstly, the recovery from an injury is a complex process and it is not true that you will recover quicker with a sauna suit. In saying that, there are lots of studies which show that increasing your body’s body temperature can increase blood flow around the body; it is the blood flow that is needed to deliver essential healing proteins, vitamins and minerals to a damaged muscle or body part. It is not an exact science but it may give you an edge.
For this reason, it is also very likely that a Sauna suit can help you recover from your exercise. There are studies that show that exposure to heat after an extensive session of physical activity is more beneficial than cold exposure. Your increased body temperature will aid in increasing the blood flow to your muscles and will likely boost your recovery.
You could certainly buy a sauna suit, but you may find it more convenient and effective if you get a gym membership with a spa – or a portable sauna that you can plonk in front of the TV.
Final thoughts – Do Sauna Suits Really Work?
Do they work? Well, they absolutely work for increasing your body temperature and increasing the amount of sweat that you produce, but they do not help you lose fat, increase fitness or remove toxins from your body- as is claimed online. At most, the sauna suit is good for increasing your body temperature and potentially helping you acclimatise to warmer climates while training, to lose water before a body-building competition (for example) or slightly aiding recovery after a session.
The fact is, that a sauna suit can be easily replaced with the better alternative of an actual sauna.
Hopefully, this post has been helpful, and if you’d like to add a comment then do so below.