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11 Benefits Of Sauna After Workout: The Recovery Hack You Need

After a tough workout session, grabbing some sauna time can feel amazing… a perfect way to wind down after a solid session.

But although it feels good, are there any health benefits of sauna after workout?

Well, there’s plenty of evidence that suggests there is a load of benefits of a sauna after a workout.

Now, I’m a simple person who likes to look at health and wellbeing-related things from a simple, common sense viewpoint – I tend to ask myself “What would our hunter-gatherer ancestors have done?”…

…bearing in mind our human bodies are more designed to live in their world than in our modern situation.

Of course, I’m sure our ancestors would have taken regular infrared saunas… wouldn’t they?

No, of course not. But they would’ve been mostly outside – not cooped up indoors like most of us are now – so, plenty of sun exposure (with no sunscreen – how did they survive?).

They would’ve been very active with all the hunting and stuff and likely worked up a nice little sweat-on.

So perhaps we can say infrared saunas are mimicking an environment our ancestors would have been regularly exposed to – just in a more bio-hacking way.

Well, that’s good enough for me and there’s minimal, if any, downside and plenty of upside, as we’ll see…


  • Saunas come in various types like dry, steam, and infrared, each providing unique benefits from deep heat penetration to increased blood circulation and detoxification.
  • Post-workout sauna sessions can help with muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, aid in weight loss, and even lower the risk of certain diseases like diabetes.
  • To optimize the health benefits, stay hydrated, gradually increase sauna duration, and if discomfort arises, exit the sauna to cool down – always listen to your body’s responses.

Understanding Different Sauna Types

When it comes to saunas, variety is the name of the game. The dry sauna also referred to as a traditional sauna, is a wooden room heated to high temperatures.

This creates a dry heat environment that is common in many cultures. The heat, which can reach between 160 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, is often generated by a wood-burning stove or electric heaters, warming up sauna rocks to distribute the heat evenly.

Steam saunas, on the other hand, provide a more humid environment. Some types of steam sauna include:

  • Turkish baths or hammams, which rely on a central heating source for steam generation
  • Traditional Finnish saunas, which are wood-lined rooms heated with hot rocks
  • Smoke saunas, which focus on efficient heat distribution due to their curved design

For those seeking a different kind of heat, infrared saunas offer a unique experience. Instead of heating the air around you, these saunas use infrared light to heat your body directly, operating at lower temperatures ranging from 120 to 150 degrees.

Benefits of Sauna After Workout

Now that we’ve dipped our toes into the steamy world of saunas, let’s dive deeper and discover the myriad of health benefits that can be gained from a sauna session after a workout.

From muscle recovery to detoxification and cardiovascular health, the potential advantages are as vast as they are compelling.

Muscle Recovery: Accelerate Healing with Sauna Sessions

Illustration of muscles recovering in a sauna session after a workout

A sauna session can be a game-changer for muscle recovery. As the heat envelops your body, your blood flow nearly doubles, delivering enriched oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This accelerated blood circulation can significantly reduce muscle soreness by up to 47% within 24 hours post-workout.

Infrared sauna sessions take it a step further. After a grueling workout, the heat penetrates your muscles and nerves, enhancing performance in exercises that measure lower body power, such as a countermovement jump test.

This indicates a faster recovery of muscles and nerves after exercise, leading to improved overall athletic performance.

Detoxify Your Body: Release Toxins & Improve Circulation

Illustration of blood circulation improvement in sauna

Stepping into a sauna after a workout can also serve as a detoxifying retreat. The sweat you produce during a sauna session helps expel toxic substances like BPAs, PCBs, heavy metals, and bacteria from your body, aiding in its natural detox process.

The result? An overall improvement in circulation that leaves you feeling rejuvenated.

Infrared saunas offer several sauna benefits, including:

  • Deeper heat penetration, which helps with detoxification
  • Mitigation of stress on your body
  • A 17.5% reduction in oxidative stress from your workout, promoting recovery and reducing inflammation.

Cardiovascular Health: Strengthen Your Heart & Lower Blood Pressure

Turning up the heat in a sauna can not only help you sweat out toxins but also bolster your cardiovascular and heart health.

Regular sauna sessions improve the efficiency of your heart and blood vessels and lower high blood pressure.

Research shows that men who used a sauna two to three times per week had a 27 percent lower risk of death from heart disease compared to those using it once a week.

But it’s not just about reducing the risk of heart disease. Regular sauna use can also:

  • Bring about favorable changes in circulating lipid profiles.
  • Positively influence the autonomic nervous system.
  • Improve endothelial function, which is essential for cardiovascular health.

Weight Loss Enhancement: Boost Metabolism & Burn Extra Calories

Illustration of weight loss enhancement in sauna

If you’re looking to shed a few extra pounds, adding sauna sessions to your fitness routine could be the answer.

Regular sauna use after exercise can lead to long-term weight-loss benefits, primarily through an increase in metabolism.

While using a sauna burns fewer calories than a high-intensity workout, it still contributes to overall calorie expenditure, vital for weight loss.

The benefits don’t stop there. Sauna use can increase growth hormone levels, which play a crucial role in fat metabolism and muscle growth.

This contributes to weight loss enhancement, making your fitness journey a tad bit easier.

Pain Relief: Alleviate Muscle Aches & Joint Tension

Post-workout aches and pains can be a real downer. Thankfully, a post-exercise sauna session can offer much-needed relief.

The heat from the sauna increases blood flow and dilates blood vessels, reducing tension in joints and sore muscles.

As your muscles relax, oxygen reaches them more efficiently, contributing to faster post-exercise recovery and less soreness.

The benefits of using a sauna after a workout include:

  • Increased blood flow, which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
  • Improved muscle recovery and reduced muscle soreness.
  • Relaxation and stress relief.
  • Detoxification through sweating.
  • Improved sleep quality.

So, the next time your muscles are crying out for some TLC after an intense gym session, consider treating them to a soothing sauna session.

Mental Wellness: Reduce Stress & Improve Mood

Sauna sessions aren’t just about physical benefits. They can also be a sanctuary for mental health and wellness.

Regular sauna use has been linked to improved mood and reduced feelings of depression. Even more impressive, it can decrease the likelihood of developing psychotic disorders.

In a world where stress is a constant companion for many, a post-workout sauna session can offer a respite.

The heat and tranquility of a sauna can help enhance your mood, reduce stress, and even contribute to better sleep quality.

Flexibility & Performance: Reach Peak Athletic Potential

For athletes, a sauna is more than a place to unwind. Regular sauna sessions can lead to a significant increase in range of motion and joint mobility.

This, coupled with an increase in muscle hypertrophy, can assist in reaching peak athletic performance and prevent injuries.

Studies have shown that sauna use can improve muscle strength and power in male athletes.

So, whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an exercise enthusiast, consider incorporating sauna sessions into your fitness regime to unlock your full athletic potential.

Optimal Blood Sugar Levels: Can Lower Your Risk For Diabetes

Sauna sessions can also be beneficial for those looking to regulate their blood sugar levels.

The heat exposure from saunas triggers the body’s heat shock proteins, which improve plasma volume.

This, in turn, can improve glucose regulation, potentially lowering the risk of diabetes.

Ensuring optimal blood sugar levels is crucial for overall health. If you’re looking for a natural way to keep your blood sugar levels in check, a post-workout sauna session might be just what you need.

Skin Health: Glowing Complexion

A radiant complexion is often a sign of good health, and sauna sessions can help you achieve just that.

The heat from the sauna helps you shed dry skin cells more easily, and the sweat produced during a session can clear out your pores of bacteria, potentially refreshing your complexion.

But the benefits for your skin don’t end there. Sweating in a sauna can also improve circulation and enhance collagen production, leading to healthier, radiant skin.

So, if you’re seeking a natural glow, consider scheduling regular post-workout sauna sessions.

Tips for Effective Post-Workout Sauna Sessions: Reduce The Risks

Now that you’re aware of the plethora of benefits sauna sessions can offer, let’s delve into some crucial tips for effective post-workout sauna use.

Hydration is paramount. Rehydrate post-sauna sessions with water to facilitate toxin flushing and combat the risks of dehydration.

Begin with 10 to 15-minute sauna sessions and gradually build up to 20 to 30 minutes, staying hydrated throughout the process. Find out more about how long you should stay in a sauna.

Post-sauna, gradually cool down by taking a cool shower or resting in a cool area. If you feel dizzy, exit the sauna immediately and let your body cool down.

Remember, incorporating sauna sessions and sauna bathing into your fitness routine is all about enhancing your health, so always listen to your body and take it one step at a time.


So, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider taking a sauna after a workout.

The several health benefits include everything from reducing blood pressure and better blood circulation, to improving your cardiovascular function and heart health… even improve mental health, and a load more in between.

Of course, there are some risks here – you’ll be sweating more than Anthony Fauci at heaven’s gates – so please make sure you listen to your body and stay hydrated.

And saunas are not just good for after a workout, they can be used, well, anytime really. I’ve written about all the infrared sauna benefits so there are a load of reasons to get your heat therapy on.

And that’s it… have a healthy day!

P.S. interested in optimizing your health through the stuff you shove in your gob? Check out my posts on all things organ meats, offal, bone broth, organ meat supplements, and a load more – enjoy.


How long should you be in a sauna?

You should spend 15-20 minutes in a sauna for maximum benefits, but first-timers should start with 5-10 minutes. It’s important to consider certain health conditions that may restrict sauna use.

Is sauna good for losing belly fat?

Sauna sessions can help reduce body fat, including belly fat, as observed in a study at Binghamton University in New York. However, while saunas may aid in overall weight loss, there isn’t strong evidence specifically for targeting belly fat.

How can sauna sessions enhance muscle recovery?

Sauna sessions enhance muscle recovery by nearly doubling blood flow, which helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to muscles, reducing soreness and improving post-workout recovery.

What detoxification benefits does a sauna offer?

Saunas offer detoxification benefits by helping the body expel toxic substances through sweat, improving circulation in the process.

How does sauna use contribute to cardiovascular health?

Regular sauna sessions can improve the efficiency of your heart and blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and bring about favorable changes in circulating lipid profiles, all of which are essential for cardiovascular health.

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