James Storen

I'm James, a passionate sauna therapist and wellness educator. As a sauna instructor at Am-Finn Sauna, I provide guests with safe, relaxing, and therapeutic sauna experiences. Read about me.

Saunas have long been touted as a way to relax and unwind, but can they really help you lose weight? Let’s dive into the truth behind sauna weight loss and whether it’s a viable option for shedding those extra pounds.

Key Takeaways:

  • Saunas can lead to temporary weight loss by shedding water weight.
  • They are not an effective long-term weight loss strategy.
  • Saunas may increase heart rate, but the calorie burn is minimal compared to exercise.
  • Proper hydration is essential to prevent dehydration while using a sauna.
  • Saunas should not be relied upon as a primary method of weight loss.

How Different Types of Saunas Work

Saunas come in different types, each with its own way of generating heat and creating a sauna experience. Understanding the different types of saunas can help you choose the one that suits your preferences and needs. Here are the main types of saunas:

1. Wood Burning Saunas

A wood burning sauna is a traditional type of sauna that uses a wood-burning stove to heat sauna rocks. The stove is typically made of cast iron or stainless steel and sits in the corner of the sauna room. Wooden logs or pellets are burned in the stove, creating heat that is then transferred to the sauna rocks. This type of sauna provides a classic, natural sauna experience.

2. Electric Saunas

Electric saunas are popular in modern homes and gyms. They have an electric heater mounted on the floor or wall of the sauna room. The heater operates using electricity and heats up the sauna room. Electric saunas are easy to control and maintain, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. They are a convenient option for those who want a sauna experience without the hassle of traditional wood burning saunas.

3. Steam Rooms

Steam rooms, also known as Turkish bath houses, provide a different kind of sauna experience. Instead of dry heat, steam rooms have low temperatures and high humidity levels. They work by filling the room with steam, which creates a moist and warm environment. Steam rooms are often used for relaxation and promoting sweating, but they may not reach the same high temperatures as other sauna types.

4. Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use light waves to directly heat your body without warming the room. This type of sauna is often preferred by individuals who find traditional saunas too hot or uncomfortable. Infrared saunas can penetrate deeper into the body, providing a more intense experience at lower temperatures. The heat from the infrared waves helps promote sweating and relaxation.

Each type of sauna offers a unique sauna experience, so it’s important to consider your preferences and needs when choosing a sauna. Whether you enjoy the traditional wood burning sauna, the convenience of an electric sauna, the high humidity of a steam room, or the deep heat of an infrared sauna, there is a type of sauna that can provide you with the relaxation and benefits you are looking for.

Type of Sauna Heat Source Temperature Humidity
Wood Burning Sauna Wood-burning stove 80-90°C (176-194°F) Low
Electric Sauna Electric heater 70-100°C (158-212°F) Low to moderate
Steam Room Steam generator 40-60°C (104-140°F) High
Infrared Sauna Infrared light waves 40-60°C (104-140°F) Low

It’s important to note that the temperature and humidity levels mentioned above are approximate and may vary depending on the specific sauna. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for safe and enjoyable sauna sessions.

Saunas and Weight Loss

sauna weight loss

Saunas are often associated with weight loss, but how effective are they really? Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between saunas and weight loss.

When you spend time in a sauna, the high temperature causes your body to sweat. This sweating can lead to temporary weight loss as you shed water weight. However, it’s important to note that this weight loss is not sustainable. Once you rehydrate, the lost water weight will quickly be regained.

While the heat from the sauna can slightly increase your heart rate and burn calories, it is not enough to result in significant weight loss. Saunas should not be relied upon as a primary method of losing weight. Instead, it’s important to focus on a balanced diet and regular exercise for long-term weight management.

So, while saunas can contribute to temporary water weight loss and have some health benefits, they should not be seen as a miraculous solution for shedding pounds. It’s best to view saunas as a relaxing way to unwind, rather than a weight loss strategy.

Table: Saunas and Weight Loss

Claim Reality
Saunas help with long-term weight loss. False
Sweating in a sauna leads to permanent weight loss. False
The heat from saunas significantly increases calorie burn. False
Saunas should be relied upon as the main method for losing weight. False

In summary, while saunas can provide temporary weight loss through water weight reduction, the overall impact on long-term weight loss is minimal. It’s important to approach saunas as a means of relaxation and enjoyment, rather than a tool for weight management. To achieve sustainable weight loss, focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

Other Health Benefits of Saunas

sauna health benefits

Saunas offer more than just a relaxing experience. Regular sauna use has been associated with various health benefits:

  • Improved Heart Health: Saunas can have positive effects on cardiovascular health. They have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve circulation by causing blood vessels to dilate.
  • Enhanced Detoxification: Sweating in a sauna can help eliminate toxins from the body. As you perspire, harmful substances can be excreted through the skin.
  • Pain Relief: Saunas may provide relief from certain types of pain. They have been found to alleviate symptoms in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

“Saunas have been shown to improve heart health, aid in detoxification, and provide pain relief.”

These health benefits make saunas a valuable addition to a wellness routine. However, it’s important to use saunas in moderation and follow appropriate safety measures. Individuals with underlying health conditions, such as heart problems, should consult with a healthcare professional before using a sauna.


While weight loss may not be one of the primary benefits of saunas, they offer various advantages for overall health and well-being. Regular sauna use can potentially improve heart health, aid in detoxification, and provide relief from conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. As with any wellness practice, it’s important to use saunas responsibly and seek medical advice if you have any concerns.

Potential Risks of Saunas

While saunas offer various health benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with their use. Understanding these risks can help you make informed decisions and ensure your safety:

Dehydration from Sauna

Saunas can cause significant sweating, leading to fluid loss from your body. This can result in dehydration if you don’t replenish the lost fluids. It’s crucial to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to maintain proper hydration levels. Remember, staying hydrated is key to enjoying the sauna experience without adverse effects.

Sauna and Heart Health Risks

Individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or high blood pressure should exercise caution when using saunas. The high temperatures can put additional strain on the cardiovascular system, potentially leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure. If you have any concerns or a history of heart issues, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider before using a sauna.

Sauna and Heat Stress

Saunas expose your body to extreme heat, which can result in heat stress if not managed properly. Heat stress occurs when your body’s ability to regulate its temperature is overwhelmed, potentially leading to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. It’s important to limit your sauna session duration and listen to your body. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or overly fatigued, it’s best to exit the sauna and cool down immediately.

By being aware of these potential risks and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna experience. It’s always wise to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns before incorporating saunas into your wellness routine.

Risk Precautions
1 Dehydration from Sauna Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to stay hydrated.
2 Sauna and Heart Health Risks Consult with your healthcare provider if you have pre-existing heart conditions or high blood pressure.
3 Sauna and Heat Stress Limit sauna session duration, listen to your body, and exit the sauna if you experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or fatigue.


After examining the effects of saunas on weight loss, we can conclude that while saunas may provide temporary weight loss through water weight reduction, increased heart rate, and calorie burn, they are not a reliable method for long-term weight management. Saunas should be viewed as a complementary addition to a healthy lifestyle rather than a standalone solution for shedding pounds.

In addition to potentially aiding in weight loss, saunas offer relaxation and various health benefits. Regular sauna use has been associated with improved heart health, lower blood pressure, improved circulation, detoxification, and pain relief. However, it’s important to moderate sauna usage and prioritize balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate hydration for overall well-being.

It’s crucial to note that sauna usage is not suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart issues or difficulty regulating body temperature, should exercise caution and seek medical advice before using a sauna. Consulting with a healthcare professional is always recommended.


Can saunas help with weight loss?

Saunas may cause temporary weight loss through shedding water weight, but they are not an effective long-term weight loss strategy.

How do different types of saunas work?

Saunas can come in wood burning, electric, steam room, and infrared varieties, but they generally work the same in terms of how your body reacts to the heat.

Do saunas help with weight loss?

While saunas may slightly increase heart rate and calorie burn, they are not a significant enough factor for substantial weight loss.

What are the other health benefits of saunas?

Saunas are associated with improved heart health, lower blood pressure, improved circulation, detoxification, and potential pain relief.

What are the potential risks of saunas?

Prolonged sauna use can lead to dehydration, and there are risks for individuals with certain health conditions, as well as the potential for heat stress and related illnesses.

What is the conclusion about saunas and weight loss?

Saunas offer temporary weight loss through water weight reduction, increased heart rate, and calorie burn, but they are not a sustainable long-term weight loss method.

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