Do Sauna Suits Burn Fat? The Truth

If you've ever been to a gym or fitness class, you may have seen people wearing sauna suits during their workout. In fact, I wear one for a lot of my workouts and for good reason.

These suits are designed to increase sweating and raise body temperature, supposedly leading to increased calorie burn and weight loss. But do they really work for long-term fat burn?

In this article, I’m going to break everything down and more importantly, how the science behind these suits works.

Sauna suits, also known as sweat suits or hot suits, are typically made of waterproof material like PVC or neoprene. They work by trapping heat against the body, causing you to sweat more than you would during a normal workout. Some people believe that this increased sweating leads to greater calorie burn and weight loss.

Mixed Evidence on Fat Loss

However, the evidence on whether or not sauna suits actually burn fat is mixed. While some studies have shown that they can lead to short-term weight loss due to fluid loss, others have found no significant difference in weight loss between those who wear sauna suits and those who don't.

However, according to WebMD, a study compared fitness results between two groups of participants: one group wore the sauna suits to exercise and the other group did not. Both groups performed very similar exercise routines.

Here's the fun bit: The group that wore the sauna suits during exercise showed an 11.7% improvement in "VO2 max" (which is the amount of oxygen their bodies used during exercising).

The group that didn't wear the suits improved 7.3%.

So, that shows a nice improvement of VO2 max for the group that simply chose to put on a hot suit with no other exertion on their part!

But here's the best part: the group that wore the sauna suit reduced their body weight by 2.6% and reduced their body fat by 13.8%. In comparison, the group that exercised but didn't wear the hot suits, reduced their body weight by 0.9% body weight and a 8.3% reduction in body fat.

I’m going to break down the science between how sweat suits help burn fat and increase your metabolic rate.

The Role of Sweat and Heat

Sweating is the body's natural mechanism for regulating body temperature. When we sweat, our body releases heat through the evaporation of sweat from the skin surface.

Sauna suits work by increasing body temperature and promoting sweating, which can lead to greater calorie burn and fat loss. However, sweating alone does not necessarily lead to fat loss.

Impact on Calorie Burn and Metabolic Rate

The increased body temperature and sweating caused by sauna suits can lead to an increase in calorie burn during exercise.

In fact, some studies suggest that sauna suits may increase resting metabolic rate, leading to greater calorie burn even at rest which is why I do part of my workouts wearing one.

Health Considerations and Precautions

When using a sweat suit, there are several health considerations and precautions to keep in mind. I recommend that you take these into account before using a sauna suit to prevent any potential risks or complications.

#1. Hydration and Fluid Loss

One of the most important considerations when using a sauna suit is hydration.

Sauna suits can cause significant fluid loss due to excessive sweating. It is crucial to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after using a sauna suit to prevent dehydration.

I recommend drinking water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes to replace lost fluids and minerals.

#2. Potential Risks of Overheating

Another serious consideration is the risk of overheating.

Sauna suits can increase body temperature, which can lead to heat stress or heat-related illnesses.

It’s essential to monitor your body temperature and take breaks as needed to prevent overheating. Signs of overheating include confusion, dizziness, nausea, headache, and fatigue.

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using the sauna suit immediately and seek medical attention.

#3. Consulting Medical Professionals

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it is crucial to consult with a medical professional before using a sauna suit.

There are certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, that can increase the risk of complications when using a sauna suit. This is because you’re making your heart work harder and with certain conditions or illnesses, doing so could endanger your life.

How much weight can you typically lose by wearing a sweatsuit?

According to a study on wrestlers, wearing a sauna suit for 2 hours daily for 5 days resulted in an average water weight loss of 5 lbs (2.3 kg).

Another study on runners wearing sauna suits for 30 minutes during workouts showed an average weight loss of 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg).

What are the overall benefits of using a sweat suit?

Using a sauna suit can provide benefits such as increased sweating, improved skin health, VO2, endurance and potential weight loss. Combine it with an effective long-term exercises and the benefits will be noticeable.

How frequently should one wear a sauna suit for optimal results?

The frequency of wearing a sauna suit for optimal results can vary depending on individual goals and preferences.

Usually, it’s recommended to wear a sauna suit no more than 3 times per week, and for no longer than 30 minutes at a time. But, you should listen to your body and take breaks as needed.

I wear them for around 10-20 minutes at the start of my workout.

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