How to Supercharge Your Fitness with Benefits of Sauna After Workout

benefits of sauna after workout

Have you ever left the gym feeling completely drained, with your muscles aching, only to find it challenging to motivate yourself to exercise the next day?

What if we told you there’s a secret weapon that professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts have used to enhance their performance, speed up recovery, and supercharge their overall fitness routine? And that this secret weapon could be sitting in the corner of your gym or at your home, quietly waiting for you to unlock its benefits?

The secret is the sauna. Yes, that warm room where you might have sat to unwind. As it turns out, the superior sauna can offer far more than just relaxation. Regular post-workout sauna sessions can provide myriad health benefits, from boosting your cardiovascular health to improving muscle recovery and even enhancing your mental well-being.

We will walk you through how to supercharge your fitness by harnessing the benefits of sauna after workout. You’ll discover the science-backed reasons why adding a sauna session to your post-workout routine could be the game-changer you’ve been looking for in your fitness journey.

So, prepare to turn up the heat and dive into a world of wellness you might have missed!

Short Summary
  • Sauna use after a workout can help maximize muscle recovery, reduce inflammation and soreness, and promote oxygen-rich blood flow.
  • Infrared saunas provide modern benefits such as improved circulation & detoxification. Precautions should be taken to ensure safety.
  • Integrating sauna use into your routine requires careful consideration of timing, duration, hydration & nutrition for optimal health benefits.

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Maximizing Muscle Recovery with Sauna Use

people relaxing in a sauna

One of the primary benefits of using a sauna after a workout is its enhanced muscle recovery.

When you engage in physical activity, your muscles experience stress and minor damage, leading to inflammation and soreness. Sauna use can help alleviate these symptoms, allowing your muscles to recover more efficiently and preparing you for your next workout.

In addition to reducing inflammation and soreness, the sauna can boost oxygen-rich blood flow to your muscles. Better blood circulation ensures that your muscles receive the nutrients they need to repair themselves while promoting the removal of metabolic waste.

This thermotherapy ultimately results in faster muscle recovery and improved performance during your workouts.

Reducing Inflammation and Soreness

Sauna use has been known to facilitate muscle relaxation, thus alleviating tension and soreness in the skin and neuromuscular system. The heat from the sauna can also help dilate your blood vessels, increasing blood flow and reducing tension in joints and muscles.

Research has demonstrated that sauna use can reduce inflammation levels and boost the production of anti-inflammatory proteins. Additionally, infrared sauna therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation levels quickly.

This means that incorporating sauna use into your fitness routine can effectively minimize the discomfort and inflammation that often follow an intense workout session.

Boosting Oxygen-Rich Blood Flow

Improved blood circulation is another significant benefit of sauna use after a workout. As your body temperature increases in the sauna, blood vessels widen, providing muscles greater access to oxygen-rich blood. This enables more efficient removal of metabolic waste from the kidneys.

Heat therapy, like that experienced in a sauna, also increases circulation, resulting in increased oxygen to the brain, other organs, and muscles, as well as the release of endorphins. These effects contribute to faster muscle recovery, allowing you to perform at your best during your next workout.

Enhancing Cardiovascular Health

Sauna use is not only beneficial for your muscles but also for your cardiovascular health. Regular sauna sessions can help regulate the nervous system, reduce arterial stiffness, and decrease systemic blood pressure.

Studies have shown that sauna use can reduce the risk of vascular diseases, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and neurocognitive diseases.


The result is the more you do the better it gets! {1}

A study of more than 2,000 men in Finland revealed a correlation between sauna use and a decreased risk of death from heart disease and overall mortality. Regular sauna use may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 27% among individuals who use it two to three times per week.

With such compelling evidence, it’s clear that incorporating sauna use into your fitness routine can have significant benefits for your heart health.

Improved Circulation

Research suggests that sauna use can be beneficial for blood circulation, as it increases body temperature, which causes blood vessels to widen, aiding in blood flow, and prompts sweating, which removes excess fluid from the body. This improved circulation can have numerous advantages for your overall health and well-being.

blood circulation

A sauna’s dry heat and vapors can also help loosen mucus and toxins from the respiratory system, allowing the lungs to access oxygen more efficiently at a cellular level. This enhanced oxygen delivery benefits your muscles, brain, and other vital organs, contributing to better overall health and improved exercise performance.

Lowering Blood Pressure

Frequent sauna use (four to seven times a week) has been associated with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, acute sauna use results in an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

However, the long-term effects of sauna use on blood pressure are beneficial, as demonstrated by the reduced mortality risk associated with regular sauna bathing.

Incorporating sauna use into your workout routine can reduce your blood pressure and potentially decrease your risk of developing heart disease. This makes sauna use an invaluable addition to any fitness regimen promoting cardiovascular health.

Benefits of Sauna after Workout with Zone 2 Cardio

You might be interested in Zone 2 cardio, and I’m here to tell you, you can benefit here as well. Below you will see my Whoop band, which I wore in the sauna, with results showing a zone 2 HR average for my time in the sauna.

zone 2 cardio sauna example

Stress Relief and Relaxation

When it comes to taking care of yourself, using a sauna also offers significant benefits for mental health, as it can relieve stress and relax. Studies have indicated that sauna use may be correlated with improved mood, decreased depression, and decreased risk of developing psychotic disorders. Incorporating a sauna session following physical activity can offer a mental uplift and help alleviate stress.

stress management icon

In addition to its positive effects on mood, sauna use can promote relaxation and mindfulness. The heat of the sauna can help reduce muscle tension, and focusing on the sensation of the heat and breathing can help cultivate a mindful state, which can be beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety.

Releasing Endorphins

Endorphins are neurotransmitters released during a sauna session, resulting in a feeling of well-being. The release of endorphins, combined with the heat that relieves physical tension, makes taking a sauna an ideal way to pamper oneself and unwind after a long day or an intense workout.

By incorporating sauna use into your fitness routine, you can experience the benefits of endorphin release, including stress relief, relaxation, and overall mental well-being. This can help you achieve a better balance in your life and improve your overall fitness journey.

Practicing Mindfulness

A sauna can also enhance mindfulness by promoting physical relaxation and helping you focus on the present moment.

Concentrating on the sensation of the heat and your breathing during a sauna session can help bring your attention to the present moment and cultivate a mindful state. This can be beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety and improving concentration and focus.

By incorporating mindfulness practices into your sauna sessions, you can enjoy the physical benefits of sauna use and support your mental health and overall well-being.

Infrared Saunas: A Modern Alternative

infrared sauna

In the red light/infrared sauna debate, Infrared sauna is a modern alternative to traditional Finnish saunas, using light to heat the body instead of heating the room.

Infrared saunas offer many of the same benefits as traditional saunas, including improved circulation, reduced blood pressure, stress relief, and relaxation. However, some studies suggest that infrared heat may penetrate deeper into the body than traditional saunas, potentially offering additional health benefits.

This also allows for sweating at lower temperatures and provides a more comfortable experience for many users.

Infrared saunas are often designed and marketed for individual use, making them a convenient option for those looking to incorporate sauna use into their fitness routine.

How Infrared Saunas Work

Infrared saunas utilize infrared light to directly heat the body rather than the air around it, thereby increasing the core body temperature. This, in turn, induces sweating and provides additional advantages, including augmented circulation and detoxification.

Potential Health Benefits

Infrared saunas can facilitate muscle recovery, decrease inflammation and soreness, augment oxygen-rich blood flow, fortify cardiovascular health, enhance circulation, lower blood pressure, relieve stress and relaxation, discharge endorphins, and promote mindfulness.

Studies have indicated that infrared saunas may benefit heart health, circulation, skin tone, and detoxification. There was a linear effect with more time and the health benefits.

Which is why, infrared saunas are recommended 3-4 times a week for 15-40 minutes at a temperature of 104- 131 degrees Fahrenheit [40 to 55 degrees Celsius], and they may provide benefits for conditions including high blood pressure, heart failure, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, headache, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis.

With these numerous benefits, infrared saunas are an excellent option.

Precautions and Considerations Before Using a Sauna

Before diving into sauna use, it’s essential to be aware of the precautions and considerations that should be considered. Dehydration risks and heart health concerns are key factors to consider before using a sauna.

Consult a healthcare professional, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions, to ensure your sauna use is safe. It’s also important to maintain proper etiquette when using a gym sauna, such as showering before entering, maintaining appropriate coverage, keeping noise to a minimum, and leaving all electronics in a locker.

Dehydration Risks

Sauna use can result in dehydration, which may manifest as dizziness, fainting, lethargy, confusion, rapid heartbeat, dehydrated skin, dark-colored urine, or a lack of urination. Therefore, ensuring adequate hydration before and after sauna use is essential to avoid dehydration and its associated risks.

Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a sauna session is imperative to avoid dehydration. Furthermore, it is essential to replenish electrolytes after a sauna session by consuming electrolyte-rich beverages such as sports drinks or coconut water.

Heart Health Concerns

While sauna use can offer numerous cardiovascular benefits, consulting with a physician before engaging in a sauna is crucial to guarantee there are no potential heart risks.

Heat causes an increase in blood flow to the skin, resulting in the heart having to pump more blood. This additional stress can be too much for hearts already facing a significant load, especially those with pre-existing heart conditions.

By discussing your health status and any potential concerns with your physician, you can ensure that sauna use is safe and appropriate for your specific needs and enjoy its numerous benefits for your fitness routine.

Tips for Integrating Sauna Use into Your Workout Routine


Incorporating sauna use into your workout routine can be a game-changer for your overall fitness journey. To fully reap the benefits, it’s essential to consider the timing and duration of your sauna sessions and proper hydration and nutrition.

Be mindful of your body’s signals and adjust the timing and duration of your sauna sessions accordingly. Remember that your optimal sauna experience may vary depending on your health and fitness level.

Timing and Duration

It is suggested to spend 15-20 minutes in the sauna at a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sauna use, and work your way up in time and temp.

The timing and duration may vary depending on an individual’s health and fitness level, as some may require more or less time in the sauna to achieve the desired results.

Remember that taking a sauna before a workout is not recommended due to the potential for dehydration and decreased performance, as well as an increased risk of injury due to overly relaxed muscles.

Instead, incorporate a sauna after your workout to maximize muscle recovery and overall health benefits.

Mix it Up

Once you build up practice, mix in a little cold therapy too. Try 15 min. in, get out and jump into a cold shower, then back into the sauna for another 15 min. Let me tell you it’s invigorating.

Hydration and Nutrition

Maintaining hydration and consuming a balanced meal before and after a sauna session is imperative to replenish depleted electrolytes and ensure that one’s body is adequately nourished.

Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session, and consume electrolyte-rich beverages to replenish lost electrolytes.

In addition to staying hydrated, consider consuming nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and seeds to support your body’s recovery and overall health.

Ensuring proper hydration and nutrition can optimize the benefits of sauna use and enhance your fitness journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is good to sauna after a workout. Studies have shown that saunas can reduce muscle soreness and aid in recovery, as well as strengthen the heart and help with relaxation.

Utilizing a sauna post-workout can be an effective way to reduce fatigue and speed up your recovery time.

For optimal post-workout recovery, a short session in the sauna is recommended. Aim for a maximum of 20 minutes to enjoy the benefits without overdoing it.

For optimal benefit, it’s best to use a sauna after your workout. By doing so, you can reduce muscle soreness and help your body recover faster.

At the same time, you can enjoy the relaxation and therapeutic benefits of the sauna.

No, sauna is not a viable option for losing belly fat. While it may temporarily help you lose water weight, it does not have any long-term effects on reducing fat around your stomach.

Bottom Line

The benefits of sauna after workout are plenty and can supercharge your fitness routine.

Maximizing muscle recovery, enhancing cardiovascular health, providing stress relief and relaxation, and promoting mindfulness. Whether you choose a traditional Finnish sauna or a modern infrared sauna, you can enjoy the numerous health benefits that sauna use has to offer.

By following our tips for integrating sauna into your gym routine, you can unlock a new level of fitness and well-being. Get ready to experience the transformative power of sauna use and elevate your fitness journey to new heights!

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