Can You Go to the Sauna While Fasting?

Jesse Teske Jesse Teske

When it comes to popular wellness splurges, there is always something that you can do to keep your body in tip-top shape. Whether you are a fitness enthusiast, stressed exec, or just someone who needs to take a breather, then the sauna is a good place to start. The question is, do sauna and fasting go hand in hand?

Many people prefer the sauna over the gym to get their sweat on. But, when fasting to shed the excess pounds, it is crucial to take the right precautions to reap all the benefits. Here we can talk about whether you can use the sauna and weight loss during a fast.

Is It Safe to Use a Sauna While Fasting?

Listen to your body. For many, intermittent fasting and infrared sauna work well. They provide better weight loss results. Particularly when done during the detoxification (first cycle) period. If you stick to a time-restricted eating program, then the fasting and eating cycle will be divided into 3 equal hours (8 hours per cycle).

For instance, with a 12-8 intermittent fasting, the first cycle starts from 4:00 am and lasts until 12:00 noon. Do have in mind that the sauna further reduces blood pressure and makes the blood vessels dilate. This blood pressure drop can put a strain on an unhealthy heart.

Therefore, some people can feel dizzy, lightheaded, and experience an irregular heartbeat. The key to using intermittent fasting and infrared sauna is to pay attention to how you feel. If the sauna makes you feel good and the body reacts well to it, then go ahead and use it.

Just don’t forget to hydrate during, before, and after a sauna session. Hydration should be a top priority. The heat dehydrates the body. In fact, the average Joe loses roughly 1 pint of sweat in a short amount of time, just from sitting in the sauna. 

So, enter the sauna when you are well hydrated, enjoy a drink of water during breaks in and out of the sauna, and drink some more when you are done. That way, your hydration levels will always be satisfactory.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

People are constantly on the lookout for a diet that would make the extra pounds disappear. As a well-known weight loss approach, intermittent fasting has gained quite the momentum. Out of 1,000 Americans surveyed between the ages of 18 and 80, 10% followed an intermittent fasting program.

While this diet du jour might not be suitable for everyone, it has certainly provided some remarkable weight loss results. According to Harvard experts, intermittent fasting was effective in shedding excess pounds in 40 different studies.

With an average loss of about 7 to 11 pounds in 10 weeks. Of course, the results always vary from person to person. But, the overall success rate makes this dietary approach a practical addition to any weight loss diet plan.

How to Do the Sauna and Weight Loss Right When Fasting?

Other than drinking plenty of water, you should pay attention to the amount of sodium you are losing. Studies show that sweat often features 40-60 mmol/L of sodium (salt), which leads to about 20-90 mmol of sodium lost in a single exercise. Sweating produces similar results and is helpful for curbing blood pressure. It can also thwart coronary heart problem risk.

But, there is a common misconception that people should cut out salt completely. While in reality, salt is a key nutrient in the human system. The body uses it to stabilize blood pressure, balance blood and fluids. It is also critical for normal muscle and nerve function.

Lots of water paired with some healthy Himalayan salt or sea salt can replenish the sodium intake and provide the system with additional minerals. Ideally, you should be consuming anywhere from 1.5 grams (1,500 mg) to 2.3 grams (2,300 mg) of salt a day for a healthy heart. 

Other Precautions to Take With Intermittent Fasting and Using a Sauna

The sauna may sound like hog heaven, but it's not without its flaws. The sauna is a dry heat. Although it can provide some profound beneficial effects on the body, the soaring temperatures can make your pulse rate jump by over 30%.

Of course, most of the additional blood flow goes to the skin. But, the blood pressure fluctuations could get unpredictable. This means you need to take general precautions to avoid possible risks. These include:

  • Don’t stay inside the sauna for over 15 to 20 minutes. If you are feeling lightheaded and like you are about to faint, leave the sauna sooner.
  • Avoid alcohol and meds that could affect sweating. They can cause the body to overheat and overreact to the sauna.
  • Head for the door if you are feeling ill or your heart is weak. Consult with a doctor whether the sauna is the right thing for you.
  • Drink 2 to 4 glasses of cold water after a sauna session.

With sauna and fasting, you should watch the magnesium intake. The body also loses magnesium while you sweat. You can replenish these sources by eating cereals and whole-grain bread. Feel free to add more nuts, legumes, seeds, leafy greens, and fatty fish to your diet. They are packed with magnesium and are a good option to munch on with intermittent fasting and an infrared sauna.

Final Thoughts

The sauna is a great place to burn fat. Although it can work hand in hand with intermittent fasting, you should listen to your body. Some people see intermittent fasting and infrared sauna as great ways to get faster weight loss results. Others use it to keep their blood pressure in check.

What you should do is drink plenty of water and replenish your nutrient intake. That way, you can prepare the body for the road ahead. But, if you are feeling ill or very dizzy, then head for the door. The goal is to avoid overexerting the body so that you can achieve the results you strive for. If you are not sure whether a sauna is the right option for you, talk to a specialist.

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