Steam and Sauna

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    Jul 25, 2008 6:46 AM GMT
    Is it a good thing to steam and/or sauna after a workout? What are the real benefits, if any, or is it really just for relaxation?
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    Jul 25, 2008 8:21 AM GMT
    You sweat, but toxins likely stay

    http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-skeptic28jan28,1,5398316.story

    "The bottom line: Sweat does contain trace amounts of toxins, says Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, a professor of dermatology at St. Louis University and founding member of the International Hyperhidrosis Society, a medical group dedicated to the study and treatment of heavy sweating.

    But, Glaser, adds, in the big picture, sweat has only one function: Cooling you down when you overheat. "Sweating for the sake of sweating has no benefits," she says. "Sweating heavily is not going to release a lot of toxins."

    In fact, Glaser says, heavy sweating can impair your body's natural detoxification system. As she explains, the liver and kidneys -- not the sweat glands -- are the organs we count on to filter toxins from our blood. If you don't drink enough water to compensate for a good sweat, dehydration could stress the kidneys and keep them from doing their job. "If you're not careful, heavy sweating can be a bad thing," she says.

    Sweating definitely won't help clear the body of mercury or other metals, says Donald Smith, a professor of environmental toxicology at UC Santa Cruz, who studies treatments for metal poisoning. Almost all toxic metals in the body are excreted through urine or feces, he says. And less than 1% are lost through sweat. In other words, you'll do far more detoxifying in the bathroom than you ever could in a sauna."


    Composition

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweat

    Sweat contains mainly water. It also contains minerals, as well as lactate and urea. Mineral composition will vary with the individual, the acclimatisation to heat, exercise and sweating, the particular stress source (exercise, sauna, etc.), the duration of sweating, and the composition of minerals in the body. An indication of the minerals content is: sodium 0.9 gram/liter, potassium 0.2 gram/liter, calcium 0.015 gram/liter, magnesium 0.0013 gram/liter[3]. Also many other trace elements are excreted in sweat, again an indication of their concentration is (although measurements can vary fifteenfold): zinc (0.4 mg/l), copper (0.3 - 0.8 mg/l), iron (1 mg/l), chromium (0.1 mg/l), nickel (0.05 mg/l), lead (0.05 mg/l). [4] [5]. Probably many other less abundant trace minerals will leave the body through sweating with correspondingly lower concentrations. In humans sweat is hyposmotic relatively to the plasma [6].



    Antibiotic sweat

    http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v7/n12/full/nm1201-1290.html

    Most people don't associate sweat with disease resistance, but a recent report suggests sweating can actually help fight infection. In the December issue of Nature Immunology, Schittek et al. show that human sweat contains an antimicrobial peptide that is active against a wide spectrum of pathogenic microorganisms, including E. coli, E. faecalis, S. aureus and C. albicans. Dermicidin is a 47-amino-acid peptide produced in the sweat glands and secreted into sweat. A proteolytically processed form of the protein is then transported to the skin surface. The authors report that the peptide was found to maintain its activity in the acidic, high-salt concentration conditions characteristic of sweat. Two other antimicrobial peptides, cathelicidins and -defensins, have been previously found to be expressed by skin cells. Dermicidin joins immunoglobulin A, interleukins-1, -6 and -8, and tumor necrosis factor- as immunoproteins detected in human sweat. The peptide may provide one of the first lines of defense against invading microorganisms.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2008 11:33 PM GMT
    You're welcome ...I am glad I had the time to answer you. Who knows if I will next time.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Sep 16, 2008 12:52 AM GMT
    One doesn't actually sweat in steam. What forms on your skin is condensation. Look at the walls. Are they sweating? But they're wet, no?

    Sauna on the other hand is slower, more like baking and it takes longer. Don't know if there are any benefits to either or not. Just like to lay there naked and relax.
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    Sep 16, 2008 1:09 AM GMT
    My enjoyment of sauna has never had anything to do with toxins. I simply learned that my muscles experienced less stiffness after a workout if I spent some time in the heat. In fact, this thread is the first I've heard about the toxin claims, only to read them debunked. So it changes nothing for me, and I'll continue to sauna.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Sep 16, 2008 1:10 AM GMT
    I don't normally sweat in the steam, but I have been known to get hot & bothered icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Sep 16, 2008 1:13 AM GMT
    geek81 saidIs it a good thing to steam and/or sauna after a workout? What are the real benefits, if any, or is it really just for relaxation?


    I use the sauna, for the amazing relaxation on my lower back when I straighten my back to the wooden wall, Especially after a yoga class; ready for a nap quicker than after good sex.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 16, 2008 8:45 AM GMT
    There is no physiologic benefit to steam or saunas
    The heat in both of them is only going to raise blood pressure
    something that is not good esp after a workout
    it's likely going to decrease the blood infiltration into the muscles you just worked on that much faster making your workout less effective

    So the only benefit to either would be psychologic at best
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Sep 17, 2008 12:25 AM GMT
    Forgot to add. Average sauna temp is 180F whereas steam(using the term loosely) is about 110F. The steam temp, normally 212F, plummets as the gas expands thru the small nozzle into the big room so you end up with about 110F. Yes you feel hot b/c it is hot and will still burn your skin before the sweating actually begins whereas sauna is a slow release of your own sweat which is your bodies way of cooling off (by evaporation). But use the steam and leave the sauna to those of us you know the difference.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 17, 2008 12:27 AM GMT
    I thought the purpose of a steam or sauna room was to see naked men and get a blow job? Who knew it had other uses!
  • VinBaltimore

    Posts: 239

    Sep 17, 2008 12:32 AM GMT
    HighVoltageGuy saidI thought the purpose of a steam or sauna room was to see naked men and get a blow job? Who knew it had other uses!


    Man, oh, man do I belong to the wrong gym!
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    Sep 17, 2008 12:49 AM GMT
    HighVoltageGuy saidI thought the purpose of a steam or sauna room was to see naked men and get a blow job? Who knew it had other uses!


    I'd like to sign a contract to that gym ASAP please...
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    Sep 17, 2008 12:49 AM GMT
    HighVoltageGuy saidI thought the purpose of a steam or sauna room was to see naked men and get a blow job? Who knew it had other uses!


    LOL! Yeah, you found the deceit in my previous comments here. While sauna heat really does help my muscles from getting stiff after exercise, and seems to reduce the number of my winter head colds, the real motivator has always been to spend time with other naked guys.

    But what a deal THAT is! Sit around with hot naked guys (hot in more ways than one), while benefiting my health at the same time. I mean, does it get any better than that?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 17, 2008 12:49 AM GMT
    All you basically have to be is a resident of SF and attend any of the gyms in the city...so I hear. icon_twisted.gif
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Sep 17, 2008 4:37 AM GMT
    working out, sweating, then chilling out in the eucalyptus scented steam room makes me feel more in touch with my Roman roots. (mens sano in corpore sano, etc.)

    yeah, i like gladiator movies, too.

    but it is nice to feel especially when it is like 8-degrees and snowy outside.