Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing “Drug”?

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    Jan 10, 2015 8:39 AM GMT
    Sulla said
    Lumpyoatmeal saidReminds me of when I was in Finland. Our tour guide was teasing us from the US for pronouncing it as saw-na while in Finland it's pronounced sow-na. So if you're ever in Finland looking for a sauna, remember to pronounce it correctly.


    ^Yes, indeed.
    It is one of the three essences of being Finnish. I can't recall the spelling of the third word, but the saying is "sisu, ________, and sauna"



    The only word I know is loyly which is the "spirit" of the sauna. It's the sacred steam that comes from the hot rocks when one puts water on them.
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    Jan 10, 2015 8:42 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    Art_Deco said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI may have to try this.

    Good. And I have a few reasons for promoting saunas. I truly think they can be beneficial to guys, especially for those engaged in athletic activities. But public saunas can be difficult to find in the US, and many are in rather poor condition.

    Demand for them might help change that, with more being installed in gyms, and hotels. That would benefit me personally, because the lack of good saunas when I use gyms and travel is something I wish was corrected.


    I watched the video by Dr. Rhonda Patrick that Alpha provided. Wow, she provided so many benefits to the use of saunas. I watched the video last night and made it my mission to use the sauna today at my gym. It has a steam room and a sauna and I went into the sauna. It's 160 degrees in there! I stayed in there for about fifteen minutes. I will start gradually and work my way up to more time.

    I had such a good sweat and I enjoyed it. It's a coed sauna which I'm not all that crazy about. But people go in there with clothes on and not in towels so that's okay.

    According the Dr. Rhonda Patrick there are so many physiological processes that occur to help improve so many things like IGF 1, insulin sensitivity and even muscle growth.

    I'm gonna try to go at least three to four times a week.

    Already planning on going Saturday and Sunday. icon_cool.gif


    See if there is a Russian sauna in your town. 160 is a really low temperature for a proper sauna.


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    Jan 10, 2015 8:54 AM GMT
    I can't breathe after about 3 minutes in one… icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 10, 2015 1:27 PM GMT
    hairyandym saidI can't breathe after about 3 minutes in one… icon_eek.gif

    You should never hurt or overextend yourself in a sauna or steam room. At the same time, a lot of public saunas & steam rooms I've used are way too hot.

    But some guys wanna take a quick 5-minute sauna during their lunch hour workout, and pour too much water on the rocks, creating a scalding cloud of steam. Even I can't breath in that.

    Sauna is supposed to produce a heat soak that raises your core temperature at bit, not simply flash-poach your outer skin. But lots of guys don't understand this, and want to make the sauna fit into their tight schedule. So they take a 5-minute quickie and leave, achieving very little benefit, and I've gotta leave prematurely, too, ruining my lengthier routine. Because like you I can't stand that blast of heat that makes me unable to breath.
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    Jan 10, 2015 9:15 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    Art_Deco said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI may have to try this.

    Good. And I have a few reasons for promoting saunas. I truly think they can be beneficial to guys, especially for those engaged in athletic activities. But public saunas can be difficult to find in the US, and many are in rather poor condition.

    Demand for them might help change that, with more being installed in gyms, and hotels. That would benefit me personally, because the lack of good saunas when I use gyms and travel is something I wish was corrected.


    I watched the video by Dr. Rhonda Patrick that Alpha provided. Wow, she provided so many benefits to the use of saunas. I watched the video last night and made it my mission to use the sauna today at my gym. It has a steam room and a sauna and I went into the sauna. It's 160 degrees in there! I stayed in there for about fifteen minutes. I will start gradually and work my way up to more time.

    I had such a good sweat and I enjoyed it. It's a coed sauna which I'm not all that crazy about. But people go in there with clothes on and not in towels so that's okay.

    According the Dr. Rhonda Patrick there are so many physiological processes that occur to help improve so many things like IGF 1, insulin sensitivity and even muscle growth.

    I'm gonna try to go at least three to four times a week.

    Already planning on going Saturday and Sunday. icon_cool.gif

    I have not been able to stay in beg recommended time . 15 minutes at 210
    Degrees is my top.

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    Jan 11, 2015 1:01 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidDang, 210 degrees? Dr. Rhonda Patrick mentioned something along the lines of 80 degrees Celsius in her video which is 176 degrees Fahrenheit.



    The Russian sauna was even hotter on the second level. It showed 240 F but who knows if the metal thermometer was accurate. I couldn't take much more than 15 minutes at the high temperature.

    It seems to be working. I don't experience stiffness after a workout
    And my skin looks better.
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    Jan 11, 2015 1:07 AM GMT
    My own target is around 185-190° F. Let's me sit for a while, but hot enough to do the things a sauna should.
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    Jan 12, 2015 10:57 PM GMT
    100 degrees Celsius is ideal for a sauna. I normally spend 15 minutes in one after sitting in a wet room and taking a cold plunge or icy shower.
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    Jan 13, 2015 5:15 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI've gone three days to the sauna at my gym. I can't raise the heat setting so it seems to always be at around 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I definitely like and will give myself some time to see if it will provide me with improvement in other areas such as gains in the gym and less soreness from workouts.


    I heard guys say in the sauna that you can trick
    the sauna thermostat set too low by throwing water on it. The heating elements will stay on longer making the sauna hotter.
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    Jan 13, 2015 5:29 AM GMT
    Alpha13 said
    I heard guys say in the sauna that you can trick the sauna thermostat set too low by throwing water on it. The heating elements will stay on longer making the sauna hotter.

    I've also seen guys drape a dripping wet towel over the thermostat. In fact, it was so common in one sauna that management posted a sign forbidding the practice.

    As I said above, I prefer a moderately hot temp, for a slow heat soak, not an instant heat shock. But lots of guys on their lunch hour at a gym sauna wanna get it done under 10 minutes. Not the way to take a sauna, and they ruin it for me.
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    Jan 16, 2015 6:37 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI've gone three days to the sauna at my gym. I can't raise the heat setting so it seems to always be at around 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I definitely like and will give myself some time to see if it will provide me with improvement in other areas such as gains in the gym and less soreness from workouts.


    I was in the sauna tonight and it was 170 degrees . It was way easier to do my first 15 sit. I still did not make it to 30 minutes.
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    Jan 16, 2015 2:50 PM GMT
    Alpha13 said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI've gone three days to the sauna at my gym. I can't raise the heat setting so it seems to always be at around 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I definitely like and will give myself some time to see if it will provide me with improvement in other areas such as gains in the gym and less soreness from workouts.

    I was in the sauna tonight and it was 170 degrees . It was way easier to do my first 15 sit. I still did not make it to 30 minutes.

    Nothing says you can't take 2 15-minute sessions, with a cool/cold soapless shower of a few minutes in between. I do that twice for a total time of about 45 minutes.
  • NeuralShock

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    Jan 16, 2015 3:00 PM GMT
    I tend to go into the sauna and drink my post workout in there! Seems to work I suppose?
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    Jan 16, 2015 4:28 PM GMT
    NeuralShock saidI tend to go into the sauna and drink my post workout in there! Seems to work I suppose?

    Be aware many public saunas prohibited food & drink inside them.
  • NeuralShock

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    Jan 16, 2015 4:33 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    NeuralShock saidI tend to go into the sauna and drink my post workout in there! Seems to work I suppose?

    Be aware many public saunas prohibited food & drink inside them.

    Yep I read the sign and it didn't say we aren't allowed! (Oils however they made very clear aren't allowed!)

    That and I am super careful! Always have a sealed workout shaker with me.
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    Jan 17, 2015 5:27 AM GMT
    NeuralShock said
    Art_Deco said
    NeuralShock saidI tend to go into the sauna and drink my post workout in there! Seems to work I suppose?

    Be aware many public saunas prohibited food & drink inside them.

    Yep I read the sign and it didn't say we aren't allowed! (Oils however they made very clear aren't allowed!)

    That and I am super careful! Always have a sealed workout shaker with me.

    No signs except oils? I'm surprised. If some guy brought a smelly hamburger with onions into the hot sauna I'd be complaining to management. And yes, that has happened to me, along with dripping, muddy running shoes direct from outside, that guys promptly rested on the lower bench while they sat on the top one. For that reason many public saunas are clear about what you can bring inside them.

    But maybe Canadian men are more refined than the louts in the States, and don't require such detailed guidance. One method that Army saunas once used was to place them at the end of the locker room gang shower, that everyone was using. To get to the sauna entrance you had to pass a gauntlet of spraying shower heads.

    Insuring that you entered the sauna naked, hopefully will have used the shower first, had no footgear but shower flip-flops, and carried nothing with you, except a towel you tried to keep reasonably dry. And when you wanted a quick cool-down shower between sessions, and a final shower, it was just a few feet outside the sauna door. You were in effect already inside the shower room.
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    Jan 23, 2015 6:16 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI've gone three days to the sauna at my gym. I can't raise the heat setting so it seems to always be at around 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I definitely like and will give myself some time to see if it will provide me with improvement in other areas such as of in the gym and less soreness from workouts.



    I'm in week four of sauna therapy and it's made I huge difference. I don't drag thru a workout and tho I do not have any mood problems my mood seems randomly more cheerful. A Turkish Facebook friend is like, " duh, It's been I way of life in turkey for thousands of years".
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    Jan 23, 2015 7:58 AM GMT
    ^^ Do it the German way and problems solved. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    In German speaking countries, it's a norm to go in naked sitting on only a towel. I learned it the hard way when I wore my swim shorts in and got scolded by a naked Austrian guy which I had no clue what he was saying but he looked quite mad and left the sauna when I went in. I later googled it and found out the etiquette.
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    Jan 23, 2015 11:08 AM GMT
    polfsky said^^ Do it the German way and problems solved. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    In German speaking countries, it's a norm to go in naked sitting on only a towel. I learned it the hard way when I wore my swim shorts in and got scolded by a naked Austrian guy which I had no clue what he was saying but he looked quite mad and left the sauna when I went in. I later googled it and found out the etiquette.

    I thought everyone did it this way. I have never ever seen anyone wearing trunks in saunas, except some old turkish guys.
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    Jan 23, 2015 11:23 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI've been keeping up with my four times weekly sauna sessions. I do twenty to twenty-five minutes.

    What I'm noticing is that my trunks start to really stink after I get home. It's not my sweat but rather it's the smell from the wood that has other people's sweat on those boards. I try to let my shorts air dry overnight but they are still wet the next day.

    If I am going to keep this up I am going to have to go shopping for more shorts.


    Do you shower at the gym? When I'm done with the sauna, I go straight to the shower and I rinse my underwear or swim trunks.