For many dedicated fitness enthusiasts, getting an intense, calorie-torching workout is a top priority. These days, more and more gym-goers are turning to an unusual piece of workout gear to take their training to the next level: the sauna suit. You may have heard about it from other gym goers already if you’ve been around the fitness scene for a while. But what exactly are they, and could using one benefit your workout routine? Here’s what you need to know about this unique fitness gear.
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What’s a Sauna Suit?
A sauna suit is a type of workout clothing designed to make you sweat more during exercise. It consists of a jacket and pants made from thick, non-breathable fabric. The most common materials are vinyl, nylon, or neoprene. The suit traps heat close to your body, increasing your core body temperature and forcing you to perspire heavily.
So why would someone want to purposefully sweat buckets during their workout? There are a few purported benefits to using a sauna suit during exercise.
It Helps Increase Calorie Burn
The main reason people use sauna suits is to burn more calories during their workout. When your body temperature rises, your heart has to work harder to cool you down. This increased exertion burns more calories.
It’s estimated that wearing a sauna suit can boost calorie burn by around 10-15%. So if you typically torch 300 calories during your hour-long cardio session, a sauna suit could help you burn around 330-345 calories instead.
Temporary Weight Loss
Along with burning more calories during your workout, sauna suits can also lead to temporary weight loss. How? That excessive sweating means you’re losing water weight. This number on the scale will go down while wearing the suit as you shed both water and electrolytes. Just know that this weight will likely come back once you hydrate and restore those electrolytes.
Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
Repeatedly working out in a sauna suit forces your heart and lungs to work harder. This increased demand challenges your cardiovascular system, enhancing your VO2 max over time. A higher VO2 max means your body is more efficient at using oxygen during exercise. The result is better endurance and stamina.
It Helps With Detoxification
The heavy sweating caused by sauna suits may help remove toxins from your body. Things like BPA, phthalates, and heavy metals can be excreted through sweat. Now, sauna suits likely won’t eliminate toxins entirely. But they may provide some gentle detox benefits.
So is a Sauna Suit Right for Your Routine?
Sauna suits aren’t for everyone. They can certainly take your workouts up a notch by increasing calorie burn and cardiovascular demands. However, there are some downsides to consider as well.
Dehydration is a major risk when working out in a non-breathable vinyl suit. You’ll need to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your session. Pay attention to signs of dehydration like dizziness, headache, cramping, or dark urine.
Overheating is another concern. Your ability to thermoregulate will be impaired in a sauna suit. Take them off immediately if you feel nauseous, lightheaded, or confused.
The benefits of sauna suits likely diminish over time as your body adapts to the heat. So you wouldn’t want to wear one during every workout forever. Save them for when you really want to amp up intensity and break through a plateau.
It’s Time You Tried a Sauna Suit
At the end of the day, sauna suits shouldn’t replace sound training principles like progressive overload and proper nutrition. But they can provide an extra calorie-burning boost and challenge your cardio. Just make sure to drink plenty of fluids, listen to your body, and use them strategically rather than daily.
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