December 1, 2020

Sauna (Steam Room) Calories Burned

women-Sauna in a Steam Room

Do Saunas Help you Lose Weight or Burn Fat?

When you are in a sauna room, your body temperature increases, and you burn more calories through sweating and Vigorous metabolism.

The heat bath comes with various benefits one of which is burning calories. However, if you are planning on effectively consuming calories in your body sauna might not be your solution, as its calorie consumption is significantly low. Although a sauna session can help burn calories, it should serve as a complement to your healthy diet and regular exercise.
While sweating, the loss of weight is achievable through the loss of fluids. A research shows that sweat volume is estimated at 0.6 to 1.0 kg/h during a sauna bath. This means you can lose around a liter of bodily fluids during a bath which corresponds to a kilogram of body mass. However, this is not real weight loss. You should burn and reduce your body fat when you want to reduce weight.

How Many Calories Can You Burn in a Sauna?

Coupled with a regular exercise and healthy diet plan, a sauna bath can help in maintaining a body weight and ensuring a certain number of calories are burnt. If you are considering only observing a consistent sauna bath, then I’ll advise you to aim for its other benefits.
Now, the provided theory of sauna consumption of calories is that while sweating in the steam room, your body struggles to maintain a temperature and it causes your metabolism to accelerate faster which gets rid of calories. But the alleged amount speculated seems weird for just a sitting.

A research in 2017 carried out on the health implications of a sauna suggests that the energy expenditure of a sauna bath is influenced by various factors particularly the body mass index(BMI) , the body surface Area(BSA) and percent body fat, body fat mass, and visceral fat level.

In this study, 45 overweight and sedentary young men (avrange weight : 85.86 kg; Min-Max :55.90-137.70 ) were exposed to 4 sessions of dry sauna, 10 minutes each.

It turns out that those men with more body areas, body fat mass, and higher body mass appeared to consume more calories. That is the higher you weigh, the more calories you burn.
During the first session (10 minutes), the evaluated men consumed an average of 73 calories (Min energy expenditure:52 kcal, Max energy expenditure: 94 kcal), which was significantly different from the last session where their energy expenditure increased and consuming more than 134 calories. The volunteer with the maximum body composition parameters and anthropometric features burnt 153 calories in 10 minutes of a sauna bathing session.

This shows that the amount of calories burned in sauna bathing is related to individual difference.

We note that there’s a way from web, which claim can help to calculate calories burned in a sauna. However, you can’t find the evidence to support this calculation method through searching a lot of references.

Well let’s take a look:

Depending on your body weight, your body burns between 70 to 170 calories per hour while sitting.

Multiply the number of calories burned in a sitting by 1.5 or 2 = calories burned in a sauna bathing in the same time.

Let’s take Brian, for example, he weighs 150 lbs. Sitting for 30 minutes, he can consume about 46 calories. When he observes a 30 minutes session of sauna, he can burn up to 69 – 92 calories.
Since a pound equals 3,500 calories, it would take Brian about 40 – 50 sauna bath sessions(each would be 30 minutes) to consume a pound. That is 5,000 sessions to consume 10 pounds.

Although this is a good estimation method, we are not sure source of the evidence.

According to 2011 Adult Compendium of Physical Activities,sitting has a MET value of 1.3. A 123.2 lbs (55.90-kg) person will burn 1.27 calories per minute. Calories burned in 10 minutes sitting is about 12.7 calories, and 38.1 calories burned in 30 minutes. Hoever, we know that the person (55.90 kg) burned 52 calories at least in his first sauna session from the research on above.
Therefore, we can arrive at a conclusion that the calculation method multiplying by 1.5 or 2 is not accurate.

Compared to a proper aerobic like running or walking, the numbers are neither significant nor encouraging. 124 calories will be burnt in 30 minutes of walking with moderate pace (2.8 to 3.2 mph) on a firm surface. If he runs at speed of 6 mph, he will burn 347 calories in 30 minutes.
Certainly, there is little doubt that taking a sauna bathing can help to burn some calories, but even then it’s not a high-efficiency exercise for us to reduce fat or lose weight.

Sauna Bath and Health Tips

Before we going into the benefits of Sauna, there are important safety measures you should be aware of:

Sauna might just not be compatible with everyone. If you have any prior medical issues, I’d suggest you consult your doctor before taking the bath. For patients with hypertension, it is advocated that saunas should be used at lower temperatures (45-50°C).
You want to make sure any drug used before a session does not interfere with your body temperature.
A longer sauna session lasting for over 40 minutes could be excessive and dangerous to the health of an overweight man. In fact,according to harvard.edu, you shoud not take a sauna bathing more than 15–20 minutes.
It appears that individuals with high BMI are more prone to dehydration, hence drinking plenty of water during sessions to replenish the lost fluids is necessary.

A study conducted on the effects of sauna bathing from research institutions of Poland and Japan that the sauna bath led to a reduction of both LDL cholesterol(bad cholesterol) and the total cholesterol, and it increases the content of high-density lipids.

For patients living with type II diabetes, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and congestive heart failure, the best form of thermal therapy would be the far-infrared sauna. It improves your overall general health and improves quality of life.
For rheumatic patients, a consistent bath can suppress pain associated with musculoskeletal injuries and improves joint mobility, making it a short-term solution for rheumatoid arthritis and low back pain.

Accumulating evidence suggests that regular sauna bathing may alleviate and prevent the risk of both acute and chronic disease conditions, which including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and neurocognitive diseases, and so on.

The Bottom Line

If you are reading this article, it means you want to explore ways to consume those stubborn calories in your body, you want your perfect summer body. Well, I’m sorry to inform you that while saunas have numerous advantages that are encouraging to explore, burning calories might not be one of those.
Instead, it can be used as a supplement after a proper workout session(aerobics might be your best bet in consuming that many calories). You equally need a stable diet plan.

References
Correlations between Repeated Use of Dry Sauna for 4 x 10 Minutes, Physiological Parameters, Anthropometric Features, and Body Composition in Young Sedentary and Overweight Men: Health Implications. original

Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence. original
CHANGES IN THE LIPID PROFILE OF BLOOD SERUM IN WOMEN TAKING SAUNA BATHS OF VARIOUS DURATION. original