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Do you burn extra calories while in a steam room?


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Just curious - b/c when I search the activity log for steam room, sauna, etc - none of them come up.  I was just wondering if extra calories are burned or if you simply sweat off a little water weight and burn the same amount of calories as just 'sitting'.

It's not overly important or anything but any opinions would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Edited May 23 2013 22:26 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie bumps
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It's just sitting, that I know.

All it does is dehydrate you. I stop in the steam room once a week with my boyfriend at our gym, but that's mostly because it's so freaking cold in Chicago that it feels good. It opens up your pores and all, but be sure to drink plenty of water after you leave. Especially if you just worked out. It does dehydrate you, and if you just worked out, you need the water in your system to recover.

"you simply sweat off a little water weight and burn the same amount of calories as just 'sitting'.

Bingo.  Exactly right. 

 

Actually you do burn more than you would just sitting at your house. It's true though you will lose weight, but it's water. But, when you do burn more calories. It's not as significant as the article below, but it does help a little. It should not be a substitute for exercise, cause that burns way more. But it's nice that you can sit, enjoy, and even burn a little more. But yeah, any weight you lose will be from water mostly if not all. 

Here is the general consensus of what I have read.

A Sauna assists in weight loss in three significant ways:

1. It effectively reduces heavy metals which have been directly related to metabolic imbalances in the body causing poor digestion and weight gain.

2. It decreases fat stored (lipophilic) toxins. Often weight loss cannot be accomplished unless these toxins are first removed.

3. Although weight loss due to perspiration (water loss) is quickly regained, sending more blood to the capillaries and converting fats and carbohydrates results in as much as 600 calories burned during one short sauna session.

 

Original Post by kellykirksey:

Actually you do burn more than you would just sitting at your house. It's true though you will lose weight, but it's water. But, when you do burn more calories. It's not as significant as the article below, but it does help a little. It should not be a substitute for exercise, cause that burns way more. But it's nice that you can sit, enjoy, and even burn a little more. But yeah, any weight you lose will be from water mostly if not all. 

Here is the general consensus of what I have read.

A Sauna assists in weight loss in three significant ways:

1. It effectively reduces heavy metals which have been directly related to metabolic imbalances in the body causing poor digestion and weight gain.

2. It decreases fat stored (lipophilic) toxins. Often weight loss cannot be accomplished unless these toxins are first removed.

3. Although weight loss due to perspiration (water loss) is quickly regained, sending more blood to the capillaries and converting fats and carbohydrates results in as much as 600 calories burned during one short sauna session.

 

Shenanigans! 

"Toxins" are the biggest weight loss scam in the industry.  Just tell me how hot moist air removes heavy metals.  The increased blood flow may burn 10 calories from the little bit of extra work of the capillary muscles.  

Have you sat in a sauna and measure your heart rate? Is does raise and for me significantly. When your heart rate raises, your body needs more oxygen to thus creating a calorie burning environment. I wasn't saying it burns alot, but yes it does burn more than just sitting. Do the science and the research-or ask a trainer they will tell you.
Original Post by kellykirksey:

Have you sat in a sauna and measure your heart rate? Is does raise and for me significantly. When your heart rate raises, your body needs more oxygen to thus creating a calorie burning environment. I wasn't saying it burns alot, but yes it does burn more than just sitting. Do the science and the research-or ask a trainer they will tell you.

The heart rate increases because of the loss of water, the increase heart rate is to maintain blood flow volume, not to supply extra oxygen.  Thus it is shananigans to claim it is a calorie burning environment.

I figured as much - thanks for the input guys!  I thought about it today b/c this morning after my workout I decided to sit in the sauna for 10 minutes.  Man it made me sweat! :) So it sparked my curiosity.  I did burn plenty of calories working out alone but it did feel nice to just sit and relax and open up my pores. 

I could see how it may burn just a bit more (maybe by processes internally or something) but I wouldn't assume much more.  Then again, I'm not a fitness expert - I sell software hahaha.  I didn't measure my heart rate or anything but looking back I don't remember it being elevated much, if any.  Who knows. 

well in the mean time of strikez dramatizing this blog i will discuss further will kellykirksey this info on saunas!!

I work out at my local gym with my personal trainer and after each session we hydrate our bodies with a quick swim then we get in the sauna. Mainly to burn extra calories. Especially doing so after a work out, your metabolism is up and so is your heart rate so you will burn more calories. When your sweating you burn even more than you do sitting in a temperature of 80 degrees. If sweating does not burn calories then life and personal trainers are "a shananigan" {HAHA} because that has been taught and instilled in every day life from the time we are little. When i exercise i dont really start to burn calories until im sweating and my heart rate is up.

If sweating in a sauna is not a vast calorie burner then why is the concept risen that nascar drivers burn the most calories while driving. They are sitting in a car that is several hundred degrees, causing them to sweat. Thus causing calorie burn and weight loss.

And regarding the comment on toxins, every persons body has toxins whether they instilled them or they have become natural. Just as it is with any vast change in life, you must remove the toxins before accomplishments. If someones body is filled with toxins and harmful metals that are unnatural to the body then they need to be removed for the body to work properly.

HAVEN"T YOU EVER HEARD OF SOMETHING CALLED DETOX??

(if not, its when you remove TOXINS from your body that have harmed you in some way, to renew yourself and body back to normal. Hence detox, decrease toxins.)

Time for the voice of reason

It does take energy to excrete fluid (sweat) for the purpose of cooling, and by maintaining a higher heart rate extra energy is used.  But the amounts represented are miniscule.  The heart is only a pound of muscle (300 grams) so let's say that a 100 pound person needs 2000 calories a day (not right , but it makes the math easier)  Presuming that the heart uses proportionately 2-3 times its percentage of weight, then the heart burns 60 calories a day.  Now lets assume I'm wrong (probably am) about how much the heart burns and up it to 240 cal/day.  Then in a half hour the heart burns 50 calories.  Now if you increase your heart rate by 30% in an half hour in the sauna, then at best you've burned only an extra 15 calories.

As for the rest of the body, once your muscles are not working and adding heat to the system, your hypothalamus will do what it can to lower the body temp to normal, including slowing down the metabolism of less vital functions.

And NASCAR drivers? Driving a normal car burns 231 cal/hr, riding in that same car burns 115/hr.  Don't you think that constantly shifting gears, stepping on accelerators, brakes and fighting the steering wheel of a vehicle going 190 mph tends to use alot of muscle power.

As for DETOX, while the theory is debated, most of those proposing those theories emphasize the GI tract, not the sweat glands as the mechanism.

Sweat glands have been studied and they have no specific mechanisms to handle heavy metals.  Even when heavy metals do accumulate in large enough amounts to require chelation, those chelated metals go out through the liver and kidneys.

Lipophilic toxins would be excreted in fatty liquids (bile), not in water based sweat glands which create the majority of exercise induced sweat.

600 calories in one session?!  By that number, you could lose 1 1/5 pounds a week without any change in diet.  Don't you think we would have heard about this on Oprah by now?

"If sweating does not burn calories then life and personal trainers are "a shananigan""  Sweat in these cases are an effect of exercise, just like weight loss would be.  Using that logic would be like saying kids cause gonorrhea, because they both come from having sex.

Marc, I couldn't have said it any better. That was fabulous.
Well done, Marc. I notice that you are a pediatrician -  awesome! Maybe you can offer some good advice to the underweight teens on this site who are looking to lose... :(

OP, go to the sauna because you enjoy it. Your fat loss won't be affected one way or the other. Just make sure you stay safe in there - don't get too dehydrated or overheated.

Marc, some days I get on here and I find myself just thanking God for some of the things you say and so much of the nonsense that you set straight.

So, thanks again on this one.

WOW now that was an answer :) and a very detailed and descriptive one.  Thank you!  That does make great sense.
rdp5
Oct 17 2010 02:32
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#14  
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Marc

Partially correct, but it does cause a calorie burn.  

"A 30 minute sauna creates approximately the same amount of perspiration as a 10 kilometer run.

As your body increases sweat production to cool itself, your heart works harder to boost circulation, thus improving your cardiovascular system. Your immune system is also strengthened because when your body temperature is raised, your systems fight this "artificial fever". Sweating helps detoxify your body, by removing the accumulation of potentially carcinogenic heavy metals as well as alcohol, nicotine, sodium and cholesterol. Profuse perspiration also deeply cleanses the skin, creating beautiful and improved tone, texture, and color. A single sauna session will burn as many calories as you would during rowing for 30 minutes. Weight loss occurs because body fat becomes water-soluble at 43ºC and the body can sweat it out. Your skin is the third way you body eliminates waste, in addition to kidneys and liver.

The effectiveness of hyperthermia directly correlates with the ability to eliminate heat loss during a steam bath. As the body's temperature begins to rise, the body's natural response is to perspire so that the evaporation of the perspiration will cool the body. In a sauna heat, undesirable cooling undermines hyperthermia by the natural evaporation process and allows toxin filled perspiration to dry on the skin. However, in a steam bath, evaporation is not possible and therefore it allows little or no loss of valuable body heat. You still perspire as heavily, it just does not evaporate and dry on the skin. The higher moisture level actually causes condensation on the body to become the primary heat transfer mechanism additionally heating the body. The powerful cleansing and healing process of hyperthermia does not take place until the body reaches 101° F- 103° F. This is accomplished quicker and more effectively in a steam bath than a sauna and only requires 10 to 15 minutes."  and I think your body is 98% water, so is fat.

Check this out and tell me it is flawed? and I am not affiliated with it, but thought it was logical.  Besides as my back is injured and I cannot work out steam room and Jacuzzi has been my only workout for the past 45 days.  I lost 25 pounds in those 45 days.  I hope to get back to a work out next week as I know I can lose more and keep muscle tone.

http://tuberose.com/Sweating.html

This answer comes years after the initial post, but I had the same question and was doing some research on saunas and steam rooms. Here's what I found on Livestrong.com, which got its information from very reputable sources (cited here). I would imagine the information applies to both saunas and steam rooms...

"Saunas help you relax and increase feelings of well-being, according to Harvard Health Publications. They cause your heart to beat 30 percent faster and can burn almost as many calories as a 3-mile run.

Extreme temperatures, like those found in a sauna, can raise your metabolism by 20 percent. This can enable you to burn 300 calories in one 30-minute sauna session, according to the book "100 Ways to Supercharge Your Metabolism" by Cynthia Phillips and colleagues. The metabolism-boosting benefit lasts for up to three hours afterward, potentially leading to even more calories burned."



Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/312591-how- many-calories-are-burned-in-a-steam-sauna/#ix zz1nV8XbJkv

 

You cannot rehydrate your body by swimming. In fact you can dehydrate it further. There's a reason hands and feet get wrinkly like dried fruit when ur in water for an extended period of time and that is because you lose water through the skin. You actually have to consume water to hydrate....... People who originally commented on this post are uneducated fools ‚?¶well most are the voice of Reason made very good points and as for NASCAR well the g forces on the driver are far greater than on the Sunday driver
You cannot rehydrate your body by swimming. In fact you can dehydrate it further. There's a reason hands and feet get wrinkly like dried fruit when ur in water for an extended period of time and that is because you lose water through the skin. You actually have to consume water to hydrate....... People who originally commented on this post are uneducated fools ‚?¶well most are the voice of Reason made very good points and as for NASCAR well the g forces on the driver are far greater than on the Sunday driver
#18  
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I just love relaxing in a sauna. I doubt it helps with weight loss. Does help the skin though!
#19  
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Okay, I have to put a few things straight here.  First, you do burn SOME extra calories, depending on how dehydrated you are, because your heart rate will increase very slightly to compensate for the low blood volume.  HOWEVER, you don't burn enough of your glycogen stores in your liver to go into lipolysis (burning fat in the body).  Any calories you do burn, are being burnt the WRONG WAY.  To understand it completely you have to have an education in clinical sciences and/or understand EXACTLY what is going on to your body, physiologically and biochemically.

During times of normal fasting, you have fat stores in your body.  Short term calorie burn will use some of those stores in a process call glycolysis.  This is due to your body producing a hormone call glycogen from your pancreas.  HOWEVER, if you just had a huge calorie rich diet, even 3 hours ago, your increased heart rate from a steam room isn't going to make a dent in the amount of fat your body will use.  You got plenty in your blood stream already--cause you are fat and eat too much WITHOUT EXERCISING IT OFF.

Your body will just used some of the extraordinary amount of glycogen fat stores you have in your liver OR it may not have to if you just consumed 1000 calories worth of carbs even hours prior to getting in the steam room.  Then when you get out and go eat that hamburger or pasta dinner, your pancreas releases insulin and that causes the opposite effect.  It will put those glycogen stores right back into your liver.  Any excess is stored in your body as fat.  Since there was so much to begin with, this is most likely to happen

YOU HAVE to EXERCISE HARD!  to loose fat.  You have to exercise SOOO much that you burn all the fat in your liver, and your body has to take the fat stores in your adipose tissue to replenish that in your liver.  Thats why if your trying to loose weight, you have to burn MORE calories in carbs (sugars),  than you consume on a daily basis.  Slowly, over time, you will loose your fatty liver and each time you work out, your body will have no choice but to consume the fats from your diet or adipose tissue in order to reserve glycogen for your brain when it needs it.

Its a LOT more complex than this, but if would take a chapter to explain it all.  Cortisol, thyroid hormones, and growth hormones also have an effect on your metabolism, and will be affected in stressful situations (SUCH AS THE STEAM ROOM), that could actually make you gain MORE weight through the long term.  Sitting in a steam room and dehydrating is a stressful event to your body.  It is freaking out because you lost sooo much water in such a short amount of time its like OMG I got to get water back in here.  This will end up making you gain even MORE water weight than before.

Original Post by marc42968:

Time for the voice of reason

It does take energy to excrete fluid (sweat) for the purpose of cooling, and by maintaining a higher heart rate extra energy is used.  But the amounts represented are miniscule.  The heart is only a pound of muscle (300 grams) so let's say that a 100 pound person needs 2000 calories a day (not right , but it makes the math easier)  Presuming that the heart uses proportionately 2-3 times its percentage of weight, then the heart burns 60 calories a day.  Now lets assume I'm wrong (probably am) about how much the heart burns and up it to 240 cal/day.  Then in a half hour the heart burns 50 calories.  Now if you increase your heart rate by 30% in an half hour in the sauna, then at best you've burned only an extra 15 calories.

As for the rest of the body, once your muscles are not working and adding heat to the system, your hypothalamus will do what it can to lower the body temp to normal, including slowing down the metabolism of less vital functions.

And NASCAR drivers? Driving a normal car burns 231 cal/hr, riding in that same car burns 115/hr.  Don't you think that constantly shifting gears, stepping on accelerators, brakes and fighting the steering wheel of a vehicle going 190 mph tends to use alot of muscle power.

As for DETOX, while the theory is debated, most of those proposing those theories emphasize the GI tract, not the sweat glands as the mechanism.

Sweat glands have been studied and they have no specific mechanisms to handle heavy metals.  Even when heavy metals do accumulate in large enough amounts to require chelation, those chelated metals go out through the liver and kidneys.

Lipophilic toxins would be excreted in fatty liquids (bile), not in water based sweat glands which create the majority of exercise induced sweat.

600 calories in one session?!  By that number, you could lose 1 1/5 pounds a week without any change in diet.  Don't you think we would have heard about this on Oprah by now?

"If sweating does not burn calories then life and personal trainers are "a shananigan""  Sweat in these cases are an effect of exercise, just like weight loss would be.  Using that logic would be like saying kids cause gonorrhea, because they both come from having sex.

And with this, I locked for posterity....

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