Does a Sauna Benefit You or Improve Fat Loss?

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Does a Sauna Benefit You or Improve Fat Loss? – Thomas DeLauer

I’m about to totally wow you with the science of how sitting in a sauna for just a short amount of time after a workout or in general can totally shift the way that your body metabolizes energy and shift the way that your body built muscle and burns fat.

When we’re looking at how a sauna affects the body, we’re looking at something known as hyperthermic conditioning. Hyperthermic conditioning is just like the name implies. We’re conditioning ourselves to be a little bit more exposed to a higher temperature. With hyperthermic conditioning, we’re acclimating our bodies to heat independent of aerobic activity. Normally if you go out for a run or you do some kind of aerobic exercise, your core body temperature is going to go up, simply because you’re moving. With hyperthermic conditioning, we’re trying to elicit the same response, but without the actual activity. We’re just trying to get the core body temperature up and still trying to get the same benefits, and now, the science is showing the benefits are there.

Basically what we’re doing is we’re trying to build a generalized tolerance to physiological stress by adapting to heat. Just like anything, we have an adaptation process that occurs, and when we expose ourselves to a lot of heat, we do have this adaptation that occurs at a cellular level and different metabolic levels.

Now the biggest one that we probably know of already is the increase in blood flow and plasma volume. This one kinda goes without saying. When you have more heat, your blood vessels dilate, you get more blood flow, yeah, that’s all fine and dandy, but there’s a lot of really cool stuff coming out in the way of what are called heat shock proteins. Now the studies that I’m gonna reference in this video, and believe me, there’s quite a few of them, are going to really be centered around heat shock proteins and what these heat shock proteins do for not only your recovery, but your overall metabolism.

A heat shock protein is a highly conserved protein that sits inside of a cell. Every single organism has them and every single cell has heat shock proteins. They’re proteins that sit in a reserve mode, waiting to get acted upon by high stress, for instance, high heat. That’s why they’re called heat shock proteins. When our cells are exposed to heat shock, these proteins are released, and they protect what are called the folding and unfolding of these different proteins inside of a cell. Inside of a cell, when you build a cell, you have proteins that fold on top of each other. Now sometimes they unfold, sometimes they fold, so these heat shock proteins stabilize them. They hold them in place so that they have a little bit more time to recover when exposed to extreme conditions like high heat.

References

1) Li Z and Srivastava P. (n.d.). Heat-shock proteins. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18432918
2) Heat shock proteins – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/heat-shock-proteins
3) Heat Stress and Cardiovascular, Hormonal, and Heat Shock Proteins in Humans. (2012, March). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418130/
4) Selsby JT , et al. (n.d.). Intermittent hyperthermia enhances skeletal muscle regrowth and attenuates oxidative damage following reloading. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17110516
5) Wei Q , et al. (n.d.). Heme oxygenase-1 induction contributes to renoprotection by G-CSF during rhabdomyolysis-associated acute kidney injury. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21511696
6) Costa RJ , et al. (n.d.). Heat acclimation responses of an ultra-endurance running group preparing for hot desert-based competition. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24444197
7) Scoon GS , et al. (n.d.). Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16877041
8) Kukkonen-Harjula K , et al. (n.d.). Haemodynamic and hormonal responses to heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2759081
9) Laatikainen T , et al. (n.d.). Response of plasma endorphins, prolactin and catecholamines in women to intense heat in a sauna. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2830109
10) Running enhances neurogenesis, learning, and long-term potentiation in mice. (9, November). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC23964/

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