You should drink three pints of water over the course of a sauna session. The best way to hydrate is to begin drinking water before the session begins, continue while in the sauna, and drink more water once you get out.
As a general rule sauna users should drink three pints of water over a sauna session. The amount of water needed varies from person-to-person and is dependent on the amount of fluid lost due to sweating.
SHOULD YOU DRINK WATER IN A SAUNA?
Yes, you should drink water in the sauna. The most important thing to remember is to avoid becoming dehydrated.
This happens when more fluids leave the body than enter it and even low levels of dehydration triggers headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion.
A number of factors influence how much you sweat while in a sauna. These include the length of the session, the temperature of the sauna, and individual physiological characteristics – some people just sweat more than others.
WHY SHOULD I DRINK WATER DURING SAUNA?
It is important you stay hydrated during a sauna session. This means you should be sipping water throughout the session to avoid becoming dehydrated.
As your core temperature rises your body will begin to sweat to try and cool down. Fluids lost as sweat must be replaced to prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
Dehydration is the most common problem encountered by people using saunas. The condition is particularly serious for young children and older adults. So make sure you drink plenty of fluids to stay safely hydrated.
WHAT SHOULD I DRINK BEFORE A SAUNA?
You should drink at least one full glass of water before entering the sauna. Consider this as part of the three pints you need to drink over the course of the session.
If you have just completed a workout you will need to drink more. If you plan to enter the sauna after exercising you should drink up to 32 oz of water before you begin your session.
You must be well hydrated before entering the sauna so your body can safely generate sweat. It is during the sweating process that your body experiences the greatest health benefits of a sauna session.
WHEN SHOULD I DRINK MORE WATER?
The three-pint rule is a good guideline and will be the best amount for most people. There are several factors that could mean you need to drink some extra water.
Most traditional saunas run at temperatures of 150-190°F, while infrared saunas run at between 110-120°F. The hotter the sauna, the more you are going to sweat.
Therefore if the temperatures are at the higher end of these scales you need to drink more water.
DURATION OF SESSION
Longer sessions mean more sweating. If you are spending long periods of time in the sauna you are going to have to drink more water.
Most sessions last somewhere between 10-30 minutes. If you are closer to the 30-minute end, then you should get more fluids on board.
Some people just sweat more than others. If you are one of these people you will lose more fluids during a sauna session compared to the average person.
If you are in this group – drink more water. You can check your hydration levels by assessing the color of your urine – see below.
HYDRATION LEVELS BEFORE SAUNA
Were you properly hydrated before you entered the sauna? If you were not properly hydrated, to begin with, then you will need to take on some extra fluids.
IS WATER THE BEST DRINK FOR RE-HYDRATION?
Drinking water is the best and easiest way to re-hydrate after a good sauna session. It’s cheap, effective, contains zero calories, and gets to work quickly.
Other options include skimmed milk, re-hydration solutions, fruit juice, and tea. A recent study by St. Andrews University in Scotland found that skimmed milk and re-hydration solutions are great alternatives.
When we sweat we lose nutrients as well as water. In particular, we excrete high levels of sodium during a sauna session. And, this needs to be replaced.
Luckily, sodium is easily replaced as part of a balanced diet and rarely requires any specialist re-hydration solution.
Although fluids that contain nutrients such as sodium, sugar, and electrolytes can speed up the recovery process, water is the best option for replacing the fluid lost in a sauna. Just remember to drink water in sauna.
HOW DO YOU HYDRATE AFTER A SAUNA?
Keep drinking fluids. You shouldn’t stop drinking water when you step out of the sauna. You need to continue taking on fluids to make sure you stay hydrated.
All fluids lost during a sweat session need to be replaced and this means you need to continue to hydrate after stepping out of the sauna.
In general, you should aim to drink a pint of water after your sauna session. But if you continue to feel thirsty, or have generated a lot of sweat, you should keep hydrating until you feel fully recovered.
You should avoid alcohol before and after a sauna. Alcohol is a diuretic – meaning it removes fluids from your body.
This can cause dehydration problems when combined with a sauna. Other diuretic drinks include coffee and tea – and they should be avoided while trying to hydrate. Check out our guide to the Health Benefits of Sauna – click here.
The best way to stay hydrated is to drink water before you feel thirsty. Once you begin to feel thirsty your body is already experiencing dehydration. Even mild levels of dehydration cause tiredness and loss of energy.
Our bodies are made up of about 70% water and they need to stay well hydrated to survive. Every cell in the body needs water to function as it is designed to do.
Dehydration happens when you don’t have enough water in your body for it to function properly.
A simple way to check if you are dehydrated is to look at the color of your urine. If it is clear with no color in it you are fine.
A hint of yellow means you are a little dehydrated and should drink some water. And, if it’s a darker shade of yellow you are more seriously dehydrated!