The sauna suit, sometimes referred to as sauna sweat suit, sauna jacket or sauna vest are often worn by individuals who are seeking weight loss. The purpose of the sauna suit is to cause the body’s core temperature to increase which will cause excessive sweating. Most users will complete a sauna suit workout however, the suit can be worn pretty much anywhere. It has been suggested that wearing the suit can be beneficial in terms of weight loss, circulation, metabolism, rehab, injury prevention and even help to keep you exercising regularly.
Sauna suits can be constructed with many different materials however, one of the most the most common types of suit is the neoprene sauna suit or neoprene sweat suit. Neoprene is a man-made rubber which is the perfect material for a sauna suit as it provides a high degree of comfort for the user, is resolute in construct, traps body heat efficiently and is not only water resistant but also heat resistant.
But, do sauna suits work and will wearing the sauna suit cause weight loss?
There is absolutely no doubt that, whilst wearing the body suit, weight loss will occur. All you have to do is look at the professional boxing scene to see this first hand. Boxers will often wear sauna suits to drop their bodyweight down significantly in preparation for a weigh-in to ensure they land within their weight class.
So that’s clear then, the sauna suit is effective at weight loss? It seems too good to be true… all you need to do is get yourself a Neoprene vest for weight loss and you can reasonably expect to see the numbers on the scale tumble… right? Well, yes and no. If you are looking for a short term drop in body weight, like the professional boxers, then the sauna suit is absolutely perfect and will work a treat. However, be aware that the mechanism behind this weight change is to do with water weight lost through sweat rather than a drop in body fat. Sweat is a mixture of water and electrolytes (salts and minerals) and sweating occurs to keep you cool and stop you from overheating. The suit is designed to retain all body heat as far as possible and when combined with exercise, you can reasonably expect to be sweating profusely! The average human body is thought to be up to as much as 60% water and therefore we will lose a large amount of water through sweat. If we fail to hydrate we will lose a few pounds of weight; however, once we are rehydrated, our weight will return to our “normal” weight prior to the exercise session.
Sauna Suit Benefits
There have been studies completed that have looked at training whilst wearing a sauna suit (or similar product). What has been found is that, although it won’t have a direct impact on your fat stores, it may help to condition the body. Regular bouts of training with the sauna suit can enhance your aerobic capacity and muscular endurance. Often the word “stress” brings on negative connotations; however, in the context of training, stress is placed on the body during a session. The higher amount of stress applied to the body the quicker it must adapt to deal with demands it is being placed under. By wearing the sauna suit when exercising we are exposing the body to an extreme heat which causes the body to be placed under a higher degree of stress than normal. As a result, adaptations to the cardiovascular system and muscles of the body may occur more quickly and effectively.
Acclimatisation is another adaptation that the body will make, due to exposure to heat stress incur through wearing the sauna suit. The body will become more accustomed to exercising in heat and therefore improve its capacity for exercising in the heat and allowing you to exercise for a longer duration or at a higher intensity.
Whilst the sauna suit can be a useful training tool, it is important to remember, if you are going to use the suit, keep yourself well hydrated and “topped-up” with electrolytes as you train. By failing to maintain hydration level, you may be at a risk of dehydration, overheating and heat stroke.