What are the health benefits of saunas?


The health benefits of sauna use are numerous, as discussed by and other experts on the . Here are the key benefits highlighted in the podcast:

  1. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Events: Regular sauna usage has been associated with a significant decrease in the risk of dying from a cardiovascular event, with statistics showing a 27% reduction when using the sauna two to three times a week and up to a 50% reduction when used four to seven times a week 1.

  2. All-Cause Mortality: Frequent sauna use has been linked not only to reduced cardiovascular mortality but also to overall decreased all-cause mortality 2.

  3. Mimics Cardiovascular Exercise: Spending time in a sauna can cause effects similar to those of cardiovascular exercise, such as increased blood flow and heart rate, which are beneficial especially for individuals who are unable to engage in traditional exercise 3.

    Sauna Benefits

    Andrew discusses the benefits of sauna exposure, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. Studies have shown that regular exposure to sauna at temperatures between 80-100 degrees Celsius for 10-20 minutes, 2-7 times per week, can greatly improve longevity.

    Huberman Lab

    The Science & Health Benefits of Deliberate Heat Exposure | Huberman Lab Podcast #69
  4. Increases in Growth Hormone and Decreases in Cortisol: Sauna usage can lead to hormonal changes, such as an increase in growth hormone crucial for recovery and metabolism, and a decrease in cortisol, which is involved in stress response 2.

  5. Heavy Metal Excretion: Sauna use promotes sweating, which can lead to the excretion of heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and aluminum 4.

  6. Improves Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Incorporating sauna use along with regular exercise has shown synergistic effects, further improving cardiorespiratory fitness beyond exercise alone 4.

  7. Boosts Innate Immune System: Sauna sessions can enhance the activity of the innate immune system, increasing the leukocyte count and potentially aiding in preventing colds and flus 5.

  8. Mental Health Benefits: Experiencing discomfort in a safe heat environment like a sauna can boost mental health by increasing dynorphine, which in turn amplifies the positive effects of endorphins on mood after the sauna session 6.

It's important to mention that these benefits should be weighed against the risks and individual health conditions, with a recommendation to consult a physician before beginning a sauna regimen, especially for those with certain health issues, like recent heart attacks or low blood pressure 3.