Do Sauna Suits Help You Lose Weight? The Clear Answer

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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People often take drastic measures and do crazy things to speed up their weight loss journey. But you can’t just dismiss all these ideas as crazy without looking for some scientific proof.

When I first saw people at the gym wearing a sauna suit, I was skeptical, especially since fat oxidation is quite a complex metabolic process.

To find out if there really is an impact on improved fat loss and reduced body weight, our team did some research and testing with a neoprene sauna suit.

Here’s what we found.

Quick Summary

  • To effectively lose weight, sauna suits can help by increasing sweat production, but most weight loss is from water, not fat.
  • Sauna suits raise core body temperature during exercise, adding physical strain.
  • A study from ResearchGate found that sauna suits can improve VO2 Max, benefiting cardiovascular health.
  • In my view, sauna suits can be a useful tool for weight loss when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, but they are not a standalone solution.

Is A Sauna Suit Good For Weight Loss?

Half body shot of a Sauna Suit

Yes, a sauna suit is good for weight loss, but it’s important to understand that most of it will be from losing water weight.

Essentially, the main thing that happens when you wear sauna suits is that you sweat a lot more which helps with weight loss.

The problem is that it’s just temporary weight loss, as you will have to make up for that water loss. As you drink more after training, your body will go back to the previous weight.

Positive Health Impacts of Sauna Suits

But there is some positive news about sauna suits.

One study from ResearchGate shows sauna suits can impact your VO2 Max (the amount of oxygen you can utilize), and that can have significant benefits for cardiovascular health [1].

And a person's aerobic fitness level will help them to exercise more and at a higher intensity. And that’s what can help to accelerate weight loss.

Just make sure that you understand that the suit itself won’t help you with burning fat more effectively, but it will help with burning calories.

A Holistic Approach to Weight Loss

I always tell my clients to think beyond just sauna suits for effective weight loss. They're great for quick water weight loss, but true, lasting results require a broader approach.

Maintaining a healthy weight is all about balancing a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and increasing your resting metabolic rate.

I encourage adopting a lifestyle that combines regular workouts, strength training, and mindful eating for sustainable weight loss.

Keep in mind, your resting metabolic rate is key for burning calories even when you're not active. So, let's work on boosting it by building muscle through strength training – that's your ticket to long-term success.

So, while a sauna suit may contribute to temporary weight loss, combining it with a comprehensive approach to overall health and well-being is key to achieving long-term weight loss goals.

“The greatest improvement was seen in VO2max—a measurement of the maximum volume of oxygen that can be used during exercise, which is an important indicator of a person’s aerobic fitness level. Sauna-suit-wearing exercisers averaged 11.7% increase in VO2max from their baseline levels.”

- Lauren Cahn, Writer for rd.com

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How Does A Sauna Suit Impact Your Body?

A sauna suit impacts your body by making it more difficult for sweat to cool you down. Normally, sweat will help to cool down your body temperature. But when sauna suits are worn underneath normal clothes, they will stop that cooling effect.

You end up sweating more, and your temperature stays elevated.

If this sounds uncomfortable, that’s because it is. But there are some benefits that you get from this.

One interesting study from ResearchGate looked at the impact of wearing a sauna suit on cardiorespiratory fitness [2].

The study also showed that markers of cardiovascular disease significantly improved in the test group.

It seems like the increased body heat causes a lot more strain on the body to perform at optimum levels. And while it won’t instantly burn fat and help you lose weight, the improved heart health will improve your fitness levels and allow you to train a bit harder.

And that will slowly add up to a more fat loss.

Related articles:

How Often Should You Wear One?

A man in a Sauna Suit

I would recommend that you wear a sauna suit two to three times a week during workouts. There are no exact guidelines or scientific research to identify the optimum number of times.

But having worked with clients who regularly wear sauna suits, they seem to get optimum health benefits by limiting it each week.

There’s also no evidence that increasing the number of times or the length of time will bring about more significant health improvements.

If you’re just starting with a sauna suit, then try it for just 20 minutes once a week to get used to it first.

Related: Should You Do Sauna Before or After Workout?

Comparison with Traditional Sauna Experience

Similarities

Using a sauna suit and spending time in a traditional sauna share similarities in promoting sweating, which is often associated with detoxification and relaxation.

Both methods raise the body's temperature, leading to increased perspiration.

This process is believed to help eliminate toxins from the body, although the primary substance lost is water.

Differences

  • However, there are notable differences. A sauna suit, typically made from waterproof fabric, is worn during physical activities, intensifying sweating by trapping body heat. This can lead to a more intense and immediate sweating experience compared to a traditional sauna.
  • On the other hand, a traditional sauna, either dry or steam-based, provides a controlled environment where heat permeates the body more evenly and deeply. This can be more relaxing due to the ambient heat and often includes a social aspect.

FAQs

Do You Burn More Calories When Wearing A Sauna Suit?

Yes, you burn calories more effectively when wearing a sauna suit. But it’s important to note that this doesn’t automatically mean that it helps with fat reduction for weight loss. A lot of the lost weight is in the form of water.

Are Sauna Suits Safe?

Yes, sauna suits are generally safe. However, if you have underlying health conditions and are trying to lose weight to deal with those issues, then talk to your doctor first. Also, try to start with wearing one of these for 20 minutes at a time to get used to the effect.

Is It Ok to Wear a Sauna Suit Everyday?

Wearing a sauna suit every day is not recommended due to potential health risks like dehydration, overheating, and kidney damage. It's important to use it moderately and stay hydrated, especially during intense exercise or in hot environments. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.


References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323523158
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299486872
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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