Written By: Maxwell Fayans
Estimated Read Time: 2-3 minutes
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” -Mahatma Gandhi
After listening to a podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick I decided to dig a bit deeper on sauna use and its effects on muscle growth, endurance, and longevity. After a 45 min to 1-hour weight training and stretching session, I go right into the sauna. I put a timer on my iPhone for 5-10 minutes and bring a water bottle in. I use the water on the sauna to form steam and heat up the room. This is your average sauna in a gym so it is nothing special. For those 5-10 minutes I will tend to relax and use it as a form of meditation. To note: I don’t breathe deeply as this causes me to become short of breath. I then dry off, drink some water and hop in a cold shower when I get home.
I knew that the sauna was good for your skin, immune system and as a way to detox but I wanted to learn more about its effects on the body. Here is what I found. I was amazed.
As per Dr. Patrick, Sauna Use May:
Increase Muscle Growth: Prevents protein degradation and increases protein synthesis
- Increases release of growth hormone
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Increases production of heat shock proteins (they help to keep proteins from misfolding which is associated with many diseases of aging)
Increase endurance by:
- increasing nutrient delivery to your muscles
- improving your cardiovascular mechanism and reducing heart rate
- improving thermoregulatory control and reducing core temp during workout
Positive Effects on Brain:
- Increases release and storage of norepinephrine
- Increases the hormone prolactin which increases myelin production
- Increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor which increases growth of new brain cells
- Increases expression of dynorphin.
The Relation to Longevity:
- Increases production of heat shock proteins
- Activates the longevity gene: FOX03-a
How often do you use the sauna?
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