Infrared Saunas and Weight Loss: Separating Fact from Fiction

Published September 27th, 2023 by Camarata Chiropractic

In recent years, the use of infrared saunas has gained popularity not only for relaxation but also for their potential in aiding weight loss. But as with any health trend, it's important to separate fact from fiction. Can sitting in a heated sauna session really help you shed those extra pounds? Let's explore the science and separate the myths from the reality.

The Science Behind Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use invisible light waves to create heat, which penetrates deep into the body, raising your core temperature. This process, known as thermotherapy, has several potential benefits, including enhanced relaxation, improved circulation, and relief from muscle soreness.

Calories Burned in an Infrared Sauna

One of the claims often associated with infrared saunas is that they can help you burn calories, similar to exercise. While it's true that you'll sweat in a sauna, sweating alone doesn't equate to meaningful weight loss.

A typical sauna session may lead to a moderate increase in heart rate and metabolism, resulting in the burning of some additional calories. However, it's essential to understand that the calorie burn in a sauna is relatively low compared to traditional forms of exercise. You might burn around 300-600 calories in an hour-long sauna session, depending on factors like temperature and your individual physiology.

Weight Loss Through Water Loss

The initial weight loss experienced in a sauna is primarily due to water loss through sweating. While this might make you feel lighter temporarily, it's not a sustainable or healthy approach to weight loss. As soon as you rehydrate, those lost pounds return.

Detoxification and Weight Loss

Some proponents of infrared saunas suggest that they aid in detoxification, leading to weight loss. However, the body has its built-in detoxification systems through the liver and kidneys. Sweating in a sauna can help remove some toxins through the skin, but this isn't a significant contributor to weight loss.

Saunas as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Infrared saunas should not be considered a stand-alone solution for weight loss. However, they can be a valuable part of a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle. Regular use of saunas may help with relaxation, stress reduction, and muscle recovery, which can indirectly support your fitness and weight management goals.


Infrared saunas offer various potential health benefits, including relaxation and improved circulation. While they can contribute to calorie burning and detoxification, these effects are relatively modest and shouldn't be relied upon as primary weight loss strategies. To achieve sustainable weight loss, it's crucial to focus on a well-rounded approach that includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

If you're considering using an infrared sauna as part of your wellness routine, consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health conditions. Remember that individual experiences with saunas can vary, so it's essential to listen to your body and prioritize overall health and well-being over quick fixes.

Looking to book an infrared sauna session in Rochester, NY? Look no further than Camarata Chiropractic. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!


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