How To Prep For A Sauna

One of the primary health reasons for using a sauna and possibly the most beneficial is detoxification.  An infrared detoxification can result in elimination of heavy metals, chemicals and many other toxins which are detrimental to your health.  Following some guidelines can safely increase your benefits significantly.

Infrared saunas result in a much better detox than traditional steam.  This is primarily due to the way they heat the body, the air, and also your skin temperature.  We want to use this to our advantage. Our Sauna Reviews page highlights the brands that provide the best proven detoxification benefits.

What is the Most Important Tip on Using infrared?

The correct temperature settings are the most important thing you can do. Correct temperature usage can double your benefits.  We suggest you read this separate page on best temperature settings to gain the most benefits.

Here are some additional ways to maximize your individual benefits from your infrared sessions.  Some can be applied before, during and after your session.

Hydrate Properly

A proper protocol for detox starts with something that is obvious. Hydrate. This is important as the more hydrated your cells are, the more toxins can be released in sweat.

Drink a glass of water before beginning the sauna session.  The higher the temperature will be, the more water should be consumed before, during and after the heath therapy.

You should drink a full 16-20 ounce glass of water prior to your session.  You could also drink a non-sugary sports drink or better yet coconut water.  Coconut water has the added advantage of being loaded with electrolytes and all the nutrients needed for your body to assimilate the fluid completely and quickly.

Avoid sugary drinks, sodas, coffee or fruit juices with added sugar.  Your body will want to sweat out toxic matter from itself and will need a lot of fluid to perform this task well.

How important is this?  Many spas and wellness centers including the  well known Holistic Healing Centre, located just outside Sydney Australia, hang posters with this as the number one recommendation.

Showering Before Using A Sauna

Although not necessary, some users find showering prior to using their sauna results in a faster and heavier sweat and a more invigorating experience. It can also begin the stimulation of your body’s circulation.

This shower will also remove dirt, dry skin, lotion or any other residue which could hinder proper sweating.  As well, you could also dry brush your skin.  This brushing will increase circulation and has additional benefits.  It is not necessary but it does add some benefit and many think it feels great.

Should You Go Into A Sauna Wet Or Dry?

After your shower, dry off thoroughly.  Dry skin will sweat more than wet skin.

Towels in a Sauna

Sit On A Towel And Bring Extra Towel

Sitting on a towel protects the wood bench from extended periods of sweating.  It is also more comfortable for you than sitting on the wood directly.

What Are You Supposed To Wear In A Sauna?

Wear as little clothing as possible.  In your own home, ideally no clothing at all or loose cotton shorts allow the best experience, especially in an infrared sauna.  The Infrared is hindered by clothing so if any area is injured or needs special attention, it needs to have direct contact with the infrared light waves. This is possible if it is in your home.

Wear Cotton

If you are wearing clothing, wear as little as possible of loose fitting clothing that is breathable.  Cotton shorts and top would be the better choice.  Although rolling up the sleeves, legs and waist to expose as much skin to the infrared as possible is what is needed.  Avoid synthetic material clothing.

Remove Jewelry

Jewelry will get hot against your skin and become uncomfortable.

Your First Sauna Sessions

Woman Smiling in Sauna

What Time Of Day Is Best For Sauna?

Some users find the session will relax them, preparing them for a good nights sleep and they enjoy the sauna in the evening.  Others are invigorated by the session and like to enjoy the renewed energy hours before bed.  You will learn quickly what time of day you enjoy the best.

First Sauna Session Length

Beginners should start with 10-15 minute sessions.  Slowly build up to 25-30 minutes.  But also listen to your body.  If you begin to feel weak, tired or too hot, open the door or simply step out of the cabin.  When beginning you should definitely try to not overdo any session.

Many beginners that have been more sedentary may also notice they may not begin to sweat until being in the cabin for 20-30 minutes.  This can be normal.  Your body will learn to begin sweating sooner as your progress.

Infrared types are best experienced at lower temperatures of 110-125 degrees F.  This may seem cool for you if you have been used to the traditional steam variety where temps can reach 180-200 degrees F.  But in fact you will receive more benefits when the temps are kept lower.

Consult Your Physician

Always consult your physician prior to beginning use of any healing device.  This toxin removal can also begin removing medications you have stored up in your body.  Please see our recommendation on contraindications.  Avoid the sauna entirely if you are pregnant as the heat and release of toxins are not good for the unborn.

How Do I Prepare My Skin For A Sauna

Exfoliate with dry brushing your skin prior to a sauna sessions will increase the benefits to your skin.  Although not crucial, we have discussed this previously as a real extra bonus action you can take.

Wash your face and remove makeup.  You can then apply a natural moisturizer or coconut oil if you would like.

What to Eat Prior to a Sauna?

Avoid Alcohol

Avoid a large meal or rich foods like meats prior to entering the sauna.  High calories foods can lower your blood pressure.

Avoid Rich Foods And Meat

Avoid Overly Rich Foods Like sipping alcoholic drinks, high-calorie foods can lower your blood pressure. Avoid eating fish and meat if you’re planning to visit a sauna.

Fiber for Mobilized Toxin Removal

Once the toxins are released and mobilized in the body, those that are not secreted in the sweat are released into the digestive system.  Without proper fiber in the intestines, a portion of these toxins will be reabsorbed back into the body, being again deposited into fat cells.

While eating a heavy meal prior to your session is not recommended, having fiber in the form of a smoothie, green powder, fruits or vegetables more than an hour before or after can be beneficial in aiding the removal of these toxins.

Chlorella can be excellent to have mixed in water.  It binds to heavy metals and toxins and picks them up like a sponge.

After your session, take a warm shower to wash off the toxins that are now on the outside of your skin. Many find that a cool shower rinse after a warm shower invigorates them and their skin.  So enjoy a good shower followed by a cool rinse.  This will also close up the pores.

When showering, avoid chemical laden soaps and heavy lotions.  Your pores are open wide immediately after a heat therapy and you want to avoid clogging them.

Plan a little time to relax as a session can often leave you feeling a little drained for a few minutes.

Some users find the session will relax them, preparing them for a good nights sleep and they enjoy the the experience in the evening.  Others are invigorated by the session and like to enjoy the renewed energy hours before bed.  You will learn quickly what time of day you enjoy the best.

Hydrate again.  Have another 8-16 ounce glass of water to replenish what has been lost during your heat therapy.

For a detailed look at the remarkable health benefits of an infrared sauna see our benefits page.

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