Can You Sweat Out Alcohol in Sauna?

Can You Sweat Out Alcohol in Sauna

Many people think that a hot sauna session can help you "sweat out" alcohol from your body. It sounds like a simple way to detox after enjoying a few drinks.

However, research from Finland, a country famous for its love of saunas, shows that mixing alcohol with sauna use can be very risky.

Every year, nearly 25 sauna-related accidents and deaths in Finland are linked to alcohol use. This fact challenges the common belief that saunas can safely remove alcohol or other toxins through sweat.

Does Sweating in Sauna Get Alcohol out of Your System?

Sweating in a sauna doesn't remove much alcohol from your system. Most of the alcohol you drink gets processed by your liver, and then it leaves your body when you pee, sweat a little, and breathe out.

Drinking lots of water and sleeping well doesn’t speed up this process. In a sauna, your skin might get really hot, and your body makes more sweat to cool down.

But, even though we sweat out some toxins, only a tiny bit of alcohol leaves this way. About 95% of alcohol has to be dealt with by your liver. While a sauna might make you sweat out a little alcohol, it's not a quick fix for a hangover.

Can Sauna Use Help You With a Hangover?

Can Sauna Use Help You With a Hangover?

You might have heard that saunas can cure almost anything, including the infamous hangover. But how true is this? Well, it turns out that the idea of saunas being the ultimate hangover fix might not be entirely accurate.

Research, including a significant study found on PubMed, has looked into the effects of hitting the sauna after a night of drinking. Interestingly, this study showed that a sauna session could lower your systolic blood pressure if you drink. However, contrary to popular belief, saunas don't cause dangerous heart rhythms or major shifts in your body's levels of potassium, calcium, and cortisol. But, they can up your chances of feeling faint because of low blood pressure.

The Mayo Clinic Health System points out that if you often drink too much, over time, you could end up with serious liver problems like fatty liver, alcohol hepatitis, or cirrhosis. Saunas aren't a magic solution that can cleanse your system of alcohol or its leftovers. Yet, they support liver health by encouraging your body to sweat out toxins, allowing your liver to handle the kind of toxins it's best at dealing with.

When you're hungover, your heart is already under strain from the alcohol, which can cause irregular heartbeats. Since sauna sessions make your heart beat faster, putting these two together might make you feel woozy, short of breath, have chest pain, or even faint, according to UCLA Health.

Additionally, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism highlights that alcohol has a serious effect on the brain, which affects coordination, memory, speech, and judgment, raising the risk of injuries and other negative health outcomes. The National Library of Medicine has also pointed out that mixing saunas and alcohol can lead to more minor injuries like sprains and burns.

To dodge these issues, it's best to kick off your "morning after" with a substantial breakfast and lots of water. Consider a sauna session only after your body has had ample time to rebound from the night's festivities.

Read More: How Sauna Use Can Strengthen Your Immune System

Safety Precautions For Sauna Use

Safety Precautions For Sauna Use

For those who have recently consumed alcohol, it's important to understand that being under the influence presents a significant contraindication to sauna use.

To enjoy a safe and beneficial sauna experience, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid Alcohol: Refrain from consuming alcohol before, during, and after your sauna session to prevent any negative interactions and enhance your body's ability to benefit from the heat.
  • Limit Your Time: Keep sessions brief, ideally between 15-20 minutes, to avoid overheating and to ensure your body can comfortably handle the sauna temperature change.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to prevent dehydration, especially since the body loses significant fluids through sweating.
  • Remove Jewelry and Dress Appropriately: Jewelry can become hot, and cause burns, and appropriate sauna attire can enhance your comfort level.
  • Rest Afterward: Allow your body time to adjust and regulate itself after a sauna session by resting for a period of time.
  • Cool Shower: After your sauna, take a cool shower to wash away sweat and any toxins that have been released through your skin.

The medical community generally regards sauna use as safe for many individuals, including those with certain health issues or mobility challenges. However, there are potential short-term adverse effects to be aware of.

Individuals with conditions such as a weakened immune system, open wounds, heart conditions, mobility issues, and neurological deficits, as well as those who are pregnant, nursing, or elderly, should seek approval from a medical professional before using a sauna.

Remember, while saunas offer numerous health benefits, it’s essential to approach their use with caution and respect for your body’s limits, especially when it comes to mixing sauna use and alcohol consumption.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do saunas detox the liver?

While saunas might not directly detox your liver, they still help your body in its natural detox processes. Relaxing in an infrared sauna can be a soothing experience that supports your overall health and wellness.

What alcohol is good to drink in a sauna?

When in a sauna, Finns often favor spirits like Koskenkorva and Jaloviina. Besides, choices like beer, long drinks, and even sparkling or still water are popular for enhancing the sauna experience.

The Takeaway: Can You Sweat Out Alcohol In Sauna

No matter how much we wish it, you can't just sweat out last night's alcohol party in a sauna. Sure, your body has its way of dealing with the after-effects of drinking, which usually takes about 12 to 24 hours, but a sauna won't speed that up.

However, that's not to say saunas aren't fantastic for other reasons. They're super for helping you relax, promoting gentle sweat-out sessions, and getting your blood flowing better, which can help with some hangover symptoms. Things like feeling dizzy, being super tired, or dealing with those unpleasant feelings after too many drinks might feel a bit better after a sauna session.

At CalmSpas, we've got a great selection of both traditional and infrared saunas. They could be your go-to spot for chilling out after a fun night out.

If you're interested in making your home a little more relaxing, feel free to contact us.