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Increased Athletic Performance: Infrared Sauna Benefits for Athletes

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If you think that the health benefits of the sauna are limited to just relaxation and detoxification, you are wrong. While the mental and cardiovascular benefits of sauna use are outstanding, its health benefits extend to those who seek optimal athletic performance as well.

Infrared Sauna and Hyperthermic Conditioning

One of the best infrared sauna benefits is its ability to heat the body directly at a lower temperature. As the body’s core temperature increases, it triggers processes such as detoxification, improved blood circulation, and stress reduction.

For athletes, this is called hyperthermic conditioning. Hyperthermic conditioning occurs when the body temperature is increased over a short period of time, just like what happens in a sauna. This type of conditioning results in improvements in athletic performance.

Benefits of the Infrared Sauna that Boost Athletic Performance

Endurance Boost

This benefit, though not limited to athletes, is important to improve overall health. While exercising is one way to build your endurance, a session in the sauna can do the same. As the temperature rises inside the sauna, your body acclimatizes to the heat, prompting increased blood flow to the heart and muscles. Over time, your body becomes more efficient in regulating temperature, enabling it to perform better, especially during exercise.

Muscle Growth

Infrared saunas subject your body to a certain amount of heat stress. In response, your body releases heat shock proteins. Heat shock proteins help in degrading free radicals and repairing damaged cells in the body. The more available proteins there are in the body, the greater the chances for muscle repair and growth.

Muscle Recovery

Tight muscles are common in athletes. Extensive workouts, such as weightlifting, boxing, or other sports can even lead to muscle tension and inflammation. Infrared saunas help in releasing muscle tension and easing pain. Blood flow is also increased, allowing the muscles to receive oxygen – which is vital to muscle recovery.

Mental Relaxation

This is by far the most commonly seen, and scientifically proven, benefit of infrared sauna use. For athletes, strenuous competition increases the levels of adrenaline – the body’s fight-or-flight hormone. A large volume of adrenaline in the brain may induce negative stress that can lead to heart attack. Accordingly, athletes can benefit greatly from an infrared sauna session, which will help them to relax after a stressful workout.

While an extensive workout and fitness regime is key for optimal athletic performance, a regular sauna session is a good addition for athletes looking to boost their performance. The relaxing atmosphere of the sauna is a good balance to the strenuous environment athletes face from time to time.

Sources:

Sauna Use To Improve Athletic Performance, PeakCentre.Ca
5 Benefits of A Sauna After Exercise, SportsInjuryClinic.Net

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