Rethink your drink Post-Sauna

Staying hydrated is an important health behavior all the time, but it’s also one key element to keep top of mind as you incorporate SweatHouz infrared sauna sessions into your routine. Say hello to a healthy sweat!

Hydrating Basics

Water is essential for life! Our bodies are made of about 50-70% water, and water is used by almost every physiological system and metabolic process – from circulation and digestion to heat regulation and brain function (1, 5). Think of hydration itself as a process; you’re constantly drinking and consuming fluids, while your body simultaneously uses those fluids to survive and thrive.

Maintaining a state of euhydration, or optimal total body water content as regulated by the brain, is the goal. When we’re optimally hydrated, we’re more efficient and successful at almost every task.
In contrast, if we’re dehydrated (low body water) or hyperhydrated (too much body water), our physiological processes are compromised, and we won’t feel or perform our best. The hydration process is a balancing act, and science suggests that striving for consistent, adequate intake of water can only enhance health now and in future years.

How much water do I need?

Hydration is the most important, yet often overlooked, part of a healthy diet. Despite common perceptions that drinking 8 glasses of water a day is sufficient, no one-size-fits-all daily fluid intake recommendation exists (1, 3). For most adults, consuming around 17-20 ounces of fluids every 3-4 waking hours is sufficient. But, please recognize that hydration needs differ from person to person based upon

Learn more about your individual hydration needs and calculate your ideal intake based on your age using this formula provided by WW. And, keep in mind that your water intake needs can vary day-to-day, based on behaviors, like what you’re drinking, how tough your workout is, and whether or not you’re exposed to a hot environment like the infrared sauna (2, 3).

The good news? All fluid you consume, even coffee and the water from food like fruits and vegetables, counts toward your daily water intake. While all beverages can fit into a healthy lifestyle, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that most of our water comes from low-in-calorie beverages, like fat-free and low-fat milk, 100% juice, and water itself (1).

How can I tell if I'm dehydrated?

While scientists and athletic trainers have advanced protocols for monitoring hydration status, one simpler method to consider is checking your urine color. On a 1 (almost clear) to 8 (dark yellow) scale, you’re aiming for somewhere around a 3 – or straw-colored urine (3, 4). Aside from dark colored urine, dehydration is also associated with unfavorable symptoms, like:

By the time the sensation of thirst kicks in, you may already be 1% dehydrated, and physical and mental performance is compromised when we’re about 2%-3% dehydrated (3).

What is Sweat? And How does Sweat Rate Relate to Water Intake?

Sweating is a major way in which our bodies regulate core temperature – and if you’ve tried the infrared sauna, you have certainly felt the sweat response activating. During heat stress, sweat glands secrete sweat onto the skin surface, which cools the body when water from the sweat evaporates. While sweat is mostly made up of water, it also contains electrolytes like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium, and very small amounts of urea / waste aka toxins.

Daily sweat loss is influenced by metabolic rate, your behaviors and your environment (3, 4). Environmental factors that modify sweat losses include clothing worn, temperature, humidity levels, and even air motion. Therefore, it’s important to recognize that considerable variability will exist for daily sweat losses among different people. You likely sweat more on days you book infrared sauna sessions than on days when you focus on cold plunging and the Recovery Room, for instance.

Tell Me More about Electrolytes and Rehydration Post-Sweat!

Maintenance of the body’s water levels depends not only on fluid intake overall, but also on the presence of electrolytes. By definition, electrolytes are electrically charged particles from salts dissolved in water, and they play key roles in both rehydration (fluid replacement) and the capacity to hold onto a higher level of body water4,6. Since electrolytes leave the body as we sweat, they need to be replenished post-sweat in order to help us return to that optimal hydration state.
This means that SweatHouz patrons may benefit from consuming electrolyte-containing beverages post-sweat. And in general, the volume of fluid consumed by members post-sauna session should be roughly equivalent to, or greater than, the volume of fluid lost in sweat.

As a guiding principle, members need to drink up to 25 percent more liquid than the amount lost during the sauna session if they’re rehydrating with an electrolyte solution. If they choose plain water, they may need to consume about 50% more fluid than they lost to sweat. Said another way, adding electrolytes, like the Drink LMNT packets available across our locations, to your water post-sweat can make rehydration more efficient.

Ways to Increase Water Intake :

As you begin sweating with us 2-3x/week, staying adequately hydrated should be a priority. In fact, science suggests that some people may benefit by planning to increase their fluid intake leading up to intense, long workouts or activities in a hot environment that are likely to result in lots of sweat – like an infrared sauna session. So, here are a few evidence-backed tips to help members improve their hydration behaviors – and their overall health:
Sipping water throughout the day, aiming for about 17-20 ounces every few hours, can help you maintain a balanced hydration status (3).
If plain water becomes boring to you, consider adding your favorite citrus fruit (lemon, lime, tangerine) to your water to mix things up. You can also try sparkling water.
Setting up your environment for success makes healthy habits easier to develop and keep. Try keeping your favorite water bottle closeby throughout your day, making it easier to grab a quick sip while working, in the car, or even during your sweat session. And, don’t shy away from bringing it with you into the SweatHouz infrared sauna.
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