Saunas - do they work?

I have long been a gym go-er until recently. One thing I loved was the sauna. After a hard workout, after a long difficult day.

HAs anyone else got experience in this? For relaxation, no doubt this works for me. But, if I am to convince my partner I should have one in the garage, I need to probably come with more ammo. Any bike performance gains? Google is a bit mixed with the papers I have read.

Not sure on bike performance. Agree with relaxation. I think @pav had a blog on stress, maybe indirectly it will improve performance by experiencing less stress?

Yeah, this is a great topic. I think the relaxation part will aid performance via reducing stress.

There is certainly an element of training your body to cope with heat, but you are probably better off training in that environment (such as increasing temperature while on your trainer - I have a blog on my website about this).

I tend to jump in my small sauna immediately after training. This is mainly for relaxation. But I felt like I coped well in the 40c heat last year too.

A lot of this is subjective and, while quantifiable measurements exist, it is hard to say with certainty that a sauna is the reason why performance increases happen. Maybe there are some scientific papers to prove me wrong though.

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Now while I do love a sauna I often prefer a steam room.

Again not sure the science fully backs things up but I’ve read there are more health benefits from a steam room than sauna. Certainly for me I feel it’s more cleansing and really benefits the sinus. You also still gain from the relaxation and recovery but also said to help reduce pain and improve your metabolism.

I remember reading some research that talked about regular saunas increasing blood plasma volume and therefore haematocrit.

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That’s very interesting! Guess this is gym only? Maybe they do have small home ones?

Yes for me at the gym but you can get one and two person home ones. Mind you out of my budget.

How much are they usually?

The ones I’d seen started at around £3500. Stopped looking at that point but I’m now wondering about steam showers if we do the bathroom as whether they are any good.

What is a steam shower? Probably a dumb question, just has an outlet for steam? That is interesting. imagining expensive ?

Do love a good sauna. Was a normal thing in Europe, now that I live in the US, if has a somewhat different connotation … But then again people look it me when I change in front of my car on a parking lot after a race.

Always found it a good place to relax, to just tune everything out. There is no music, no TV, no loud sounds … and it’s decently warm.

Whether this translates to more performance ?


From what I’ve seen online they are a walk in shower that can also create steam. Look to be fully enclosed and stand up.

Thanks @pav that’s what I thought

Wowzers. That is a lot of money

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