Infrared saunas are extremely different to a traditional sauna. In essence, an infrared sauna uses infrared heat waves to heat the body, where as traditional saunas use steam and heat to warm the body.
The use of infrared heat waves helps to detoxify the body from fat soluble toxins.
It is one of the only ways we can detox from these hard to get rid of toxins.
Fat soluble toxins are any toxins that get stored in your fat cells. Any toxins that your body doesn’t know how to process, gets stored in these fat cells.
These toxins can be anything from environmental pollutants, to chemicals in your makeup, deodorant, cleaning chemicals, perfumes and generally any toxin you can think of.
What is your sweat made up of?
The sweat which you excrete in traditional saunas is made up of 99% water and 1% toxins. Where as in an infrared sauna it is around 90% water and 10% toxins! That is some toxic sweat! Generally you can tell it is toxic by the colour once it is dry. If you wipe your sweat on glass (not that you should, gross!), then it should dry a very “opaque” colour, rather than clear. This is also why it is super important to have a shower after an infrared sauna, as you don’t want your body to reabsorb those toxins!
What about black sweat?
Sweating in an infrared sauna is a learned detox response, so the longer you keep up with regular infrared saunas, the more efficient your body will become at detoxifying from these toxins. When you have been sweating for a few months, it is super common to start sweating BLACK!! This is an incredible sign that things are really moving within the body. Generally, when this happens it will show up as little black spots on your towel. It doesn’t necessarily look black when the sweat is on your body, but it will when it dries. If you ever see this, um PLEASE tell us! We’ll do a little happy dance with you.
What temperature should I have it at?
It is often a surprise to a lot of our clients that you don’t need the sauna heat up too high! Whilst a traditional sauna you have the temperature at around 70-90C, an infrared sauna is best used between 38-58C. Hence they are extremely more comfortable to sit in.
Having the temperature between 38-58C is incredible for assisting the body in that detoxification process from fat soluble toxins. You can put the sauna to those higher heats around 65-70C, which is more effective for muscle recovery due to the shock it gives to the body, prompting recovery. However at these high heats, you want to be in the sauna for 25-30 minutes rather than that longer 40-45 minute session.
What should my sweat look like?
For that detoxification effect, you really want to be seeing little droplets on the surface of your skin. Imagine driving in the car when you were 12, watching the little raindrops on the window hold on for a few minutes until they finally slide to their demise. This is what we want. As soon as you are pouring out sweat, you are generally just “water dumping”, and so it’s best to turn down the heat or open the door for a few seconds. Unless you are in there for muscle recovery, then watch that stuff POUR out!!!
Talk to our team about how we can customise the temperature to meet your health goals and needs. And chat to us all things sweat, we love to hear it!