Recently, I was reading about an incredible study regarding dementia risk and frequent sauna bathing. After a 20-year follow-up in Finland, researchers found that men who took a sauna four to seven times a week displayed a 66 percent less chance of developing dementia.
Isn’t that just remarkable? Published in Age and Ageing, this study showcased, once again, the ways in which regular sauna use benefits our health. Known to flush toxins, cleanse our skin, enhance cardiovascular function, boost our ability to lose weight and even reduce stress, we should all be sweatin’ our way to positive health.
If you’re thinking, I already know how a sauna can benefit me, which is why I regularly step into a sauna, then I say to you, great, you’re already halfway there! I say halfway because once you step out of the sauna, your job isn’t done. Here’s what you should be doing after a sauna bath.
What happens when you’re in a sauna?
You know how you feel when you’re in a sauna — but what’s really going on? An ancient form of bathing, saunas still holds a special place within Finnish culture. As you know, a sauna will cause you to sweat. Yeah, it’s not exactly the best idea for a first date or anything, but in terms of your health, sweat, sweat and happily sweat some more.
This type of deep sweating helps flush toxins out of your body, including heavy metals. After all, even if you live a healthy lifestyle, we’re constantly exposed to an array of toxins within our water, air and soil.
Amazingly, a 2012 study, published in the Journal of Environmental Health, showed that when sweating from sauna use, individuals can help eliminate dangerous heavy metals from their body, including lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury. The researchers concluded that sweating deserves consideration regarding toxic element detoxification.
Basically, when you’re sitting in a hot sauna, your core body temperature begins to rise. In turn, your blood vessels dilate, enhancing blood flow. Once the brain is signaled, your sweat glands are stimulated in order to cool your body down. Toxins in body tissue are then mobilized and eliminated.
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Here’s what to do after the sauna
I think we’ve established that when you’re in a sauna, you sweat — and sweating leads to a number of positive health benefits, especially in terms of the detoxification process. That much is certain.
Based on how much you sweat, however, the steps you take following the time spent in a sauna are just as critical. If you want to maximize health benefits, then once you step out, please do these things…
1. Take a cold shower
As you sit in a sauna, you feel good about the sweat pouring out of your body. We have focused on the fact that toxins get pushed out of your pores, but this is not the only benefit worth mentioning. In order to enhance immune function and circulation, you need to encourage your pores to close just as effectively as they opened up.
This is why after your sauna, you should jump into a cold shower. As your pores tighten, your blood will flow back towards your organs, helping to reinforce your body’s natural defense system. When you do this, you will essentially train your immune system — making it stronger during times of need.
It’s also important to note that following a sauna, your body will be more susceptible to any toxins in your water. Meaning, if the water coming out of your shower is high in chlorine, for instance, this will easily be absorbed through your open pores. You can invest in shower head filters, which are actually fairly inexpensive. Remember, it’s something you invest in for long-term health benefits.
2. Replenish key minerals
Although our sweat is mostly made of water, it’s not just toxins that are flowing out of your skin. If you’re taking regular saunas, please be aware of the following electrolytes — magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium. These elements are important for balancing internal fluid levels, as well as regulating both muscle and nerve activity.
After your cold shower, drink a green smoothie, in addition to your electrolyte water (as discussed below). Dark leafy greens are an excellent source of key vitamins and minerals — especially potassium, calcium and magnesium. Be sure to eat a mixture of kale, spinach and other varieties to reduce your risk of deficiency.
3. Drink plenty of natural electrolytes
Just like lost electrolytes, a sauna will deplete your body of water — which is why you need to drink plenty of it. Drink a large glass of water before you head into the sauna, and then make an electrolyte-rich drink, including salt, to take into the sauna.
A large mason jar works great for this purpose. Sip on it throughout your time in the sauna. You can create your own homemade brew, based on what you enjoy. This recipe is a good starting point:
- 3 cups of purified water (or coconut water)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed citrus juice (for example, combine orange and lemon)
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1/4 tsp quality Himalayan salt
4. Give yourself an enema
If you want to take your detoxification routine to the next level, then an organic coffee enema is also a great idea following a sauna. Being one of the most ancient medical treatments known to mankind, the use of coffee enemas began in Germany during World War I.
When administering a coffee enema, you enhance the elimination of toxins, while cleansing the blood. Like sauna therapy, this is simply another method of advanced detoxification. Primarily used to detoxify the liver, a coffee enema will enhance glutathione production by as much as 600-plus percent!
This combination of amino acids is often referred to as the “master antioxidant.” As it neutralizes and binds to toxins, these harmful substances can be more easily expelled by the body. Overall, you will cleanse your blood of toxins, cleanse your liver (improving key functions), enhance your immune system and reduce pain levels.
A coffee enema can support your health
It’s important that you know how to accurately administer a coffee enema before you begin. Please ask questions and do your research. Two of the most important things to mention are:
2. After the coffee has been brewed (simmering for around 20 minutes) and strained, let it cool to body temperature.
So, there you have it — the steps you should take after you enjoy a sauna. Just remember, when you take action, supporting your personal health, you can practice clean living in a contaminated world. Inspire others to do the same. Let’s all do our part.
After all, as the great Jim Rohn once said, “Take care of your body — it’s the only place you have to live.”
— Krista Hillis