Simply put, a sauna suit is a sweat suit; a garment made from waterproof material. The suit is designed to collect and retain the body heat emitted by the user with the objective of making the user sweat in large amounts. When they first came out, they were called “rubber suits” because at that time they were made out of rubber. Nowadays, most suits are typically made of plastics. To get to know more about what a sauna suit is, this article will talk about the science of how they work, the materials used, the current designs and a study related to them.
The Science Behind Sauna Suits
In order for a sauna suit to be effective, the suit must be able to retain as much body heat as possible. To understand how sauna suits retain the heat, we must first know how the body cools down. The body cools down by transferring the heat to another object. In nature, the body transfers this heat to the surrounding air naturally. As the surrounding air that is directly in contact with the body increases in temperature, it will reach a point where it equals the body’s temperature and is not able to absorb any more heat. Before this point is reached, the wind usually pushes the heat saturated air molecules aside so that other air molecules can also aid in heat dissipation. This transfer of heat buy air molecule is what we are targeting when we are using a sauna suit. Specifically, the suit is preventing the saturated and heated air to escape thus providing sauna-like conditions in the outfit.
Materials Used In A Sauna Suit
Initially, manufacturers used rubber, because plastics were still not as widespread and developed as a common usage material. But with the advent of new technology prices of plastic has gone down and has made it more affordable to use as a material. Since plastics are lighter, more waterproof and cheaper, it was only natural that they start replacing the rubber as the material of choice for a garment. With the development of plastics, suits now are made with PVC while some are made with the coated nylon cloth. PVC suits typically weigh a lot lighter because they do not have a cloth backing. On the other hand, nylon coated plastics are a bit heavier because they have the plastic layer in addition to the cloth backing; although heavier they are more durable due to the cloth backing adding support.
Aside from the change of material, a lot has remained unchanged since the initial versions of the sauna suit. Elastic bands are still used as a means to close openings. These elastic bands are found around the waist, neck, wrists, and ankles. They are used in order to achieve as much heat retention as possible. Elastic band allows the opening to conform to the irregular shapes of limbs and the waist thus producing a better seal.
Moving to the overall design, initially, the suits ended at the neck region. This entrapped the air around the body well but also missed out on the body heat lost in the head region. As time passed, some suit started to add hoods. This was added to provide additional heat retention.
Studies Have Shown
The non-profit organization, ACE, sponsored a study by Lance C. Dalleck, Ph.D., and researchers at Western State Colorado University in order to find any health-related benefits associated with exercise training while wearing a sauna suit.
In the past, ACE found that short-term training in a sauna suit improves heat acclimation and endurance training for athletes. Since not everyone is athletic like the test subjects, the results can not be assumed to be applicable to everyone hence this study was pushed for. Eight-week exercise programs have been established with 45 participants between the ages 18 and 60. All the participants had body mass indexes from 24 to 40 kg/m, and with body fat percentage exceeding 22 percent for men and 32 for women.
Looking into the results, wearing the sauna suit enhanced physical fitness and improved health more compared to performing the same amount and intensity of exercise without wearing one. Body fat decreased by 13.8% in the sauna suit group and only by 8.3% in the exercise alone group. Moving into specifics between the sauna suit group vs non-sauna suit group a: reduced fasting blood glucose (7.7% vs. 2.1% reduction); increased resting metabolic rate (an 11.4% improvement vs. a 2.7% decrease); increased fat oxidation (3.8% increase vs. 2.6% decrease).
All this is really good to hear since the workouts were only 45-minutes at a moderate intensity 3 times a week and 30-minutes at a higher intensity, 2 times a week. This is well within the reach of the average person!
What Is A Sauna Suit?
In conclusion, sauna suits are designed to collect and retain the body heat emitted by the user with the objective of making the user sweat in large amounts. They entrap and collect body head by preventing saturated and heated air to escape providing sauna-like conditions in the garment. This is achieved by using waterproof materials like PVC and nylon coated cloth while being enhanced with a clever design with the addition of a hood and elastic bands. Furthermore, these suits have been found to be effective sweat suits that have shown to be beneficial through a study done at the Western State Colorado University.
If you are interested in other sauna alternatives, we are happy to recommend you a wonderful portable sauna product that is created by Rebirth PRO. This type of sauna will definitely change your life for the best!
Would Smart Homes Reviews Team recommend buying and using one? If your budget allows, you have nothing to lose and all to gain! Except for maybe a few fashion points, but all things set and done, having a sauna suit looks to positively impact an existing workout regimen. As for how much these suits go for, well that’s for another article!