Best Sauna Therapy Diet Tips- Foods To Eat Or Avoid For Optimal Healing

By Dr. Candy Akers

One of the most relaxing things a person can do after a long day’s work is to step into a sauna. Whether for reflection or medical purposes, saunas have become popular in fitness communities and spas. Apart from their relaxation benefits, saunas are also therapeutic. Sauna therapy exposes the body to elevated temperatures, and the resulting change is beneficial to health. Sauna sessions are helpful because they can increase blood oxygen levels, detoxify the body, relieve pain and increase metabolism. Eating is an essential element of staying fit.

Eating unhealthy food can be detrimental to fitness efforts like using a sauna. Eating too much or too little can also be harmful. When one overeats, the increased heat in the sauna can lead to nausea as the body concentrates more on digestion. On the other hand, getting into a sauna on an empty stomach might affect the brain, leading to dizziness. It is hence vital to eat a couple of hours before the sauna sessions. 


Foods You Should Eat To Optimize Healing During A Sauna Therapy Program


Eating vegetables is essential for a person undertaking sauna therapy. One of the benefits is the essential nutrients they provide which are needed for the body’s overall health. One of the most important things to note while eating vegetables is that they must be cooked. Eating cooked vegetables helps in restoring lost minerals in the body. When cooking vegetables, it is also important to ensure they are not overcooked. Most of the minerals are in vegetable fibers. However, the human digestive system is unable to digest the tough fibers and hence the need for proper cooking of the vegetables before consuming them. Eating vegetable salad is discouraged because it removes essential minerals from the body. 

Vegetables have anti-oxidants. These are crucial elements that assist the body in repairing damaged cells. Eating vegetables also helps in reducing weight. The fiber in the vegetables keeps you full for longer as they take more to digest. If you are using sauna therapy with the aim of losing weight, eating plenty of vegetables will provide an additional boost.


Grains are an essential source of energy for the body. Some of the grains you could eat include millet, rice, oats, tapioca, arrowroot, and buckwheat, among others. Whole grains have the health benefit of reducing inflammation and thus are good for overall body wellness. 



Eating meat proteins is essential for the body. Some favorites are eggs, chicken, goat, beef, and lamb. You must be careful, however, to avoid eating too much protein as can be harmful to your kidneys, especially during sauna therapy. Nuts and seeds are also rich sources of proteins. When choosing them, however, it is vital to choose the raw and unsalted ones if possible. Some of the nuts and seeds you can eat are almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews. Nuts and seeds can be high in calories, however, so eat in moderation.    


When undertaking sauna therapy, it is paramount to stay hydrated. Spending too much time in the sauna increases the risk of getting dehydrated. Drinking water is one of the most effective ways of ensuring your body remains hydrated while in the sauna. Drinking milk is also good as it is a source of Vitamin D and calcium, which are essential for keeping the body healthy. You could also consider carrot juice, which is rich in minerals and other beneficial nutrients. 

Foods You Should Avoid To Optimize Healing During a Sauna Therapy Program

Sugary Foods

Although this may seem counterintuitive, fruit is unsuitable for you when on sauna therapy. One of the reasons is that fruits are high in sugar. Sugar is not a good thing for healthy development. It can affect the immune system, thus making you susceptible to other infections. Further, sugar lacks vitamins, fiber, or minerals. As such, it should be avoided. In addition to avoiding fruit, you should avoid fruit juices as they often have added sugar. You should also avoid sweets, and sweetened foods like cakes, ice cream, cookies, and desserts. This is because they tend to cool the body, thus hampering healthy development.  

White Foods

You should avoid foods like white flour, white sugar, and white rice. These foods are white because the colored components are removed. White flour and sugar also have some of the vital nutritious components extracted, and thus they are of no health benefit to the body. 

Genetically Modified Foods

These foods are modified in order to increase yields and resist pests. As such, they are not made to benefit the consumer. Instead, they are made for commercial purposes. Consuming them does little to aid the body’s healthy development.         


Fast Foods

If you are using sauna therapy to lose weight, you should avoid fast foods. Fast foods are sold in many restaurants nowadays and are very popular. Although they are attractive, especially for people who may not have time to cook, they’re not the best option. They contain high levels of fats and sugar, thus making them less nutritious. Due to the high levels of calories in fast foods eating too much of them can lead to weight gain. Burning the extra calories will be difficult when under sauna therapy. It is thus best to stay away from fast foods if you want to remain healthy. 


For sauna therapy optimization, stay away from alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol can lead to minor accidents, which can further aggravate the pain one is trying to relieve through sauna therapy. Alcohol also leads to dehydration. Going into the sauna when you are already dehydrated is dangerous as the body will be unable to sweat and cool naturally. When the body gets overheated and dehydrated, the heart rate may increase.         

Sauna therapy is effective for overall body health. However, without a proper diet, sauna therapy can have negative consequences on human health. Having an understanding of what to eat and what to avoid is pivotal for maintaining a healthy body. Just as important as knowing what to eat is knowing when to eat. Taking a meal at the wrong time can affect sauna therapy as some food take more time than others to get digested.     

Dr. Candy's Recommendations

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