We’ve all been there… waking up with a nasty hangover, willing to do just about anything to make it go away.
At Vikasati we’re all about taking care of your body, but if you do find yourself having a few too many, let’s explore if a sauna session can help relieve symptoms and get you feeling like a human being again.
What is a hangover and why does it occur?
A hangover is a collection of symptoms that occur after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
These symptoms can include headaches, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, fatigue, and even psychological effects like anxiety and depression.
The severity of a hangover can vary from person to person and depends on several factors, including the amount of alcohol consumed, the type of alcohol, the speed of consumption, and individual differences in metabolism.
Hangovers are primarily caused by alcohol’s dehydrating effects, disruption of sleep patterns, irritation of the stomach lining, and the presence of impurities called congeners in certain alcoholic beverages.
The Potential Benefits of Saunas for Hangovers
Saunas have long been known for their relaxation and detoxification properties. But can they really help alleviate hangover symptoms? Let’s explore some potential benefits.
1. Increased Circulation and Blood Flow
When you consume alcohol, it causes your blood vessels to dilate, leading to a drop in blood pressure.
This drop in blood pressure can result in symptoms like dizziness and lightheadedness. Sauna use, particularly infrared saunas, can help improve circulation and increase blood flow, potentially reducing these symptoms.
The heat from the sauna causes your blood vessels to expand, promoting better circulation throughout your body.
2. Hydration and Replenishment
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production and can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration is one of the main culprits behind hangover symptoms like headaches and fatigue.
While sweating in a sauna may cause temporary water loss, infrared saunas have been found to promote the absorption of water by the body.
This can help replenish lost fluids and combat the effects of alcohol-induced dehydration. Just make sure you’re drinking plenty of water as well.
Alcohol is a toxin that can build up in your system and contribute to hangover symptoms. Saunas induce sweating, which can help eliminate these toxins from your body.
Sweating is a natural way for your body to flush out impurities, and sauna sessions can aid in this detoxification process.
4. Relaxation and Stress Relief
Hangovers can often leave us feeling stressed and anxious. Saunas, with their soothing heat and calming environment, can provide relaxation and stress relief.
The heat from the sauna helps relax your muscles and release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters.
By taking some time to unwind in a sauna, you may find relief from the psychological symptoms of a hangover.
How to Safely Use a Sauna for Hangover Relief
While saunas can offer potential benefits for hangover relief, it’s essential to use them safely and responsibly. Here are some tips for using a sauna to aid in your hangover recovery:
Stay Hydrated: Before, during, and after your sauna session, make sure to drink plenty of water to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Hydration is crucial for minimising hangover symptoms.
Know Your Limits: If you’re feeling extremely unwell or unable to exercise, it’s best to avoid the sauna. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond what feels comfortable.
Timing is Key: It’s advisable to wait at least four hours after waking up before using a sauna for hangover relief. This allows your body to hydrate and adjust to its environment. Consuming water and food can help prepare your body for the sauna session.
Moderation is Key: Start with shorter sauna sessions, around 15-20 minutes, and gradually increase the duration as your body becomes more acclimated to the heat. Remember, sauna use should be a part of a holistic hangover recovery plan and not a standalone solution.
Sweat and Refresh: The Ultimate Recovery Combo at Vikasati
Saunas might not fix every hangover, but they sure help. Just remember to keep drinking water and do what feels right for your body.
And at Vikasati, we’ve got more than just heat. After you sweat it out in the sauna, why not cool down in our plunge pool or ice bath? It’s a great way to feel refreshed and shake off that groggy feeling.
At Vikasati we’re all about taking care of your body and mind — so next time you’re looking for a way to recover from a big night, come and see us in Red Hill.