Can you sweat out pollutants in the sauna?

Can you sweat out pollutants in the sauna? This assumption is widespread. But is there any truth to it? We clarify.
Does sauna help detoxify the body?

Does sauna help to detoxify the body?

Can you sweat out harmful substances in the sauna? This is a question that many people ask themselves. Not only die-hard sauna fans believe that the body virtually cleans itself through sweating. Actually, that’s a great idea. If that were the case, we could take in everyday toxins to our heart’s content and simply get rid of the residue. But, that in advance, it is probably not so simple. Nevertheless, sauna bathing has many health benefits. We enlighten you and dispel some myths.

What toxins are actually in the body

In everyday life, many people consume many harmful substances, for example alcohol and nicotine. With these two substances, most people are aware of how harmful they are. After all, there are warnings about them everywhere. But what many people don’t know. Even foods that are actually healthy are heavily contaminated.

Fish, for example, contains heavy metals. Fruits and vegetables are also affected because they are often contaminated with pesticides. These substances are deposited in the organism. People who fry meat frequently also consume poisonous substances known as acrylamide.

That sounds pretty scary at first. But the organism is a true marvel. It is capable of excreting all these substances. In healthy people, the kidneys do most of the work. They filter all the substances and excrete the harmful components. What is useful to the body is processed further. The rest is done by the liver, which also works as a kind of filter.

Sweat initially plays a subordinate role here. But it also helps the body to cleanse itself. How exactly it does this is explained below. But now let’s first take a look at the cooling liquid.

Sweat is there to cool

Sweating initially has nothing to do with detoxification. When it gets warm, the organism produces this clear liquid to cool itself. This is because heat is always a great danger to the organs. They could run hot and ultimately fail. So sweating is a kind of life insurance for the body.

The fluid that the organism excretes consists almost exclusively of water. In addition, there are salts, urea and small amounts of amino acids. Pollutants are excreted only to a very small extent. Nevertheless, this process is not completely useless in terms of detoxification.

In spite of everything: a sauna visit is healthy

Because a sauna visit brings many health benefits. You will certainly have heard or read this before. Let us explain how sweating helps prevent or even cure diseases, even though hardly any harmful substances are excreted.

Training for the immune system

Scientists have proven that visiting the sauna strengthens the immune system. The first studies in this context date back to 1990. Researchers at the University of Vienna sent 25 study participants to the sweat lodge regularly over a period of six months. Of course, there was a control group. 25 people were forbidden to visit the sauna in the service of science. The result astonished even the seasoned scientists. The sauna visitors suffered from colds significantly less often than the members of the control group.

Thus, the scientists were the first to prove that regular sweating strengthens the immune system. Why this is so has not yet been clearly explained. Researchers assume that a kind of artificial fever breaks out in the sauna, i.e. the temperature in the body core rises. This internal heat helps the organism fight off invaders such as viruses and bacteria.

Moreover, the alternation between heat and cold seems to harden the body in general. The organism is lured out of its comfort zone and learns to adapt to extreme conditions. In this way, it also copes better with environmental conditions – and is able to prevent viruses and bacteria from getting in the first place.

Purifying in the heat

Alternative medicine, at least, is of the opinion that the sauna helps the body to dispose of the residues of toxins. Here, in fact, the assumption is widespread that the liver and kidneys do not flush all toxins from the body. Residues always remain, which are deposited preferentially under the skin – and these are then excreted with the sweat. Whether this is the case remains controversial.

What is certain, however, is that the heat does support the organism in detoxifying. For one thing, it stimulates the circulation. The vessels dilate while you spend relaxing hours in the pleasant warmth. So there is simply more space to transport toxins with the blood. This helps to eliminate these substances in the normal way.

At the same time, the metabolism is revved up by the alternation between heat and cold. This refers to the cooperation of the filter organs, i.e. mainly the liver and kidneys. If you sweat regularly, they work better and are less prone to malfunctions. This also helps the organism to eliminate harmful substances in the long run.

It is true that the body cannot simply sweat out harmful substances. Nevertheless, the sauna supports the organism in staying healthy and toxin-free.


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