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People who used the sauna 2-3x per week had a 12% reduction in stroke risk and people who used the sauna 4-7x per week reduced their stroke risk by 62% compared to people using it 1x per week.
The data also accounts for other health factors including physical activity, BMI, smoking, SBP, LDL-C, alcohol consumption, type 2 diabetes, use of hypertensive medication, aspirin, and lipid-lowering therapy and more.
To learn more check out my podcast with the senior author of this study, Dr. Laukkanen, who discusses this study and his other studies showing frequent sauna use is associated with a 50% lower heart disease incidence, a 40% lower all-cause mortality, and 65% lower Alzheimer’s disease risk.
What is the current sauna protocol for athletes to improve recovery, health and longevity?
I love using the sauna, but I haven’t perfected it.. and by that I mean this: I used the Sauna 1-4x a week for about a year and a half, and after some blood work I found out I had hyperatremia… Low soduim in my blood, which could’ve been responsible for some dizzy symptoms I had been having (I typically would not salt my meals and rarely eat processed foods).
I increased my sodium intake about 2 months ago, and continued to use the sauna about 1-3x a week. Last time I used it for 20 minutes and became very dizzy, and I think i was hyperventilating. My muscles started to contract (hands first). The symptoms subsided over about an hour, but i was left incredibly dizzy and confused for the rest of the night. Once that night i had such an extreme dizzy spell that I felt blood or fluid or something trying to regulate in my brain suddenly, causing uncontrollable swooning for about 5 seconds. It was very scary, If i had been standing at the time I would have hit the floor.
I am 28, I exercise daily, I eat right, I like to use the sauna and take cold showers and obviously I follow Dr. Rhonda. Obviously it is frustrating to feel like I am doing everything in my power for my health and having crazy symptoms like this from a regular sauna session. I think its probably related to electrolyte imbalance but I am amazed that I don’t hear much from other sauna users about these same issues.
PS I drank plenty of water that day and probably about ½ a gallon during that 20 min sauna session. If anyone has advice please let me know.
You likely have hyponatremia (not hyper) if your sodium is low. Causes can be many. Could just be drinking too much free water, sweating and not getting enough electrolytes/Na. Agree with increasing your salt intake and possibly adding electrolyte replacement tabs to your water when your exercise/sauna. Low Magnesium levels can cause some of the cramping symptoms as well. If it still happens, would talk to your doctor and repeat the Na levels. If they are still low, there’s a list of test to determine why; serum and urine osmolality test help to then direct other test like endocrine issues (SIADH/thyroid/adrenal).
Just my thoughts. Its been a while since I was tested on that general medicine stuff.
Yes I meant Hyponatremia. I do drink a lot of water, and that is probably a factor. I’m just a little confused that I had this muscle contraction/hyperventilation incident after 1-2 months of increasing my sodium intake. I’m not weighing the salt or anything, but I had been getting significantly more prior to this incident. So, apparently I still have an imbalance. I eat healthy and generally assume I get enough magnesium, potassium, other electrolytes. I wish there were a quick easy way to test. Thanks for your reply Scott.