Byrd BR, Van De Velde SS, Fargo JS, Loring LB, Buchanan CA, Dalleck LC. Acute Metabolic Responses of Exercise with a Sauna Suit. High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program​, Western State Colorado University​, Gunnison, CO, USA.

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of this short report was to examine the acute metabolic responses of exercise with a sauna suit (SS) under different exercise intensity and duration conditions. Methods: Twelve physically active men (age = 27.1±7.5 yrs, height = 175.4±6.3 cm, weight = 75.6±7.9 kg, maximal oxygen uptake – VO2max = 38.6±7.8 mLkg-1min-1) completed four experimental trials on a cycle ergometer: 1) 30min moderate-intensity (MI) exercise (55-60% heart rate reserve–HRR) with SS, 2) 20min vigorous-intensity (VI) exercise (75-80% HRR) with SS, 3) 30min MI exercise (55-60% HRR) without a sauna suit (CON), and 4) 20min VI exercise (75-80% HRR) CON. Trials were separated by 24-96 hours and performed in randomized order. Exercise energy expenditure (EE), one hour excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), and one hour post-exercise weight loss (PEWL) were measured for each trial. Results: There were significant differences (p<0.05) in exercise EE, one hour EPOC and one hour PEWL between SS and CON under both MI and VI conditions. MI results: exercise EE was greater with SS vs. CON (282.6±34.7 kcal vs. 247.8±40.2 kcal), one hour EPOC was greater with SS vs. CON (69.9±4.3 kcal vs. 45.2±3.0 kcal), and the SS condition resulted in greater change in one hour PEWL (0.52±0.14 kg vs. 0.37±0.15 kg). VI results: exercise EE was greater with SS vs. CON (204.7±24.2 kcal vs. 184.6±21.3 kcal), one hour EPOC was greater with SS vs. CON (87.7±7.0 kcal vs. 72.1±3.4 kcal), and the SS condition resulted in greater change in one hour PEWL (0.63±0.15 kg vs. 0.39±0.12 kg). Conclusions: Our findings support the feasibility of exercise training with a sauna suit–and the amplified exercise energy expenditure and EPOC–to contribute to long-term energy balance and thus improve cardiovascular health.