Decrease Muscle Soreness and Increase Muscle Mass with an Infrared Sauna

Have you heard of the latest trend in wellness that made its way into the world of fitness? Little by little, infrared saunas have entered the lives of many people because of their countless benefits. The last group of people that have been enchanted by this new technology is athletes and people who go to the gym. No doubt going to the gym can be strenuous, especially when you are working out to increase your muscle mass. These routines can be long and exhausting, and without the proper recovery, it can be difficult to get the results you are looking for. Thankfully, infrared saunas can help in this regard, by promoting muscle recovery, decreasing soreness and making it easier for you to reach your goals.

man holding his chin while thinking

Is It Different Than A Regular Sauna?

Most gyms are equipped with saunas because enjoying a session after a workout has become a popular practice amongst gym-goers. However, to some people, saunas can be unbearable because of the high temperatures inside the cabins. On the other hand, infrared saunas can be the solution for those individuals. This type of sauna has a couple of differences from its traditional counterparts, and the most important one is how they heat your body. Regular (traditional) saunas heat the air with a special stove, and the air heats your body by convection. But infrared saunas use a type of light (infrared light/waves) that is invisible to the human eye, which uses its energy to generate heat. In these more advanced saunas, the air around you is not heated, which is extremely convenient because the room temperature is much lower and bearable. When infrared light reaches your skin, it penetrates up to 1.6 inches, generating heat and creating many therapeutic implications [1].

man rubbing chalk together in his hands

Improve Your Recovery

A study performed in 2015 reported that infrared saunas had an effect on recovery after maximum endurance performance. Infrared waves are favorable for the neuromuscular system, and also lowers cortisol, which is your body's main stress hormone. By improving your recovery immediately after a workout session, you will be able to limit fatigue and not feel sore and tired the next day. By reducing recovery time, you will find an increase in performance during workouts, achieving overall faster results [2]. Another study in 2016 reported that infrared therapy helps down-modulate the production of inflammatory mediators right after exercise, and this helps accelerate the recovery of muscle pain [3].

Gain Muscle Mass By Improving Your Sleep

You can lift the heaviest weights and train every single day, but if you do not get enough sleep, you will unknowingly hinder muscle mass growth. What does sleep have to do with muscle growth? During your training, you put your muscles through a lot of wear-and-tear (literally). By lifting weights, you are putting muscle tissue under extreme stress, forcing it to adapt. It is during sleep that your muscles recover and grow at optimum levels. The growth hormone (GH) has a big influence on this. GH is released by your brain during sleep and has many effects on your metabolism, one of them being increased muscle mass and strength [4].

man laying in hammock wearing nikes while dog is watching him

So, getting good, quality sleep is extremely important to growing a lean physique and infrared saunas can help you in this pursuit. It has been proven that this therapy helps regulate your sleep cycle, and this has a direct effect on your muscle-building process [5]. However, this is not the only way infrared saunas help: it has been proven that even just one session can increase the levels of GH in your blood stream. Imagine the possibilities of introducing infrared therapy into your workout regime [6].

Get Rid Of Toxins

It is no secret that during day-to-day life, our body absorbs toxins from the environment; little by little, these toxins start to build up, causing potential health issues. The most common side-effect of toxins is fatigue. If you are in a workout program, being constantly fatigued or fatiguing quickly can obviously compromise the quality of your workout sessions. Studies have also shown that people who work out at gyms are exposed to indoor pollutants that can negatively impact performance. With facts like these, implementing an infrared sauna after a workout is a must. Especially since perspiration can flush out all these toxins and get you ready for the next workout [7].

close up of eyes and sweating forehead

Relax And Release Stress

Infrared therapy is a growing practice among professional athletes because of the myriad of benefits they are receiving. But let’s not forget one of the key reasons people use saunas in the first place:  relaxation. It is important to allot yourself time to free your mind from the responsibilities of life. Consider your infrared sauna sessions as your "me time", allowing you to release all the stress you have been carrying around. As we are sure you have heard at some point in your life, stress is the number one killer, because it slowly chips away at your body in unnoticeable ways. Mental health is equally as important as physical health, and you deserve both.

Muscle, Mass, and Management:  Favorable to the neuromuscular system, lowers cortisol, reduces recovery time, flushes out toxins, encourages relaxation



[1] Stieg Cory. (2018). "The Difference Between A Steam Room & A Sauna.", Refinery 29, 27 November 2018,

[2] Mero Antti, Tornberg Jaakko, Mantykoski Mari, Puurtinen Risto. (2015). "Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men.", National Center for Biotechnological Information, 7 July 2015,

[3] Loturco I, Abad CCC, Nakamura FY, Ramos SP, Kobal R, Gil S, Pereira LA, Burini FHP, Roschel H, Ugrinowitsch C, Tricoli V. (2016). "Effects of far infrared rays emitting clothing on recovery after an intense plyometric exercise bout applied to elite soccer players: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.", National Center for Biotechnological Information, 2 July 2016,

[4] Lu Man, Flanagan Jack, Langley Ries, Hay Michael, Perry Jo. (2019). "Targeting growth hormone function: strategies and therapeutic applications.", Nature, 8 February 2019,

[5] Hussain Joy, Cohen Marc. (2018). "Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review.", National Center for Biotechnological Information, 24 April 2018

[6] Kukkonen-Harjula K, Kauppinen K. (1987). "How the sauna affects the endocrine system.", Europe PMC, 31 December 1987,

[7] Ramos CA, Wolterbeek HT, Almeida SM. (2014). "Exposure to indoor air pollutants during physical activity in fitness centers.", Science Direct, December 2014,