Do saunas help hangovers? Check this

What is a hangover?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a hangover as “a group of symptoms resulting from excessive drinking.” If you suffer from a hangover, you are already familiar with its typical symptoms, such as:

“Fatigue, weakness, thirst, headache, muscle pain, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, restlessness, irritability, sweating, and high blood pressure.”

Oh, hangover, please leave!

The only cure for a hangover is time, but symptoms can last up to 24 hours or longer. What’s even worse is that the negative effects of alcohol are painful and can be very dangerous.

When you have a hangover, the first thing you will feel is numbness in your body. Let’s see what happens to your body at this moment.

  • Dehydration: Alcohol is your kidneys’ worst enemy. It inhibits the secretion of an antidiuretic hormone known as vasopressin. This hormone helps your body retain fluid, but when you suppress it, excessive urination occurs. Additional fluid loss leads to moderate levels of dehydration.
  • Fatigue: You may not have gotten enough sleep the night you decided to cut down on your drinking. Alcohol not only causes drowsiness, but also interferes with sleep.
  • Indigestion: The stomach produces too much acid, which irritates the walls of the stomach.
  • Irregular neurological compensation: Many tend to say that alcohol relieves stress and relaxes. The only problem is that the brain quickly adapts to this nervous feeling of positivity. And when the orgasm has passed, the person usually feels worse than before he took the bottle.
  • Inflammation: Alcohol causes inflammation that affects the basic functions of the liver, stomach, pancreas, brain, and other organs. In addition, the toxic compound acetaldehyde is formed in the liver. This compound is one of the main culprits for the fibrogenic and mutagenic effects of alcohol on the liver.

Alcohol affects the human body on the physical, emotional, psychological and mental levels. Excessive consumption of it can damage DNA, causing deep chronic diseases at the cellular level.

Benefits of visiting a sauna

Baths provide a range of beneficial effects through desirable heat + sweat therapy.

Here are all the favorite sauna benefits:

  • Relieve stress, relax and sleep better
  • Increases alertness and stimulates mental health
  • Reduce inflammation and relieve chronic pain
  • Improve the cardiovascular system
  • Increase performance, improve muscle recovery
  • Healthier skin
  • Weight Loss and Metabolism Boost
  • Stimulation of the immune system

The benefits of sauna make heat therapy the preferred holistic treatment worldwide. So let’s take a look at how going to the toilet can help you. Just be sure to keep it private.

Why the sauna helps with a hangover

A hangover is largely poisoning by the breakdown products of alcohol. Mainly acetaldehyde. It is this toxic substance, among other things, that alcohol in the body turns into, thereby causing headaches, nausea, tremors, etc. Acetaldehyde disrupts liver function by slowing down the elimination of ethanol metabolism products, which leads to the accumulation of acetic acid in the body. Acetaldehyde also slows down redox reactions, thereby inhibiting the oxidation of other substances. Fatty acids, glycerol, pyruvic acid accumulate in the blood plasma.

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How sauna helps with a hangover:

  • The sauna relieves a hangover by causing profuse sweating, while opening the pores and removing harmful metabolic waste from the body.
  • Sauna also speeds up metabolism.
  • A visit to the bath enhances skin respiration, improves blood circulation (in particular, activates the activity of capillaries).
  • Dehydration is eliminated: liquid from the intercellular spaces is discharged into the bloodstream, which means that edema will be removed from those who are “swollen from a hangover”.
  • In addition, heat kills bacteria on the human body.
  • High temperature increases the concentration of the hormone cortisol in the blood plasma, which stimulates the production of glucose in the liver. This allows you to quickly restore energy. (Read more about the relationship between the liver and hormones, as well as ways to reduce the risk of hormonal disruptions, in a separate article.) Those who have ever been in a bath do not need to be told what a good mood and good nature a person who has just taken a steam bath has: cheerfulness and new strength guaranteed.

Will sauna cure a hangover?

Many people think that a bath will help get rid of a hangover, but, unfortunately, this is not the case.

Yes, a bath can be a very effective detox. However, this is the first misconception: if you have a hangover, you have already done a disservice to your body.

The second misconception is that a bath can stimulate physical activity to fight a hangover. It’s just that here’s the thing – a good bathroom broom job won’t help you get rid of alcohol any faster. Exercise makes you feel better because your body releases endorphins when you are active. Thanks to these hormones, you feel a surge of strength and energy. With a hangover in the bathroom, you are more likely to get an additional load on the heart than a therapeutic effect.

Another misconception about using the toilet as a cure for a hangover is its ability to calm the body. While showering lengthens your breathing cycle, alcohol will prevent your body from fully relaxing.

Don’t go to the sauna:

  • If your blood pressure is over 140/90 or your heart rate is over 110 beats per minute with a hangover. Such indicators usually occur after a binge, but after a day of drinking, it is better to measure them just in case.
  • If you are still drunk. Korean scientists have found that the majority of sauna deaths are caused by alcohol consumption. Finnish researchers suggest that alcohol intoxication disrupts the mechanisms of self-regulation of blood pressure, and this increases the risk of fainting in a drunk person, especially in the sauna. The risk of dangerous arrhythmias in drunken people also increases significantly, since the sauna has a pronounced adrenergic effect. All of the tips below are for a drunken day, not for drinking.

If you are young and healthy, and your pulse and blood pressure are normal, a shower will help you get over a hangover faster:

  • Showering causes profuse sweating, opening the pores and removing harmful metabolic waste from the body.
  • The bath also speeds up the metabolism.
  • A visit to the bath promotes skin respiration and improves blood circulation (in particular, stimulates capillary activity).
  • Dehydration is eliminated: the liquid is removed from the intercellular spaces into the bloodstream, which means that swelling will be removed from those “swollen from a hangover”.
  • High temperature kills bacteria in the human body.
  • High temperature increases the concentration of the hormone cortisol in the blood plasma, which stimulates the production of glucose in the liver. This allows you to quickly restore energy. Those who have previously used the bath do not need to talk about the good mood and good nature of a person who has just taken a steam bath: cheerfulness and new strength are guaranteed.
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Sauna Precautions

Here are some tips on how to avoid side effects when visiting a sauna:

  • Avoid alcohol before, during and after going to the toilet
  • Sessions are limited to 5-10 minutes
  • Mandatory rest after all procedures
  • Take a cool shower to calm down and get rid of sweat

The clinic considers going to the toilet a safe option, even for people with physical disabilities or other health problems. But you should be aware of some side effects, which are usually short-lived.

In short, if you have a weakened immune system, open or non-healing wounds, heart disease or neurological deficit, you should definitely consult a doctor.

But if you still can’t refuse beer when you go to the bathroom, non-alcoholic beer can be a great alternative.

How long after leaving the sauna can you really drink?

You should not drink alcohol immediately after the bath, as it is necessary to allow the body to recover – to cool down and replenish the water balance. Drinking alcohol after a steam bath increases dehydration and the body’s response can be unpredictable. “It is better if at least three days pass between visiting the bathhouse and drinking alcohol,” says cardiologist Tatyana Chernushenko.

Going to the steam room right after a long feast is also a bad idea. A hangover usually causes an increase in heart rate, and smoking will only aggravate the situation. There is no data on the late effect of such an operation, so it is safer to avoid it.

Do not use energy drinks, strong tea and coffee in the shower. That is, it is better to limit everything that can cause high blood pressure and dehydration.

You can drink everything that replenishes the liquid: herbal teas, fruit drinks, natural juices, water. All drinks must be at room temperature. And to effectively quench your thirst, you need to drink in small sips.

For those who follow all the rules and have no contraindications to visit, the bath should give an enhanced healing effect. Alcohol cancels out. Although many believe that drinking alcohol in the shower will pass without a trace for them, this is a delusion. And even if no consequences are observed, there is always a risk of development and exacerbation of existing, albeit not disturbing, diseases. But you can relax in the steam room without alcohol!

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Why is it dangerous to get drunk on steam sauna?

The bath helps to cleanse the body of a hangover, but if you are still drunk, stay away from it.

How dangerous is the sauna for a drunk person:

  • Alcohol increases blood pressure, and hot air can make it worse.
  • Both heat and booze dilate blood vessels. This is fraught with exacerbations of cardiovascular diseases, especially if a person has already had troubles in this regard.
  • A drunk person is awkward, his coordination of movements is worse, his reactions are slowed down. And the bath is slippery because of the water. Therefore, a drunk visitor may fall and be injured.

Read interesting and funny articles in our blog! * How was the profession of a bartender formed?

* Gatherings in the barn. story.

* Rules for choosing low-calorie wines.

If a person loves a bath very much, but he has contraindications, then he can visit the steam room later, when the temperature in it drops to a more comfortable one.

Sauna and alcohol is a dangerous combination

Alcohol poses both a direct and indirect threat to human life. One of these indirect threats is realized when alcohol is combined with visiting a bath or sauna. This danger was confirmed by Korean and Finnish scientists. The first analyzed 103 deaths in the sauna and showed that most of the dead people were in a state of intoxication (the alcohol content in their blood turned out to be more than 0.08%).

Finnish scientists suggested that alcohol intoxication disrupts the mechanisms of blood pressure autoregulation, which increases the risk of a drunk person fainting, especially in a sauna. Also, the risk of dangerous arrhythmias in people in a state of alcoholic intoxication and a hangover increases significantly, since the sauna has a pronounced adrenergic effect (causes the release of adrenaline into the blood).


If you go to the bathhouse to bring yourself back to normal after a hangover, the first thing to do is take a contrast shower. After that, you can drink weak, better herbal tea – and go to the steam room. You need to make three calls: the first about 5 minutes, the second – about 10 minutes, and the last third – about 15 minutes. It’s great if a good bath attendant steams you with a broom, and a gentle massage also does not fit. After taking the steam room, you need to wrap yourself in a large towel or sheet. The steam bath promotes perspiration. You can drink herbal teas, fruit drinks, kvass. Drinking beer and alcoholic beverages in the bath is strictly prohibited. At the end of the bath procedure, when you have cooled down a bit, you can have a snack. A very light meal is recommended. It is unacceptable to overload the stomach. The ideal food after a bath with a hangover is broth or light soup. Follow these rules and be always healthy and happy!

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