Int J Sports Med 2003; 24(7): 518-522
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-42017
Physiology & Biochemistry
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Sauna-Induced Rapid Weight Loss Decreases Explosive Power in Women but not in Men

A.  Gutiérrez1 , J. L. M.  Mesa1 , J. R.  Ruiz1 , L. J.  Chirosa1 , M. J.  Castillo1
  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine and School of Sports Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: March 20, 2003

Publication Date:
10 September 2003 (online)


This study aimed at investigating to what extent sauna-induced dehydration is effective to rapidly decrease body weight and whether this practice alters strength and/or explosive power (jump capacity) in healthy athletes. We also investigated whether the observed changes could be rapidly reversed through rehydration. Six male (aged 21.6 ± 1.8 y) and six female (aged 24.5 ± 3.7 y) athletes who were not familiar with weight cutting procedures were tested on three occasions: 1) before sauna, 2) after three consecutive sauna sessions (3 × 20 min at 70 °C, with 5 min rest interval), and 3) after one hour rehydration period (2.5 ml/kg body weight every 15 min). For rehydration, a carbohydrate beverage (6.3 % glucose, 9.5 mmol/l Na+, 10 °C) was used. Evaluation consisted of body composition, strength (row-strength, handgrip-strength) and jump capacity (squat jump, counter-movement jump and elastic capacity). Sauna-induced dehydration, significantly decreased body weight in men (- 1.8 ± 0.5 %) and women (-1.4 ± 0.6 %). This reduction could not be rapidly reversed through rehydration. This weight cutting scheme did not affect strength or jump capacity in men. In women, a statistically significant decrease in squat jump was manifested after rehydration compared to pre-sauna values 23.7 ± 2.2 vs. 25.2 ± 1.4 cm, p < 0.05). The squat jump decrease in women was linearly and directly related to the percent reduction of body weight.

M. J. Castillo-Garzon, M.D., Ph.D.

Department of Physiology

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