Saunas are well known to provide a healthy pleasurable experience. A nice relaxing sauna session can be the prelude to other social interactions. I am sure that on many an occasion, a sauna owner has planned a special evening with his or her significant other and incorporated a session in the sauna into their plans. A couple of drinks, a nice meal, hit the sauna to get that invigorated feeling and then move on to more romantic endeavors. This is all well and good as long as you keep the alcohol consumption to a safe minimum because over consumption of alcohol and sauna use can be hazardous to your health.
The consequences of drinking too much alcohol and sauna use can vary from minor injuries to fatalities. Finland, a country that is renowned for the use of saunas, is the perfect source for a study into the effects of alcohol and saunas. A Finnish Research Laboratory conducted such a study and found some startling facts. It found that sauna and alcohol related accidents of a minor nature such as sprains and burns were commonplace. Some more serious sauna accidents such as head trauma, heat stroke and occasional passing out were also common in saunas. Although these types of accidents can occur without the use of alcohol, it is generally accepted that they occur far more frequently when alcohol is consumed prior to sauna use.
In a country of just under 15 million individuals, many of them sauna users, the study found that between 20 and 25 deaths are directly attributed to the combination of alcohol and sauna use. That is quite a sobering fact. If you consume large quantities of alcohol and have a sauna session, your ability to maintain blood pressure is diminished. This may lead to the aforementioned fainting, minor contusions and worse. It was found that sauna bathing and drinking or sauna bathing while being hung-over also presented health risks. The short and skinny of it all is-Do not drink too much alcohol and use the sauna!
As with just about anything worthwhile in life, moderation is the key to keeping things healthy and safe. Saunas do provide overall health benefits and alcohol consumption in limited levels does not interfere with your enjoyment of your sauna. Nothing can ruin that romantic evening you had planned faster than a bone-crunching spill in your sauna just because you had one too many.
Remember to re-hydrate yourself because fluids lost through sweating during a sauna session must be replenished. Most of the body weight lost through the use of a sauna is due to water loss through sweat. Alcohol consumption also has a negative influence on fluid retention. Fluids should be taken before the sauna, during the sauna and after the sauna, especially if the individual consumed alcoholic beverages.
By no means is this article intended to preach in any way to anyone. It is merely intended to point out the findings of a study on the hazards associated with drinking and sauna use. I, of all people am not the one to be preaching about the safe use of alcohol or when to draw the line. On many a day I have found that line rather blurred myself. Nevertheless, please try to drink responsibly and have a great life, with or without a sauna.