Joe Rogan aka Joseph James Rogan, the popular podcaster, TV host, mixed martial arts commentator and comedian, who hosts the popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience has turned into a huge fan of sauna therapy. Considered the male Oprah, Joe’s podcasts are wildly popular and get around 100 downloads each. Joe also hosts the extremely popular UFC.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick Sauna Research Concludes 40% Reduction In All Cause Mortality
Joe is hugely obsessed with physical fitness. He also is into investigating the science of health and fitness and rigorous self-testing. Joe began to turn his attention to sauna therapy after being inspired by his guest, Rhonda Patrick, a biomedical scientist from the University of Tennessee and the host of Found My Fitness, a health and longevity podcast. Rhonda appeared on Joe’s show and discussed how sauna therapy has been beneficial in reducing all causes of mortality by 40%.
Joe started using the sauna and on the second day of his sauna session, he posted a video of his sauna session on his Facebook page. In Joe’s video, he has made some observations of what he experienced during his sauna session.
Joe states that this was his second day in the sauna and while you can’t really tell a lot from a single day of sauna use; however, he did notice one thing immediately that he had been experiencing lots of aches and pains. He was also suffering from tendonitis in one of his elbows from working out.
How Long To Sauna (and what Temp?)
After a 1-hour sauna therapy session, Joe felt a significant reduction in his tendinitis and loved it. He felt great as soon as he got out of the sauna. As soon as Joe showered off, he felt loose and all his aches and pains had disappeared.
Since then, Joe has become an ardent fan of sauna therapy and has been posting about his sauna experiences continuously. Joe has also been continuing his workout routine at home and in his studio. Currently, Joe uses the sauna around 4 times a week for around 15 minutes each.
Just 20 minutes of sauna therapy can help to increase endurance. It also helps to boost the blood flow to the skeletal muscles, improves thermoregulatory control and offers a lot more benefits. According to Joe, a study revealed that having a 30-minute sauna session, 2 times a week for around 3 weeks immediately after a workout, helped to increase the time that it took for the participants to run until they were completely exhausted by 32% as compared to the baseline. And this was complemented by a 3.5% boost in the RBC count and a 7.1% boost in the plasma volume.
Recently, Joe had Judd Apatow, the renowned director, writer and comedian on his show, where Judd asked Joe for tips on sauna usage. Joe recommended the use of the sauna highly and said that saunas are extremely effective. They help immensely by raising the body temperature, which produces heat shock proteins (produced by the body in extreme temperatures).
Whenever the body is under stress, whether because of extreme heat or cold or you’re working out, it tries to protect you by responding to the stress by producing heat shock proteins. Heat shock proteins are essentially powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that are used by the body to save your life. Similarly, when you enter the sauna, the body goes into survival mode when it is subjected to the very high heat and tries to save you from it.
Heat Shock Protein Benefits From Sauna
Heat shock proteins are produced by the body as a defense mechanism in order to fight the inflammation as the body starts to think that you are going to die because of the over-exposure to the heat. These heat shock proteins are very beneficial to the body. They help the other parts of the body and as discussed earlier, help to reduce the overall mortality by 40%.
Sauna therapy has proved to generally keep your body healthier by reducing inflammation and helping the different parts of the body. Just sitting in a hot sauna and sweating out the toxins is really good for the body.
When Apatow asked Joe how often he used the sauna, he replied that he used it around 4 times a week. If you have one at home that’s great and if you have one at the gym, then you can simply go there and spend 15 to 20 minutes in the sauna, which is not too long. This is a general average for Joe and he thinks that every session however long it is has health benefits. While there are no downsides to using the sauna for a longer period, it is not a medical device and using it for two hours a day is not really beneficial.
Apatow then asked Joe how he felt using the sauna and if he noticed any difference since he began using the sauna, Joe said that he felt great after using the sauna. He felt completely relaxed, chilled out and felt good generally. And having a sauna session is so easy. He has a sauna right where he can get into at any time he wants and practically have a sauna session every day.
Joe owns an infrared sauna at home and states that purchasing one is not as expensive as you would think. However, getting a custom-built sauna in your backyard could cost a lot (in most cases), but there is no need to get a customized sauna.
In a discussion between Joe Rogan and Ben Greenfield, they discussed the differences between the health benefits offered by dry saunas and infrared saunas. When Joe Rogan asked Ben if there were any differences between traditional saunas and infrared saunas, Greenfield responded by saying that there are many differences as discussed below.
The infrared sauna is much cooler compared to a traditional sauna. An infrared sauna works at temperatures around 155ºF to 158ºF, while some of them go up to 170ºF. And although the air is much cooler, the photons of light that are being emitted by the infrared sauna panels that are present in the infrared sauna and essentially surround you penetrate your skin and tissues very deeply. This helps to produce a deeper sweat and you also sweat for a longer time. Because the temperature of the infrared sauna is much lower, you can stay there for a longer time.
If you consider the Finnish studies on sauna usage, they reveal the increase in lifespan of sauna users by 4 to 5 years on using a sauna for around 15 to 30 minutes, 4 times a week. Sauna usage has also shown a significant drop in dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and a reduction in many mortality risk factors. Studies done on athletes and sauna use show almost like a “blood doping effect” when the sauna therapy is done post-workout for around 15 to 30 minutes. All these studies were done on dry sauna usage.
In the case of infrared sauna, when you consider sauna use and metal detoxification, studies have shown that infrared sauna use helps to release more metals via your sweat. You tend to sweat a lot more in an infrared sauna and so, if your objective is detoxification, then 30 minutes in an infrared sauna is a good option.
In a traditional sauna, you get completely drenched, even if you set it around 190ºF and you possibly can’t sweat more; however, the advantage of an infrared sauna is that you don’t feel so much of the heat. An infrared sauna is a great place to work out. You can use your kettlebells, cycle and even do yoga. You can exercise comfortably in the sauna.
In fact, there is a sauna specially designed for the purpose of exercising, which is used by UFC people, called FitSpa. These infrared saunas are equipped with TV panels so that you can watch directional or instruction videos on exercising and you can work out while looking at the screen.
If you already have an infrared sauna and you want a dry sauna, then you could consider purchasing a barrel sauna. So, what is a barrel sauna? Barrel saunas are quite popular. They are essentially large barrels, shaped like a cylinder and have benches on both sides. Barrel saunas build up a lot of heat and their shape allows the heat to be distributed uniformly through the sauna.
There are barrel sauna models with a glass bubble on one end, which allows you to look out while you’re enjoying a relaxing sauna session inside. You can install it in your backyard, by the lake or looking into the wilderness. A barrel sauna is especially a cool option if you live in a cold area and you can look out at the snow while heating up inside the sauna. The barrel sauna works and heats up in the same way as your regular sauna and you need to just connect it to a power source.
In conclusion, sauna therapy has plenty of benefits, health and otherwise and purchasing one for your home can be a great idea. Also, understanding the differences between a dry sauna and an infrared one can help you choose the right type of sauna according to your needs.