Competitive runners train intensely on a track, illustrating the benefits of infrared sauna in enhancing athletic recovery and performance

Benefits of Infrared Sauna: A Scientific Look Into Performance for Competitive Runners

Competitive runners continue to seek innovative training methods in the quest for optimal athletic performance. The study titled “Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners” provides compelling insights into how infrared (IR) saunas can enhance endurance and recovery in a runner’s regimen. Sun Stream Saunas in Australia stands at the forefront of this innovation and provides cutting-edge IR technology to help athletes achieve their best performance, which is one of the benefits of infrared sauna sessions.


The Science Behind IR Sauna and How It Enhances Performance

The researchers conducted the study with a group of six competitive male distance runners and found that post-exercise sauna bathing significantly boosts endurance. These athletes underwent sessions in a humid sauna heated to approximately 90°C immediately following their training over a three-week period. 

The study’s duration included roughly 12 sessions, each lasting around 31 minutes. The runners’ time to exhaustion during performance tests increased by a remarkable 32% due to the regimented exposure to intense heat compared to control periods without sauna use.


Physiological Benefits of Sauna Use

These performance improvements are based on the underlying physiological changes. Post-exercise sauna bathing caused notable increases in plasma and total blood volume — crucial factors for endurance. Specifically, the researchers observed an increase in plasma volume by 7.1% and a rise of 3.5% in red-cell volume. This expansion in blood volume enhances oxygen delivery to muscles, thereby improving sustained performance capacity.


Infrared Sauna: A Tool for Enhanced Recovery and Performance

IR saunas offer great benefits that extend beyond mere performance enhancement. The heat of the sauna induces a hemodilution effect, which dilutes the blood and its components, leading to improved blood flow and muscle oxygenation. Athletes, especially those involved in endurance sports where efficient recovery is as crucial as performance itself, find such physiological adaptations significant.

Furthermore, the study highlights that sauna sessions can also trigger the body’s heat shock proteins, which are vital for cellular repair and protection against stress-induced damage, by increasing heat stress. This mechanism aids in quicker recovery post-exercise and helps build resilience against future physical stressors.


Practical Implications for Athletes

Competitive runners and other athletes can incorporate infrared sauna sessions into their training routine to experience a game-changing effect. The research suggests that sauna bathing for about 30 minutes immediately after exercise sessions can significantly enhance endurance performance by up to 2% – a margin that, at the elite level, can make differences in ranked placements.

Moreover, athletes can train more effectively, pushing their limits while ensuring faster and more efficient recovery periods, thanks to the enhanced blood volume and improved recovery rates. The IR sauna offers these benefits, making it a potent tool not just for recovery but also for preparatory conditioning.



This study’s compelling evidence emphasises the benefits of infrared sauna not only for wellness but also as a strategic enhancement in sports performance. Athletes striving for peak performance and faster recovery could unlock their potential and achieve new personal bests by regularly engaging in post-exercise sauna sessions. 

Athletes are highlighting the innovative approaches they are taking to excel in their respective fields by integrating techniques like IR sauna bathing into their training regimes as sports science continues to evolve. A scientifically backed method to enhance physical performance and recovery is offered by incorporating infrared sauna sessions into training regimens, making it a valuable practice for athletes around the world.


Take Your Training to the Next Level with Sun Stream Saunas

Why not consider incorporating an IR sauna into your routine if you’re keen to take your training to the next level? Harness the same performance-enhancing benefits discussed in the research with Sun Stream Saunas products. You can boost your endurance, speed up recovery, and push towards those peak performance goals with our state-of-the-art infrared saunas.

Are you ready to give it a try, or do you want more information on how our saunas can integrate into your training regime? Contact our experts at 1800 316 962 or email us at We support your journey to achieving your best physical performance with cutting-edge solutions for you. Contact us now!