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

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Int J Sports Med. 2003 Sep;24(7):518-22.

Gutierrez A, Mesa JL, Ruiz JR, Chirosa LJ, Castillo MJ.

Department of Physiology, School of Medicine and School of Sports Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.

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 x 20 min at 70 degrees 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 degrees 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.

PMID: 12968210 [PubMed – in process]

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