Gary Brecka – Sauna Benefits & Heat Shock Proteins

Gary Brecka – Sauna Benefits & Heat Shock Proteins

Finland is regarded as the birthplace of the sauna with historians now believing sauna-use dates back as far as 7000BC. The many health benefits related to saunas are starting to re-surface. Human biologist and bio-hacker Gary Brecka is a huge advocate for using a sauna multiple times per week – but what does he say are the main benefits of using a sauna?

Releases Toxins

Heat from a sauna makes us sweat and our body utilizes this process for waste elimination and essentially sweats out toxins. Gary Brecka explains: “There’s two types of sweating that the body goes through. There’s passive sweating which is sweating to eliminate waste – that’s when you’re actually not sweating actively to reduce your body temperature. And there’s active sweating which is meant to reduce your body temperature.”

An example of active sweating is during cardiovascular exercise as our body battles to cool itself down. However, when we spend time in a sauna we start the process of passive sweating. Brecka continues: “Right now what I’m trying to do is passively sweat. When you passively sweat you actually engage the direct route of waste elimination between the liver and the skin. The skin’s not only the largest organ in your body, it’s the greatest organ of waste elimination.”

What exactly are these toxins that we sweat out? A 2012 study showed that sauna-use saw participants sweat out heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Heavy metals enter the body through food sources, or via the skin or inhalation from the environment.

Saunas also helps to eliminate toxins such as harmful chemicals, pesticides, mycotoxins, and BPA. Toxins from drugs and alcohol are also eliminated.

While not all of these toxins are released through sweat, using a sauna stimulates the fat cells that they are stored in, and this releases them into the bloodstream. The kidneys and liver can then process them. Sauna use also stimulates circulation and blood flow and these toxins are released from the body via urination.

Boosts Your Immune System

Saunas are scientifically proven to boost and strengthen your immune system. A 2013 study looked at the white blood cell count of a group of athletes and non-athletes before and after sauna-use. Both groups saw a significant increase in white blood cell count after just a single sauna session. White blood cells help your body fight off infections and other diseases. Your body makes more white blood cells when you are ill to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances in the body.

Gary Brecka recognizes the incredible benefits saunas provide for our immune systems saying: “The passive sweating process is one of the most efficient ways to get bacteria, viruses and all sorts of other things that we’re trying to detoxify from our body, out of our body.”

He continues: “Not only can you bolster your immune response but you can also kill viral pathogens in the nasal passages and on the surface of your skin and your mucosal membranes.”

Releases Heat Shock Proteins

We know that regular sauna use detoxifies our body and boosts our immune system but there’s also another lesser-known benefit. More recent studies discuss something called heat shock proteins which are released into the body during sauna use.

Gary Brecka says: “Heat shock proteins are specialized proteins in your liver that are just waiting for your body to experience extreme temperatures. When you do it releases these heat shock proteins into the bloodstream and what happens is they accelerate the rate of protein synthesis, they scour your body of free radicals, and they increase your muscle recovery.”

Studies have found that heat acclimation, which can be achieved through sauna use, may reduce the amount of protein degradation that occurs after exercise by increasing expression of heat shock proteins, reducing oxidative damage, and promoting release of growth hormone.

Brecka states that: “Hypothermic activity after exercise actually enhances protein synthesis and cold plunging prior to exercise actually enhances the endorphin rush and improves circulation during exercise.”

Since learning from recent studies the biohacker has now amended his sauna use to get better results. He’s now cold plunging on a morning and using a traditional sauna or infrared sauna after workouts to maximize the protein synthesis benefits sauna-use provides.

Gary Brecka's Sauna Protocol

Gary Brecka recommends using a sauna three times per week for 20 minutes each session to reap the benefits for the immune system, protein synthesis, and toxin release.

He says: “You can do three days of liver detoxification in just 25 minutes in a hot sauna above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you get to 180 degrees Fahrenheit you can do it in 15 minutes.

Brecka continues: “Three days of toxins can be pushed out through the vast surface of your skin.”

He recommends using a traditional sauna or infrared sauna.

Sauna Blankets

Sauna blankets are a more affordable alternative to buying a home sauna. They mimic the health benefits of sauna-use.

These blankets help you to recover after workouts, sweat out toxins, burn calories, reduce stress, boost mood, and increase blood flow and circulation. They also promote glowing skin.

They are a great option if you don't have access to a sauna. Sauna blankets can be used at home and you can take them with you when you travel. 

Ascendment recommends HigherDOSE’s Infrared Sauna Blanket


Regular sauna-use increases white blood cell count in the body which strengthens our immune system and helps to prevent illness. Existing viruses and bacteria can also be removed from the body.

When using a sauna we passively sweat which helps to remove toxins such as heavy metals, chemicals such as pesticides, and drugs and alcohol from the body. In addition, sauna-use releases heat shock proteins into the bloodstream. Heat shock proteins increase the rate of protein synthesis, scour your body of free radicals, and increase muscle recovery.

Gary Brecka recommends using a traditional or infrared sauna three times per week for 20 minute sessions to receive the extensive health benefits they provide.

Sun Home Saunas - Buy Traditional and Infrared Home Saunas

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