How Sauna Suits Can Benefit Race Car Drivers
Those who have been behind the wheel of a racecar, dragster, or rally car know all too well the feeling of extreme heat. Drivers are strapped into a tin can with no air conditioning, which comes standard in your typical consumer automobile. Racecars are built for one thing: speed. In order to maximize speed, drivers need to sacrifice comfort. Temperatures inside of these cars can reach well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, especially during the Summer months.
Whether you have been racing for years or you are just starting out, research is now shedding light on how using a sauna suit can help to acclimate your body to these high temperature environments.
FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE
Although it may seem counterproductive initially, the way to adjust and ultimately persevere during a high stress and high temperature race is to put your body through these same conditions outside of the car. In other words, you have to find a way to raise your internal body temperature so that your central nervous system and muscle fibers can adjust and acclimate. The best and safest way to do this is through the use of a sauna suit. The material of a sauna suit will mimic the same benefits, including increased internal body temperature, as a real sauna at a fraction of the cost.
A study performed by Dr. Rhonda Patrick shows that hyperthermic conditioning, or intentional elevation of core body temperature, is ultimately the best way to improve your driving performance within a high temperature setting. Hyperthermic conditioning via a sauna suit produces internal adaptations, which will help to reduce and eliminate the negative side effects of heat exhaustion while driving.
Consistent carefully utilized heat stress will allow the body to experience an overall improvement in cardiovascular function including a lowered heart rate and enhanced blood flow. (1,2) Your body will also be able to effectively transport and utilize oxygen within muscle fibers. (2) What this translates into is higher functioning muscle fibers at a fraction of the workload. Since your body has become accustomed to these extreme temperatures, it doesn’t have to work as hard to perform basic tasks such as gear shifting, braking, or acceleration.
BOOST BRAIN POWER
Winning a race is more than just a matter of muscle. If your mind is out, then you can kiss the race goodbye. High temperatures in a high stress environment can be taxing on the brain, increasing the risk for a simple mistake. A slip-up at 200 miles per hour can be deadly; therefore, it’s essential to ensure your focus and alertness are at the top of their game. Heat acclimation is a known way of increasing the production of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a chemical that is released during fight-or-flight situations to improve cognitive function. With the brain boost you will receive from training with a sauna suit, you can guarantee that you are able to stay alert and focused for the entire race. (3)
Using a sauna suit, like you’ll find at Kutting Weight, can prepare you for optimal performance during even the most brutal of temperatures.
1. Hannuksela ML1, Ellahham S. Benefits and risks of sauna bathing. Am J Med. 2001 Feb 1;110(2):118-26.
2. Scoon GS1, Hopkins WG, Mayhew S, Cotter JD. Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners. J Sci Med Sport. 2007 Aug;10(4):259-62. Epub 2006 Jul 31.
3. Laatikainen T1, Salminen K, Kohvakka A, Pettersson J. Response of plasma endorphins, prolactin and catecholamines in women to intense heat in a sauna. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1988;57(1):98-102.