What’s all this hot yoga sweating de-tox crap about?

For a while now I’ve been hearing about people sitting in saunas or doing hot yoga to “sweat out the toxins” in their bodies. Hot yoga seems to be yet another notch healthy lifestyle bloggers have carved into their holy health sticks, so I did a little research to find out what exactly it is.

Basically you do yoga in a room that’s really hot (between 30 and 50 C or 85 to 122 F according to Wikipedia).

It makes sense that yoga would be easier when your muscles are warm, but the de-tox part seemed fishy. According to this piece in the LA Times, it is crap. The article says you hardly release any toxins through sweat, and in fact it can be more damaging to your health because it will put unnecessary strain on your kidneys and liver if you don’t drink enough water to make up for what’s lost through excess sweat in the session. My favorite part is when they essentially said you release far more toxins by pooping and peeing – because that’s what they’re for – then you ever would through sweating.

Don’t get me wrong – I love healthy lifestyle blogs and read them almost exclusively. I just feel that many of them become a bit holier-than-thou and lose grasp of reality. Honestly, how many pictures of a bowl of oatmeal can you take? That’s my other problem with healthy lifestyle blogs. They can’t get enough of their oatmeal. Each new healthy topping is “OMG A NEW BOWL OF OATMEAL EXCEPT THIS TIME I PUT CHIA SEEDS IN IT IN ADDITION TO FLAX, BERRIES AND ALMOND BUTTER!! IF ONLY GOD COULD SEE ME NOW! I’M SO HEALTHY!!”

Who knows, maybe the experts are wrong and you de-tox to the max by sweating with your foot behind your head in a hot room. Until it’s proven, though, I’d say a better bet would be to take a dump. It’s free, and you’ll save yourself an hour.



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4 responses to “What’s all this hot yoga sweating de-tox crap about?

  1. Awesome.

    The super-healthy, beets-for-lunch, yoga-before-work crowd always seems so full of themselves that I just want to smack them around. They’ll probably get the last laugh though, since they’ll be living decades longer than me, but still… it’s fun to know that at least some of it is utter bullshit.

    • Adrian doesn’t think they will. He thinks he’ll have the last laugh. I think I fall somewhere between Adrian and the ridiculous health nuts. I brought beets for lunch this week, but I didn’t eat them. I had a big fat Chipotle-style burrito instead.

  2. They don’t live longer than the rest of us. They just make life seem longer and lead people around them to contemplate forced euthanasia.

  3. I love yoga, but I’ve never tried the hot kind because honestly it just sounds miserable. I never knew it was supposed to sweat out all of the toxins, but I agree that seems unlikely.
    I’m disappointed to learn that I can’t wow you with a long post about oatmeal. It was going to be epic. Bummer! 🙂

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