by Madeline Haller
You might like things hot and steamy—but your swimmers don’t. That post-gym trip to the sauna may be frying your sperm, finds new research in the journal Human Reproduction.
Men who spent 15 minutes in a sauna twice a week for 3 months saw an immediate drop in their sperm count after every sauna session, and levels didn’t return to normal until after 6 months.
In order to produce healthy sperm, your testicles need to be kept at a temperature that’s about 2 degrees less than your core temp (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which is why they hang down away from your body. But any conditions that chronically increase their temperature have a negative effect on sperm production, says study author Andrea Garolla, M.D., of the University of Padova in Italy.
While sauna time didn’t affect men’s sperm long-term, the researcher still advise against it—along with prolonged exposure to other heat sources that could fry your fluids, like a hot tub or even your laptop. Meanwhile, here’s a tip to strengthen your swimmers: Eating just 75 grams of walnuts a day—roughly a handful—can improve the quality of your semen, according to a 2012 report in Biology of Reproduction.
Source: Men’s Health Magazine