Does Sitting in a Hot Tub Burn Calories?




Hot tubs are often seen as a relaxing and enjoyable way to unwind after a long day, but have you ever wondered, “Do you burn calories in a hot tub?” Well, the answer might surprise you! While hot tubs themselves do not directly cause weight loss, there is evidence to suggest that they can contribute to burning calories.

You can burn calories just by sitting in a hot tub, but it will not be much higher than sitting in a chair. The number of extra calories burned is not significant enough to aid weight loss, so there is no such thing as a hot tub diet. However, although losing weight may not be one of them, there are other health benefits.

If you are considering investing in a hot tub and spending time soaking in hot water, you might have questions about the potential health benefits. Read on to discover how a hot tub can impact your weight loss goals. 

Do hot tubs burn calories

Do Hot Tubs Burn Calories: While hot tubs provide a soothing and calming experience, it is important to note that they do not directly burn calories. The warm water and massaging jets may lead to increased blood circulation and muscle relaxation, but these factors alone do not contribute to significant calorie burn.

So, does sitting in a hot tub burn calories?

Given the relationship between working out and sweating, it might be reasonable to assume that sweating directly correlates with burning calories. However, this is not the case. Different people sweat at different rates depending on several factors: 

  • Temperature
  • Genetics
  • Hydration levels. 

Because sweat is not an indicator of effort or calories burned, simply raising the body temperature will not significantly impact the rate at which the body uses energy. 

How many calories does a hot tub burn?

Of course, you will burn some calories in a hot tub. The average 150-pound person will burn around 34 calories for every 20 minutes spent lounging in hot water. However, this is not a significant increase from the average of 23 calories burned by sitting sedentary on a couch or chair.

If you were to spend all day in a hot tub, perhaps it would help with weight loss. However, staying in a hot tub for extended periods is not recommended, as the potential positives may be outweighed by the negatives.

Calorie burn can be increased by moving around in a hot tub, as the water will provide a much higher resistance level than moving through air. However, the bottom line is that having a long soak in warm water will not increase your calorie burn unless you expend effort and use up your body’s energy store. 

Other hot tub health benefits

Hot tubs are not a magic bullet for helping you on your weight loss journey, although they may help you lose weight very slightly. Undoubtedly, using a hot tub regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle will help to maintain a healthy body, and weight loss is part of that.

While they will not rapidly increase your metabolism, there are other benefits to consider: 

  • Blood vessels widen, so increased blood circulation
  • It takes pressure off joints 
  • Relaxes muscles 
  • Eases stress 

When viewed holistically, hot tubs can be seen as potential health tools. While they are not very useful to burn calories, they provide other benefits and help maintain weight loss.

Unless you drink lots of alcohol or sugary drinks while in the hot tub, at least you are unlikely actually to have any weight gain.

Blood vessel widening

When heat is applied to the body, blood vessels can expand, causing increased circulation in the circulatory system. This allows a large blood volume to move through each blood vessel, allowing more nutrients and oxygen to reach limbs and extremities. 

Increased vascular function is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular health issues and may help reduce risk overall. This is not to say hot tubs can replace exercise when considering long-term heart health, but they can act as a supplement. Particularly for those who have physical limitations that limit their workouts.

You can also help improve blood sugar control by lowering blood sugar levels.

Take the pressure off joints

The increased buoyancy people experience in hot water can also contribute to joint health. The lack of pressure on sensitive joints such as knees, hips, and ankles can relieve those suffering from arthritis and other joint ailments. 

The heat of the water and the decreased pressure on joints can help increase flexibility and diminish stiffness. This allows for a broader range of motion and more comfort during daily activities. 

Relax muscles

One well-known benefit of hot tubs is the hot water’s relaxing effect on tense and tired muscles. The heat combined with the massaging action of water jets loosens tightness in the back and legs, loosening and relaxing knots. 

There might also be some evidence suggesting that a soak before a workout can help prevent injury by warming muscles and allowing more flexibility. You are warming up pre-workout to prepare your muscles for more intense activity. 

Ease stress levels

Hot tubs can also have a profound impact on your mental state. Some research suggests that sitting in a hot tub can help relieve mental stress and release endorphins that improve mood. This benefit is heightened when a friend or loved one joins you for a dip, so the experts say. I guess that depends on the friend!

A good soak in a hot tub before bed can also help you get a good night’s sleep. It certainly helps me after a long, stressful day.

hot tub weight loss

Benefits of heat and exercise

Sitting and relaxing in a hot tub alone is not an effective weight-loss strategy. But hot tubs can help make regular exercise and workouts more efficient and effective in aiding weight loss.

Training in hot water can:

  • Reduce impact on joints 
  • Help train for endurance
  • Help with injury recovery
  • Have psychological benefits 

Also, as mentioned above, aerobic exercises performed in heat can increase calorie burning.

Reduce impact on joints

Running, high-intensity tactical training, and other intense workouts on land can strain joints over time. Whether you are coping with joint pain or wanting to protect your body, working out in water allows you to exercise without damaging your hips, knees, or ankles. 

Additionally, the hot water of a hot tub can have a soothing impact on joints. If chronic pain prevents you from working out or building a routine, you can do it in a hot tub. Both treat the pain and reduce pressure, allowing you to build muscle and strength. 

Help train for endurance

There is a reason hot yoga has become so popular in recent years. Exercising in the heat can help you build endurance more quickly.

Your body acclimates to the new temperature as you increase strain in the heat. Your cardiovascular system works overtime to increase blood flow and becomes more efficient working in all temperatures over time. 

Heat training can also increase your lactate threshold. In other words, working out in the heat can help you increase the amount of lactic acid your body can absorb before it accumulates in the muscles. Lactate is created during aerobic exercise and is the chemical that causes you to feel pain and tiredness in your muscles. 

Help with injury recovery

The hot tub’s heat and water movement from the jets can help you recover from an injury.

I can certainly confirm this as some years ago, I had an accident while policing and broke my upper arm and elbow very severely, requiring lots of metalwork to put it all back together again during 5 hours of surgery.

When it came out of a cast, my elbow had minimal movement, so in addition to physiotherapy, I went in my hot tub twice a day and exercised my elbow in the stream produced by having all of the jet power switched to one jet. I regained more movement than my surgeon and physiotherapist expected and quicker, too.

Psychological benefits

If you subject yourself to somewhat extreme conditions, such as heat, while working out, other forms of exercise start to feel easier. Getting yourself comfortable with feeling uncomfortable can help you overcome mental hurdles when doing other workouts. Push yourself (within reason), and you can burn more calories while training.  

Hot Tub Maintenance Course

I bought Swim University’s Hot Tub Maintenance Course a while after I bought my first hot tub and struggled to maintain it. It was money very well spent and it has paid for itself many times over the years as I have saved by not needing to use as many chemicals as I did previously.

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Does Sitting in a Hot Tub Burn Calories? 1

Staying safe in hot tubs

If you are going to work out in a hot tub or spend a lot of time splashing around and enjoying the benefits of the hot water, be sure to stay safe! You should:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. 
  • Be sure the hot tub has been regularly cleaned. 
  • Check yourself – if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, get out and cool off. 
  • When in doubt, talk to your doctor. 

Hot tubs are not recommended for pregnant women or people who already suffer from cardiovascular distress. The widening of blood vessels can unnecessarily decrease blood pressure and strain the heart. It is always a good idea to check in with a doctor if you have concerns and wait to take a dip until you have the all-clear. 


Before you start thinking that a hot tub alone will magically shed pounds, it’s important to note that the calorie-burning effects are relatively modest. Hot tubs should not be used as a primary exercise or weight loss tool. Regular physical activity and a balanced diet are the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle.

So, does the hot tub burn calories? It can contribute to calorie burning but is not a substitute for proper exercise and diet. Think of hot tubs as a complement to your fitness routine, a way to relax and relieve muscle tension after a vigorous workout.

In conclusion, a hot tub may slightly boost your calorie-burning efforts, but it is not a guaranteed weight loss method. So, enjoy your time in the hot tub for its relaxation benefits, and remember to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall.

How many calories can you burn by sitting in a hot tub?

The number of calories burned by sitting in a hot tub varies depending on several factors, such as water temperature, body weight, and duration of the soak. On average, it is estimated that sitting in a hot tub can burn between 100-150 calories per hour.

Is it possible to lose weight by just sitting in a hot tub?

While sitting in a hot tub can help burn some calories, it is not enough to cause significant weight loss. However, it can be a complementary activity to a healthy diet and exercise routine.

What factors affect the number of calories burned while sitting in a hot tub?

The number of calories burned while sitting in a hot tub is affected by several factors, including water temperature, body weight, and duration of the soak. Higher water temperature and longer duration can lead to more calories burned.

Can sitting in a hot tub replace exercise for weight loss?

Sitting in a hot tub cannot replace exercise for weight loss. However, it can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity that complements a healthy diet and exercise routine.

How long do you need to sit in a hot tub to burn calories?

The amount of time needed to burn calories by sitting in a hot tub varies depending on several factors, such as water temperature, body weight, and duration of the soak. On average, it is estimated that sitting in a hot tub for one hour can burn between 100 and 150 calories.

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