How much should you sweat when you work out?

man sweating after a workout

Photo: Images of flamingos (Shutterstock)

Let me introduce you to your good friend, Sweat. Ignore the gross feeling and potential of BO for now and think about what it does for you: when your body gets too hot, threatening to raise your core temperature over what is healthy, small glands in your skin squeeze drops surface. As soon as a breeze hits these droplets, they evaporate, taking some of your body heat with them.

Pretty cool, eh? So let’s take a look at what it means to sweat while you workout:

  • You are hot
  • Your body wants to refresh you
  • That is to say he. I promise.

Does that sound too simple to you? Let’s look at the scenarios where you sweat. On a hot day, while you are lounging? Check. Indoors in the air conditioning, when you exercise? Also check. Exercise raises your body temperature (muscles generate heat when they work), so you will feel warm and start to sweat. It’s not the exercise itself that makes you sweat, it’s the heat.

You can get a great workout even if you don’t sweat a lot

At the same room temperature, a harder workout strength cause more body heat, so we’ve established an association between sweating and hard work. It is misleading, however.

If you do a 10 mile run in the heat, you are sweating buckets. Ten miles on a treadmill at room temperature, and you might not be sweating that much, but you will still sink. Go for a 10 mile run in the winter, however, and you’ll barely be wet. This is because your body doesn’t have to worry about cooling down.

Why do some people sweat more than others?

One of the biggest differences between people who sweat a lot and those who sweat less is body size. It doesn’t matter if you are fat, muscular, tall or a combination of the two; the more people there are, the harder your skin has to work to cool you off, and therefore the more you sweat. Compared to average or taller adults, children and short people have more surface area (skin) than the amount of body mass that needs cooling. In other words, they have a greater surface / volume ratio, so they can cool down with less sweat. It’s just physics.

If you lose a lot of weight, you are likely to sweat (slightly) less for this reason. On the other hand, the installer that you are, the After you might sweat, like research suggests runners’ bodies activate sweat glands earlier than sedentary people and they sweat more during the same workout.

Finally, if you feel like the biggest sweater in your group of friends, check to see if you are actually making the right comparisons. If you’re dripping wet when running in the midday sun and see your friend posting a selfie from the air-conditioned gym, you shouldn’t expect to sweat so much.

What is the link between sweating and weight loss?

Sweating a lot during a workout doesn’t mean you’re losing fat, so let’s break that myth. Profuse sweating can make you lose water weight, which is only temporary.

Our body contains a certain amount of water in our blood and in the different cells and compartments that make us up. We may lose a little, become slightly dehydrated, and barely notice it. Or we can drink a ton of water and get very hydrated, and have to pee a lot to get back to normal levels. In extreme cases, we can be so dehydrated that it threatens our health, but this is rare with normal activities.

When you sweat and that sweat evaporates or wears off (you wipe your forehead with a towel, say), water is leaving your body. You can actually weigh yourself before and after a workout and notice a change in weight if you sweat enough. Each pound of weight you lose is equivalent to two cups (16 ounces) of water that has left your body. So technically you “lost the weight”, but it wasn’t fat. You just need to drink two cups of water and then you will be hydrated and happy again.


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