5 Secrets About Sweat Everyone Should Know
I tend to associate the intensity of my workouts with the amount I am sweating. Is this true? Maybe… I decided to look deeper into the meaning. Turns out sweat is pretty cool!
1.What is sweat?
Water mixed with salt and assorted minerals that comes out of our approximately 2.6 million sweat glands located all over our bodies.
2. Why do we sweat?
Sweat is our body’s way of cooling down. Turns out its the evaporation of sweat that cools us down, not the actual act of sweating. We are constantly sweating but are not always aware of it because the sweat is evaporating so quickly. When we workout, our internal temperatures increase causing our glands to produce sweat faster than it can evaporate, hence the droplets rolling down our faces. Sad news is that if the sweat doesn’t evaporate it won’t cool us down so that puddle under your spin bike is actually just wasted cooling efforts.
3. If I sweat a lot does it mean I’m getting a better workout?
Sometimes. Sweat is only an indicator of how hot your body is not how hard you have worked, though in some circumstances it can be used to show effort levels. In a stable climate, where temperature and humidity are equal, the harder you work the more you will sweat which is a sure indicator of effort because your external environment is not a manipulating factor. What happens when you show up for your favorite class, the room has already been used for another class, and its really crowded? By the end you have a puddle under your feet and are drenched head to toe. Did you work harder than normal? Probably not but your surrounding environment was already causing elevated sweat due to the crowd, heat, excitement, and humidity when you arrived. In reality, your performance could potentially be worse in a situation like this because of dehydration and your perceived exertion (how hard yo think you are working). When we are dehydrated, our blood volume decreases causing our bodies to have to work harder to pump blood which slows our sweat rate as our internal temperature rises. If you want to maximize your workout, concentrate on hydration and cool versus sweating.
4. Why do I sweat more than other people?
Our bodies are covered in sweat glands that are all different sizes and some people are gifted with more than others. This is why two people can complete an identical workout and one could leave completely dry while the other is drenched. Fitness level can play a role in the amount you sweat as well. Just like we train our muscles to be stronger, our sweat glands become more efficient and can increase in size as we progress on our fitness journey. Our muscles lose their strength without use and so can sweat glands if we stop using them as frequently. So the moral of the story is the more we sweat, the better sweaters we become.
5. Does sweat stink?
Nope. If you smell at the end of an exceptionally sweaty workout, its from the bacteria on your skin not your sweat. To combat the stink you can employ a good antiperspirant, a healthy serving of soap in the shower, or a little spritz of vinegar. It also might be your damp clothes that are stinky not your skin, it helps to keep your workout clothes smelling fresh so you don’t mistake body odor for apparel odor.
Turns out our sweat is more complicated than just water busting out of our pores! Now you don’t have to be afraid of working one up and know what it means when you do. Have fun sweating!