Does Sweating Equal Weight Loss?
How many times you went to a sauna or pushed yourself in the gym just to break a sweat? Do you spend hours running or cycling in order to sweat more? Stop wasting your time! Sweating has nothing to do with weight loss. Even though it plays a key role in overall health, it doesn't mean it helps you get leaner.
What Is the Purpose of Sweating?
Sweating or perspiration is your body's own cooling mechanism. This fluid is secreted by the sweat glands in the dermis. Most glands are located on the armpits, palms, forehead, and the soles of your feet. When these glands are overactive, you sweat excessively. This condition is known as hyperhidrosis.
What we call sweat is actually a mix of water and salts. Its role is to keep your body's temperature within normal limits. For instance, when it's hot outside or when you’re working out, your temperature increases. Sweating regulates your core temperature and prevents overheating. Basically, it works as a coolant for your body.
This process has other functions too. It helps flush out toxins, improves circulation, and relieves stress. Moreover, it kills harmful viruses and bacteria that can not survive at high temperatures.
Studies suggest that sweating increases the release of endorphins, the so-called feel-good hormones. This helps lift your mood and relieves stress.
Another benefit of sweating lies in its ability to rid your body of toxins, alcohol, cholesterol, and excess sodium. Toxins are the main culprit behind aging and a contributing factor to chronic diseases. Sweating may also lower your risk of kidney stones by eliminating excess salt from your body and improving calcium retention.
This process cleanses your pores, leaving your skin free of acne-causing bacteria. Due to its detoxifying effects, it boosts immune function and keeps diseases at bay. After all, Scandinavians are among the healthiest people in the world. This is largely due to their frequent visits to saunas.
The Truth about Sweating and Weight Loss
As you see, sweating supports health and well-being. It's a natural coolant, detoxifyingagent, and immunity booster. Unfortunately, it doesn't really help with weight loss. This is just a myth.
Sweating doesn't burn fat or calories. The reason why you're lighter after a good sweat is because you lose water. Excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. That's why it's recommended to drink water or electrolyte beverages after running or training hard. Water loss is not the same as fat loss.
Another common myth says that sweating is an indicator of fitness. Basically, your workout isn't hard enough unless you break a sweat. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the fitter you are, the less you will sweat. Over time, your body adapts to exercise and doesn't overheat as fast as it used to. As a result, you sweat less despite training hard.
Additionally, some people sweat more than others because of their diet or metabolism. For example, if you drink a cup of hot tea or eat spicy foods before exercise, it's normal to sweat more. Hot peppers, green tea, ginger, and even coffee increase your body's core temperature, which in turn, causes sweating.
No matter how much or little you sweat, it has nothing to do with the calories burned or exercise intensity. Perspiration rate depends on a multitude of factors that are not related to your workout. Body weight, climate, humidity, fitness level, age, and gender - all of these aspects dictate how much you sweat.
- Sweating is a biological process that keeps your temperature constant. It also helps flush out toxins and excess sodium, leading to a stronger immune system and better health.
- Perspiration rate depends on your age, fitness level, temperature, humidity, genetics, diet, and other factors.
- Sweat is not an indicator of fitness or calorie expenditure. Fit people actually sweat less during exercise because their bodies take longer to overheat.