The Skinny On Sweat

Fitness: Get Fit

By: // August 25, 2015

Sweat and exercise go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you are heading into a workout, you plan to sweat. But how much? Is it bad if I leave soaking wet? Or is it weird if I never sweat? What’s the best thing to wear for a sweaty workout? Don’t sweat the details. We’ll tell you why sweating is good for you!

Sweat Facts

It’s puzzling. How can you walk out of the same fitness class dripping wet, leaving a small puddle of sweat behind, while the person next to you is barely glistening? Didn’t you both just do the same workout?

It’s true that some people sweat more than others. What’s also true is that many factors play a role in the amount of sweat you produce. Your body contains anywhere from 2-5 million sweat glands. These glands sit in your skin and secrete different amounts of sweat depending on your physiological status at the time. Of course, sweat occurs naturally for many reasons that have nothing to do with exercise. You sweat when you are nervous, stressed or angry. You sweat when it’s hot and humid outdoors. You sweat because of hormonal changes or medications you take. But in terms of the average, healthy exerciser there are still varying degrees at which your sweat glands produce. Let’s take a look at some of the things that affect your exercise sweat!

Your Gender
That’s right. You might have guessed it: men sweat more than women. It’s just a fact. And although women have more sweat glands than men it seems men’s sweat glands are simply more active.

Your Weight
Overweight people sweat more because their bodies sense they need more sweat in order to cool them down. On the other hand, it takes longer for an out-of-shape person to begin sweating because their body is not conditioned to do so.

Your Intensity
You got it. The harder you work the more you sweat. Since sweat is your body’s way of efficiently cooling your core body temperature, the more heat you produce the more the body needs to cool. Simply put, working hard produces more heat.

Your Fitness Level
Profuse sweating is not a sign of an out-of-shape person. In truth, many beginner exercisers sweat less than their more fit counterparts because their bodies are not as adept at cooling down. Those who workout regularly begin sweating right away because their body is well-trained and efficient at cooling down the internal systems.

Combine all of these things with the varying conditions of temperature and ventilation when you workout and you can see just how different your sweat levels can be on any given day. Just keep in mind that your sweat is a healthy, normal response from your body. It’s a good thing!

Related: Why You Should Drink Lemon Water Every Day

Planning A Sweaty Workout

While sweat is a good thing, it’s also important to consider preparing and then replenishing your body after a hard workout.

Choose Conditions Carefully
Hot and humid air can be hard on your body, especially when exercise is thrown into the mix. A relative humidity of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, making it harder for your body to cool itself. When temperatures are extreme, consider an indoor workout.

Sweat is about 95 percent water, which means that when you sweat, your body’s water levels decrease. No matter where or when you are exercising, you need to stay hydrated. And yes, stick to water. It is the best thing you can do for your health. Try to drink 24 ounces two hours before exercise, and another 8 ounces right before the workout. During exercise you should consume another 4-6 ounces of water every 15 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Proper Clothing
Sweat is most bothersome when you feel wet and uncomfortable. The best way to deal with the sweat you KNOW is going to occur is to dress for the occasion. Wearing old cotton t-shirts is no longer necessary for exercise. Technology has produced incredible moisture-wicking clothing to keep you dry. The names and brands are more than can be counted here, but suffice it to say everyone from Nike to Target offers excellent options.

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