‘Sweat is simply the fat oozing out of your pores when you work out.’
‘Sweat is fat crying.’
Trainers, coaches, and maybe even your girlfriend – people tend to try and motivate you by telling you that the more you sweat, the more calories you burn.
Sweat is good, but is it always a sign of success? It could be inspiring, maybe philosophical, but there is no scientific evidence behind it. Sweating has little to no connection with burning calories.
Yes, there are chances that a long run in the hot sun may leave you drenched in sweat, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have burned any more calories than usual. Sorry to have burst your bubble there! But the truth is, sweating profusely after a workout doesn’t translate to anything more than water loss.
So before you hit the gym with your ‘Sweat Smile & Repeat’ t-shirt, know the truth! The full truth, that is.
What Does Sweating Mean?
Sweat is a salty liquid produced by glands in your skin. The fluid you sweat may consist mainly of sodium chloride and urea in solution. Sweating is a way to cool down the body. (1, 2)
It is a part of the sympathetic nervous system, a component of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary activities in the body, such as the beating of the heart and circulation of blood. (3) Exercising is one of the significant causes of sweating (1).
Does It Help Burn Calories?
While working out excessively may cause your body to sweat a lot, it does not mean that you’re burning calories because of the sweat. The thing you can lose from sweating is your body’s water weight. (4) Physical training and some other factors such as hormones, oxygen saturation, and plasma osmolarity may influence the amount of sweating (5, 6).
So, there’s no clear evidence found of the link between sweating and calories burned. But, sweating is considered useful in some cases. Want to know more? Keep scrolling…
Benefits of Sweating?
The primary benefit of sweating is that it cools down the body (as mentioned above). Some other benefits are:
- It helps eliminate waste toxins via the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract (7).
- Sweating plays a significant role in human thermoregulation (a process that allows your body to maintain its core internal temperature). So, it helps keep the body’s internal temperature at optimum levels. (7)
Although sweating in normal amounts is an essential bodily process, however, too much sweating may cause some problems as well
- When heavy sweating has no medical use, it may cause a problem known as primary hyperhidrosis (when you sweat enough for it to drip off your clothes or hands) (8).
- It is also responsible for dehydration by reducing the volume of water available to the blood and interstitial fluids (9).
So, sweating is an essential bodily process that helps remove toxins and maintain body temperature. However, it doesn’t necessarily help burn calories. So, rather than considering your all wet body calorie-burning process, try to find out some natural ways to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Subscribing to our newsletter may help you come across easy to do hacks! You may also like to join the SuperFood WeightLoss Accelerator program for natural ways to maintain your weight and fulfill your nutritional needs. It is a customized program to enhance your health and help you maintain an ideal weight. Check out Super Easy Nutrition.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- “Sweat”. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/sweat.html
- “Sweating”. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/sweating.htm
- “Could my excessive sweating be hyperhidrosis?”. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170324123520.htm
- Popkin, Barry M., Kristen E. D’Anci, and Irwin H. Rosenberg. “Water, hydration, and health.” Nutrition reviews. 68:8 (2010): 439-458. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
- Buono, M. J., and N. T. Sjoholm. “Effect of physical training on peripheral sweat production.” Journal of Applied Physiology. 65:2 (1988): 811-814. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3170430
- Schlereth, Tanja, Marianne Dieterich, and Frank Birklein. “Hyperhidrosis—causes and treatment of enhanced sweating.” Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 106:3 (2009): 32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695293/
- Baker, Lindsay B. “Physiology of sweat gland function: The roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health.” Temperature. 6:3 (2019): 211-259. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6773238/
- “Excessive sweating”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/excessive-sweating/basics/causes/sym-20050780
- Leib DE, Zimmerman CA, Knight ZA. Thirst. Curr Biol. 2016;26(24): R1260–R1265. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.11.019