Don’t Sweat The Sweat: 5 Things To Know About Sweaty Workouts
Summer workouts can be a lot of fun. We can go for long runs later in the day. We can spend more time outside. And it can be a new way to explore during our vacations.
For all the fun, though, summer workouts are also heavy on the sweat. Beyond a few of the basic sweat facts (we sweat to keep our bodies cool, for example), how much do we really know about sweat?
From questions about how much we should be sweating and controlling how much we sweat to worries about sweating too much, it turns out there’s enough burning questions about sweat to cause us to break out in sweat.
So, to help ease your mind (and our own) over this sweaty summer season, we’re sharing five important things to know about sweat and sweating.
Five Facts About Sweating During Workouts
Your Level Of Sweat May Vary
Sweating during the summer is often caused by the heat. Sweating during intense workouts can be caused by, well, the intensity of the effort and your body’s need to cool down.
Beyond those clearer cause-and-effect reasons to sweat, Healthline shares a few other reasons you may be sweating more than your neighbor at the gym:
- gender (men often sweat more than women)
- age (younger people often sweat more than their elders)
- body weight
- the type of exercise
Your Fitness Level Can Affect How Much You Sweat
As you progress along your fitness journey, your body becomes more efficient at a number of processes. That can mean a lower resting heart rate, increased lung capacity, and yes, a more efficient cooling system, i.e sweating.
Like Jason Karp, Ph. D shares for Shape, people who are in better shape tend to sweat more and sweat earlier in the workout. This is actually an indication of good performance because sweat evaporation allows you to cool off, so your body is preparing itself for exertion earlier.
Sweating Means Your Metabolism Is Going
Though sweating can be inconvenient when you’re trying to speed walk to an important meeting, sweat during workouts is a healthy sign.
According to Men’s Health, sweating during a workout means you’ve kicked off EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Colloquially called afterburn, it’s a sign that you’ll have continued oxygen intake after your workout as your body returns to its normal state.
Of course, you may find that in colder weather or drier climates that you aren’t sweating as much, so take this as a rule of thumb.
Sweating Is More Than Just Water
Though this reminder isn’t necessary to anyone who’s gotten sweat in their eyes, sweat is a mixture of, among other things, water, sodium, and potassium.
This matters even more over the summer when you may be sweating more. Rather than just fight dehydration by hammering sports drinks after a workout, consider being more analytical.
Insider suggests weighing yourself before and after a workout to know just how much liquid you’ve lost, and use that as a basis to start your recovery. Then make sure there is an appropriate amount of electrolytes, either in the beverages you’re drinking or the snacks or bars you’re consuming.
Excessive Sweating Could Be Medical
Sweating before you even touch the weights? Or even before you’ve thought about going to the gym? It could be a medical condition. While there is not necessarily a quantity or level that would be described as excessive sweating in the gym (especially given all the factors we’ve already discussed), there are some conditions that cause sweating without a trigger.
One that Livestrong points out is hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive sweating when your body is in need of thermoregulation. Though not considered dangerous, you can consult your doctor to see which remedies might help you relieve it.
–When you’re getting after your fitness goals this summer, just remember that a little (or a lot) of sweat is to be expected. What’s more, a healthy level of sweat is often a good thing, so take it in stride, grab a bottle and an extra towel, and enjoy!