You love to see the fruits of your labors. That sweat-soaked T shirt is a mark of pride for just how hard you’ve been working out. But did you ever think about how sweat works? Why you sweat in the first place?
Humans sweat a lot! A person in a colder climate can sweat up to a liter per hour! A person in a warmer clime can lose between two to three liters per hour. Whoa! This definitely explains why it’s so important to keep drinking water.
You sweat all the time. We’re always releasing moisture from our fabulous organ, skin. It helps regulate body temperature, although usually no one notices, including you. Sweat occurs through almost every inch of skin with the exception of your lips and your genitals.
You burn more calories when it’s hot outside. Your heart needs to work harder to both keep your muscles well oxygenated during cardio and to send extra blood to the surface of your skin to keep your body temperature safe. Unfortunately, you’re not burning that many more calories though, so it doesn’t mean you’ve earned a full-fat latte, more like a little bite of chocolate.
Sunscreen doesn’t affect sweating. “Sunscreen does not affect the sweating mechanism, which is your body’s way of cooling itself,” says dermatologist Brooke Jackson, M.D., of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago. Please note that no sunblock is truly “waterproof or sweatproof” so make sure you reapply every two hours.
Your body works harder when it’s humid. Your skin relies on the air being somewhat dry so moisture from our body can easily evaporate. In humid conditions, the air is saturated with moisture which makes it harder for the sweat to evaporate. This keeps your body temperature elevated and is why it can feel like such a struggle to do even easy workouts in humid conditions.
What do you think about sweat? I’m a bit of an anatomy geek and I thought this was pretty cool. This was one of my favorite posts to write. If you like this post, please consider checking out my newsletter by signing up in the right hand column at the top. It’s a great peek behind the blog with even more fitness tips and tricks.