The science of sweating - Emily Skye

The science of sweating

The science of sweating

Ever wondered why some people just seem to sweat more than others? It might surprise you to know that women have more sweat glands than men do (You have between 2 and 4 million sweat glands in your body) however men’s are generally more active so they perspire more than woman.

Sweating is a natural process stimulated by the nervous system in order to help regulate your temperature at a healthy 37 degrees celsius. If your body raises or drops far from this temperature then you risk the different systems of your body going into shock and your organs failing. But don’t worry, perspiration is a very effective way in which your body can help maintain your ideal temperature and you don’t even have to think about it!

Yet some people just seem to sweat more than others! Maybe you are one of these people who has sweat pouring off you after just 10 minutes of getting your heart rate up? - Or perhaps you are one of those people who hardly even glistens?

The fact is that sweating, and how much you do it, depends on several different factors, including;

  • Gender
  • Number of sweat glands you have
  • Intensity of your exercise
  • Fitness level
  • Temperature
  • Hormonal changes
  • Body fat ratio
  • Caffeine intake

Obviously if it is hotter, your body will naturally sweat more to help adjust to the external temperature. Just like if it is really cold, your body shivers as a way of generating more heat!

As a general rule fit people tend to sweat more efficiently that people who are less fit. This works because their body is used to being active and starts to excrete small amounts of sweat even before their temperature has risen too high, so that they can maintain the optimal temperature to continue exercising. People who are less fit will tend to heat up faster and sweat more profusely all at once. The same thing applies to people with high body fat ratios because their bodies are more insulated therefore will raise in temperature more rapidly.

Drinking caffeine will stimulate sweat production, as will wearing synthetic clothing that trap heat. So if you would like to sweat less, then these are things to consider!

There are some people who suffer from hyperhidrosis which is a fairly common condition that causes excessive sweating from their palms, feet and face as well as other parts, even when they are not warm or moving. If this sounds like something you have, then it is a good idea to check with your GP so they can discuss with your treatment options that are available.

But for all the normal sweating that comes with exercising, learn to love it. You are not only keeping your body temperature regulated, you are also excreting toxins and waste from your bloodstream. So sweating is helping cleanse your body!

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