Sweating and exercise – do we have to sweat for exercise to make sense?

Sweating during exercise is a healthy body reaction, but some sweat more, some less. But should sweat be an essential part of training or do we burn calories without a wet forehead?

Sweat and its importance for the body

Do you know someone who would enjoy droplets of sweat on your forehead or a wet t-shirt? Sweat is a natural reaction of the body to a hot environment that requires exercise or other physical activity. Sweating or sweat is the way the body cools down. The sweat glands react to an increase in body temperature and secrete a fluid that contains water, salts, sugar, urea and ammonia. Although the salt fluid on our body can annoy us, it is a healthy manifestation of the body to overheat .

Skin breathing is basically a great way our bodies use water in the body to regulate the temperature. In addition to the usual sweating rate, there are also conditions with increased and decreased sweat – hyperhydrosis and hypohydrosis .

  1. Hyperhydrosis is another term for increased sweating, that affects very few people. But this is a treatable disease. It can be primary hyperhydrosis that begins in childhood and is inherited by a large proportion of people. There is also a secondary one that can be a side effect of medication or caused by a disease like adrenal disease, heart disease, or menopause.
  2. Hypohydrosis or anhydrosis is the body’s inability to produce sweat. This condition can be the result of nerve damage that also affects the functioning of the sweat glands. Nerve damage can be caused by a range of diseases or disorders such as alcoholism, diabetes or amyloidosis.
Schweiß und seine Bedeutung für den Körper

There are three types of sweat glands :

  1. Eccrine glands – cover the entire human body and go directly to the skin.
  2. Apocrine glands – they extend into the hair follicles, are larger and are located, for example, in the armpit, head, face or groin.
  3. Apoeccrine glands – develop from eccrine glands, are medium in size and have the properties of eccrine and apocrine glands. They can only be found in the armpit area.

A sticky feeling on the body, stains on clothing or an unpleasant smell are the most common disadvantages of sweating. In addition to cooling the body, perspective also offers other advantages that may surprise you  :

  • Sweating while exercising – Exercising regularly has several benefits, including improved mood, sleep, or weight maintenance. Additionally, sweating in the gym is linked to washing out endorphins, which are also a type of “natural pain reliever”. Speaking of the happiness hormones … sweat and rising body temperature cause them to be washed out. Even if it doesn’t seem so, in some ways sweating improves our mood.
  • It helps wound healing – The University of Michigan found that sweat glands contain stem cells , which can be useful in closing wounds.
  • Prevents infection – Contains sweat the antimicrobial peptide dermcidin, which helps the body fight bacteria and infections. Sweating can be helpful for prevention of colds or scratches or mosquito bites, for example. As a result sweating can support our immune system.
  • It increases attractiveness – it sounds absurd, but at the University of Berkeley They did research and women smelled of androstadienone (a chemical in sweat) . As a result, they had higher levels of hormones that increase sexual arousal.
  • Removes chemicals and heavy metals – Studies have shown that sweat removes chemicals like PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) or BPA ( Bisphenol A) can release . Research from 2016 suggests that people who exercise regularly had lower levels of heavy metals. In addition to urination, sweating is a possible method of leaching heavy metals out of the body. Behind this conclusion is the finding that metals were found in sweat and urine, but their concentrations were higher in sweat.
  • It frees the body of toxins – In addition to chemicals, research shows that sweat can expel other toxins such as salts, cholesterol, and alcohol from the body. Have you come across the attitude that dancing helps get rid of alcohol? Apparently it won’t dance, it will sweat during the dance. It also means that honest exercise, combined with sweating, can help a person get rid of alcohol after a demanding party.

Sweating is often associated with a typical odor, but the sweat itself is odorless. Behind the unpleasant smell is the proliferation of bacteria and the breakdown of sweat into acids. When we talk about the smell that is associated with sweating, we cannot leave out the feet. Wearing shoes and socks prevents sweat from being dampened, bacteria from multiplying and sweat from breaking down into odorous substances. In addition to bacteria and sweat, the cause of the odor can also be fungi, the risk of which increases with “wet feet” .

Sweating and training

Have you ever left the gym and rated your training based on the sweaty t-shirt? The well-known myth about sweating while exercising probably doesn’t need special introduction. If you don’t go into the locker room completely wet, you won’t be doing your best. Is that how you feel? We may disappoint you, but the amount of sweating is not a credible criterion in assessing calorie consumption. Each of us sweats to different degrees, and more sweat on our foreheads does not automatically mean that more calories are burned.

Schwitzen und Training

In addition to personal characteristics, the environment in which you train also plays an important role in sweating. In places with high humidity, you have the feeling that you are sweating more because your sweat does not dampen as quickly. The opposite situation occurs in late November in freezing weather when you burn calories while returning home in a dry t-shirt .

In this case it is also true that with a better condition the body has a higher ability to cool down. How will you see this change? You will sweat less even though you do exactly the same thing. Improving form and fitness during exercise is natural. So try to increase the intensity. Don’t you have to keep getting bigger and better results? The training and its level is entirely up to you, it is a matter of priorities, but you don’t have to worry that less sweat will logically produce less results.

How do you prepare for sweat during training?

Independent on whether you sweat more or less during exercise, we provide you with tips that will help you prepare better for sweat during exercise :

1. Correct clothing – You can train anything that does not restrict your movement and that makes you feel good. However, the manufacturers of sportswear pay attention to comfort during training and are constantly developing new technologies and materials. The breathability of the material is not just a marketing ploy to get a higher price. Try to buy sportswear and see the benefits for yourself. The range of fitness clothing is wide and depends only on your taste and priorities. The old T-shirt is definitely nice, but the new piece of sports can motivate you more.

Wie bereiten Sie sich während des Trainings auf Schweiß vor?

2. Pay attention to your hydration – to sweat enough during exercise , you need to absorb fluids, of course. Dehydration is relatively common in humans and many even know about it. Do not only try to ensure adequate fluid intake during training days.

Would you like to learn more about the correct fluid intake ? Read our article – Hydration Before, During, After Exercise and How To Avoid Dehydration.


3. Forget about cosmetics – this is a challenge, especially for women. It is not suitable for adequate sweating if you clog your pores with various products or makeup. If you have the time and space, try to prepare your body and especially your face to sweat.

How do you avoid excessive sweating?

Sweating is caused by multiple f actuators influenced. Younger people or men sweat more than seniors and women. The amount of salty fluids in the body also depends on genetics, your weight, or the type of exercise. But what should you do with the uncomfortable feeling of sweating? Try using a deodorant or antiperspirant to avoid sweating. In addition, you can influence various factors, e.g. For example, changing the room temperature or using a towel that will completely remove your sweat during exercise. It helps to wear breathable and sweat-wicking material or to exercise outside of the hot times of the day. Do you mind jogging in the heat because you hate running in sweat? Maybe you could exercise early in the morning or late at night. Each of us is different and we perceive our perspiration differently, but it is important that perspiration does not interfere with our fitness goals. [14]

Are you thinking about a morning workout and are you worried about the disadvantages? Read the article to learn all the benefits of morning exercise – 9 reasons to exercise in the morning.

workouts that are guaranteed to make you sweat

We’ve given tips on how to prevent sweating, but what about those who don’t mind sweating and who literally expect it? We have a selection of activities for you that by their very nature guarantee that the thread won’t stay dry.

1. Bikram Yoga – e nes type of yoga known for being called “hot yoga,” while also having the ability to draw sweat out of you. Don’t you see how it is possible to sweat more while practicing yoga? If you imagined a quick change of position, you are thinking wrong. The term “hot yoga” is appropriate because of the temperature and humidity in the rooms. Bikram Yoga is at 32 – 40 ° C and 40% humidity practiced. It does 26 positions and 2 breathing exercises, but the key is temperature and humidity. It may sound simple, but imagine a workout where you can burn up to 330 (women) or 460 (men) calories.

2. Spinning – Biking in general can be a fun activity that makes you sweat a lot. In addition, the bike is a great choice for morning exercise on the way to work or school. However, spinning workouts are different. If you don’t want to disturb the instructions and exercise with dynamic music, try spinning. Thanks to spinning, you can burn 400 to 500 calories in just 40 minutes, be part of a team, strengthen your legs and your body, but also do a ” six pack ” on your stomach .


3. Tabata – can you imagine a workout in which you burn 800 – 950 calories in 28 minutes? The Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata invented it, and to put it simply, with a tobacco workout you train for 20 seconds and switch it with a break of 10 seconds . This is a high intensity I interval training (HIIT) with exercises that last 4 minutes . If you’re looking for an effective workout and don’t have a lot of time to do it, try Tabata. [15]

Are you interested in Tabata and would like to find out more about it? Read our article – Tabata: HIIT training that leads you to your goals.

4. Running – This is one of the most popular types of cardio exercise. Although everyone runs differently and burns different amounts of calories, running burns an average of about 10 calories per minute. In addition to the classic treadmills or sidewalks around your home, you can try walking up or down stairs . If you replace the elevator and escalator with stairs on the way to work, you will burn enough calories. A 15-minute walk up the stairs can help you burn 65 calories, and an hour of running 657-819 calories. In addition to the calories, running will strengthen your joints and muscles is a excellent workout for the muscles of the lower limbs. There are several ways to sweat a t-shirt while running. Just make up your mind.

5. Football and basketball – team sports are not only a pleasant activity with friends, but also an activity that doesn’t end with a dry T-shirt. With soccer, you can burn up to 752-937 calories per hour and with basketball about 584-728 calories. At the same time, they are ideal for supporting healthy bones, physical motor skills or building a healthy self-confidence. Both sports require working with the body and sprinting. Among other things, the E r result and the teammates motivate you to better performance. The fun workout in the playground is fun for both kids and adults, is relatively accessible, and a great activity with friends. [16] [21] [22]

Sweating during physical activity is quite natural, there the body needs to cool down. A slightly sweaty T-shirt may not be a sign of insufficient exercise. You burn calories even if you don’t thaw in your sweat. Whether you prefer activities with no stain on your clothes or want to completely devastate yourself and gossip your t-shirt, we believe you are in learned everything you need to know from the article. Would you like your friends to learn something about sweating and what it means for humans? Feel free to support the article by sharing it.


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