I can’t tell you how many times as a fitness instructor I’ve seen people running on treadmills in sweat-inducing heavy gear, clearly believing that more sweat means more calories burned and consequently faster weight reduction. Sweat and calories have long been linked, but can you tell how good of a workout you had merely by sweating? Is it true that sweating helps you lose weight?
Wouldn’t relocating your workout to a warm environment help you achieve your fitness goals faster if more sweat means more calories burned? Should you train at midday this summer instead of mid-morning to take advantage of the heat and increase your sweat output?
We’ll see if sweating burns calories and if a sweat-soaked shirt suggests you burned more calories in this article. What your sweat stains (or lack thereof) tell about your workout, and why some people sweat more than others.
Why do we sweat a lot?
Sweating is the body’s natural way of regulating temperature. This is done by releasing water and salt into the air, which evaporate to keep you cool.
Those tiny droplets are your body’s way of regulating your body temperature when the ambient temperature is extremely high or when you put your muscles to work during exercise. In other words, whether we’re exercising or under various sorts of heat stress, we sweat to cool down.
Exercising does not result in sweating, despite popular belief. Exercise, on the other hand, boosts your internal temperature, signaling to your body that it’s time to cool off by sweating.
Sweating does not burn calories on its own, but sweating away enough liquid will aid in water loss. But it’s only a temporary setback. You’ll regain any weight you’ve lost as soon as you rehydrate with water or food.
Sweating Is Affected By A Variety Of Factors
Sweating is determined by a number of factors on an individual basis, including:
- Environmental and genetic factors
- Fitness level
The amount of sweat you produce during exercise is largely determined by your weight and fitness level. When you gain weight, your body requires more energy to function, and because there is more body mass to cool down, you sweat more.
Is it true that more sweating means more calories burned?
Sweating has little effect on how many calories you burn on its own. True, physically transporting the ions that allow water to enter glands and be released as sweat requires energy, but only a little amount. Sweating, in other words, necessitates some energy, but not enough to make a big difference in how you feel or how much weight you lose. Sweating indicates that your body has lost fluids rather than fat.
A higher-intensity activity does, in fact, burn more calories than a lower-intensity one. Keep in mind, though, that increased sweating does not automatically imply that you’re doing out harder. Consider a hot yoga session, in which yoga is practiced in a heated atmosphere. The heat and humidity of the atmosphere may induce you to sweat heavily, despite the fact that the practice (yoga) is light and low-intensity. Is this to say that a heated yoga practice burns more calories than an HIIT workout in the open air? Not a chance!
In general, physical activity burns calories. The more main muscle groups you employ, the more calories you burn—and the more heat (and perspiration) you generate.
This calorie expenditure is highest during an aerobic workout when compared to a weight-training activity. If you’re doing a weight or interval workout with rest in between sets, though, you could notice that you’re not sweating as much. That doesn’t mean you didn’t get a good workout, burn calories, or build muscle; it just means your body temperature didn’t climb as high as it should have.
It makes no difference whether you’re sweating so profusely that you could mop the floor with your wet T while your friend’s shirt is barely beginning to glimmer. Sweating capacity varies greatly from one person to the next. If you’re used to hot weather, you’ll likely sweat more at first because your body knows how to regulate its temperature. People begin to sweat in different ways at different temperatures.
It’s vital to note that sweat loss indicates water loss rather than fat loss. It doesn’t mean you’ve dropped a lot of weight just because the scale shows you’ve lost a few pounds after a sweaty workout. Those extra pounds are only water weight, and they’ll return after you rehydrate.”
That isn’t to say you didn’t lose weight while working out. You must burn both carbohydrate and fat calories for energy. Sweating, on the other hand, isn’t a reliable predictor.
Consequences of Excessive Sweating
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes you to sweat excessively on a regular basis despite the absence of any environmental triggers. Consult your doctor if excessive perspiration is interfering with your daily routine. Also, see your doctor if you have night sweats for no apparent reason or are suddenly sweating excessively.
If you’re sweating a lot, you’re more prone to become dehydrated. Sweating is heightened when the weather is hot or humid. Make sure you drink a pint of water for every pound you lose from sweating. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to hydrate. Instead, carry a water bottle to the gym with you and drink often throughout your workout.
Remember that extreme dehydration can be lethal. Extreme weariness or confusion, dizziness while standing that doesn’t go away after a few seconds, not peeing for eight hours, weak pulse, rapid pulse, seizure, and loss of consciousness should all be treated as soon as possible.
The amount of sweat you produce has no bearing on the quality of your workout or the quantity of calories you burn. You can sweat a lot but not burn a lot of calories or fat, or you can stay mainly dry and burn a lot of calories or fat. Your fitness level, heredity, alcohol or caffeine use, the environment, and what you’re wearing all influence how much—or how little—you sweat during exercise.
If you actually want to know how hard or intensely you’re working out, keep track of your heart rate. This may need the use of specialist equipment such as a heart rate monitor, fitness tracker, or smartphone app. If none of those alternatives are accessible, the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale can be used. To determine how difficult the workout is, simply use a 1-10 scale. You won’t have exact numbers, but you’ll be able to compare routines and get a sense of when you’re relaxing and when you’re pushing yourself.