Girl, I Want to Make you Sweat.. Sweat ’til you Can’t Sweat no Moooore: More Sweat Equals a Better Workout?

.. And if you cry out.. I’m gonna push it, push it, push it some more.. A la la la la long, a la la la la long long li long long long – C’mon! …. Two weeks ago I went for an early morning hike through the Sonoran desert. Despite the clouds and my 3 bottles of ice cold water, by 9AM, I was already drenched in sweat. Not an INCH of me was dry. Sweat was LITERALLY pouring down my face and into my eyes, mouth, and nose. I’m talking more than 5x the amount of “Soul Cycle”-level sweat.  Real cute, right?? So that obviously means I must have gotten the workout of my life? Because more sweat equals a better workout? Well, not necessarily.

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You see, when your body temperature rises, your body responds by secreting sweat. This moisture (sweat) can then evaporate off from your skin and help you cool down. How much we sweat is due to a number of factors, including gender (men sweat more than women), age (younger people sweat more than older people), weight (larger people sweat more than smaller people), genetics, temperature, humidity, and fitness level.

In one study, a group of fit men and women and a group of unfit men and women cycled on stationary bikes for 1 hour in an 86 degree studio.  The researchers looked at how many sweat glands were active during each rider’s session and riders’ overall sweat rates. Not surprisingly, the fit men perspired the most. Next in line were the fit women who produced the second-most amount of sweat. Finally the sedentary men, followed by the sedentary women perspired the least of any group.

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One reason that men sweat more than women, is that women naturally produce less sweat from each gland (even though women have more sweat glands than men). Along with this, men tend to be heavier than women and have more muscle mass. This allows them to produce more heat than women while working out.

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Research also suggests that fit people sweat more than those who are less in shape. As your fitness level improves, your body’s heat-regulating system kicks in sooner. This in turn helps to cool you down faster and therefore work even harder. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t working hard during no or low sweat workouts. It could be that your sweat is evaporating faster due to air-conditioning or maybe you just don’t sweat that much overall.

Bottom line … Sweat does NOT necessarily mean Harder work.

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