To Sweat or Not To Sweat?

May 18, 2009

Hello, Beautiful Beings!

Did you know that you (if you are the ‘average’ person) has 2.6 million sweat glands in your skin?  That’s a lot!  Even when I had a fever last week and was sweating buckets, it didn’t feel like I had that many sweat glands working for me!!

Check it out: sweat, or persperation, is your body’s way of cooling itself down.  Your body can sweat due to extra heat that comes from your muscles working hard, a high temperature in the weather, or overstimulated nerves.  While we all have funny stories of sweating because of some sticky situations, we will stick with the hardworking muscles for the sake of our focus on fitness!

Did you know we are constantly sweating, even though we don’t always notice it?! That’s right, even when you don’t see it happening!  While people sweat at very different rates (from a half quart up to 4 quarts of fluid lost per hour), we are all constantly sweating.  That’s a pretty crazy fact…AND, that’s why it is essential to rehydrate the body. When you think about how the body is about 2/3 water, that is solid reason why it is so important to drink your 8 cups of liquid a day!  Hydration, folks!

When you are sweating noticeably because of exercise, the sweat is meant to cool your body down by evaporating.  Sweat is mostly made up of water, but it does have some other important components.  When the water in the sweat evaporates, it leaves the salts (sodium, chloride and potassium) behind on your skin.  This is what can make your skin tastes salty. You have to be careful, as the loss of salt and water from your body can dehydrate you, AND sometimes just water is not enough.  Typically, if you are working out for less than an hour, you should be fine.  However, if you are going for a super intense workout of an hour plus and you are loosing a lot of sweat and salt, you need to be sure to replace your electrolytes by drinking a sport drink instead of just plain water and/or eating a healthy snack with salt shortly after the workout.

So, back to the original question: To sweat or not to sweat?  Well, we simply don’t have a choice.  It’s going to happen whether we like it or not!  We just need to be sure to keep our electrolytes up and drink plenty of fluids!

Happy working out and hydrating!
In peace,
Heather

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