by Kinga Sümegi
April 26, 2021
Why are we sweating?
Sweating is your body’s natural mechanism to cool you down. When your body starts to sense that you are too hot – either because it is a hot summer day or because you are doing sport (or both… wow that is a lot of sweat), it starts sweating in order to prevent overheating. The procedure is purely chemical, as Adele Haimovic, MD, a surgical and cosmetic dermatologist explains, “by promoting heat loss through evaporation, sweat helps regulate our body temperature”. Meaning that by the fact that liquid (your sweat) is evaporating from the surface of your body, your skin cools down. When you emerge from a lake during summertime, if the sun is not burning your back, a brief sensation of cold hits you for the same reason. We must admit that it is pretty cool to have an AC built into our body, and it is also one of the reasons people should not be ashamed of sweating.
Although it is not something we should feel bad about, it is advisable to prevent the odors that come with it. From this article you can find out more about one of the best alternatives against daily sweat. Are you intrigued? Click here to buy an all natural deodorant today!
Different types of sweating
There are two major types of sweating that we experience more or less frequently depending on our genetics, lifestyle and surrounding. The two categories of perspiration are 1. eccrine sweat, which is mostly composed of water and electrolytes, and 2. apocrine sweat.
1. Eccrine sweat is released from the eccrine sweat glands found all over our body, which generally happens after physical activity such as playing sports or simply due to high temperatures on a hot summer day.
2. Apocrine sweat (or stress sweat) is produced by the apocrine sweat glands which can only be found in our armpits, around external genitalia, navel and nipples, and the liquid released has a stickier feel. Sometimes apocrine sweat can have a distinct odour because bacteria decompose the different components found in the perspiration. If you want to know more about apocrine sweat we recommend reading this article.
Is it healthy to sweat?
Despite the general negative conception surrounding the procedure of sweating (smelly, sticky, yucky etc.), perspiring every day is actually good for your skin and well-being. Here below we collected a few reasons why you should not be afraid to sweat, and why you should thrive to make sure to see it glow on the surface of your body every day.
"When you sweat, your pores open and release the grit and grime that has built up inside of them," says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in Briarcliff Manor, New York. However, you should always pay attention to keep your skin clean. Sweating does half the work, but you must make sure to wash off everything that has been released onto the surface of your skin. Washing your face morning & night is good practice, but especially important if you live an active life full of sports and workouts.
If you have soreness in your muscles or an annoying little kink in your neck, and you are not lucky enough to have eager candidates around to massage it, you might be able to help yourself by working up a sweat, experts say. James Ting, MD, a sports medicine physician at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, California, explains "Exercise stimulates neurochemical pathways in the brain, resulting in the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers." If it hurts really bad though, do not wait for miracles, just go to a doctor!
If you are not the type who is up for a detoxicating juice diet, you should consider rolling out your mat instead for a sweaty home workout session. Some say that sweating can help your body get rid of metal surplus and other toxic materials, and as Dr Eric Berg explains in this video, sweating is also beneficial for maintaining the right level of sodium in our body. However, keep it in mind that you cannot sweat out a hangover for example, and that sweating is not enough (on its own) to rid your body of toxins. As it is explained in this article, sweating is primarily not for getting rid of toxins!
If you work out regularly, you must have already noticed that you always feel like spreading love after your regular session, even if you could have shouted of anxiety before getting started. It sounds and feels logical to connect feeling warm with a sense of well-being and relaxation, but it is also possible that there is, in fact, a scientific explanation for this sensation, says Dr. Ting. "Research has suggested that temperature-sensitive neural circuits to specific regions in the brain exist and may play a significant role in controlling mood." So, the next time anxiety starts to overwhelm you, just go for a run or go down to the gym to avoid a hysterical outburst.
It would be so great to be able to disinfect everything in your surroundings to prevent illnesses… But is it really the only solution? A study from Eberhard Karls University Tubingen in Germany suggests that human perspiration contains a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide called dermcidin, which “may help limit infection by potential pathogens in the first few hours following bacterial colonization”. It does not mean you should not wash your hands when you arrive home, but sweat is indeed beneficial from this point of view as well.
Research from the University of Washington found that those who do sport regularly, sweat out the unnecessary amount of salt and tend to retain calcium in their bones, rather than letting these substances go towards the kidneys and urine where stones can form. Sweating every day makes people drink more water too, which also contributes to stone prevention.
What would happen if we did not sweat?
The evaporation of sweat from the surface of the skin prevents our body from overheating during an intense workout, but what would happen if we didn't sweat? In serious cases – meaning that you do not sweat at all – the lack of sweat during workout could be due to a condition called anhidrosis, which is the inability to sweat normally. This condition can lead to dizziness, a skin rash, loss of consciousness, overheating or sometimes to heatstroke — a potentially fatal condition. So, we must admit, sweating is necessary for our well-being.
Sweating is natural, and it is good for you! Try to re-calibrate your mindset about this and do not feel ashamed of your sweat patches after workout or on a hot summer day, because it is perfectly normal to have them. Your body and mind will thank you later!
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