The More Fit You Are, The More You Sweat! That’s According To An Expert On Sweat
Have you ever got to the gym and found yourself surprised because you weren’t drenched in sweat after exercising? A lot of people assume there’s a link between how vigorous their workout was and how much they’re supposed to sweat.
Sweat can provide useful insight on how the human body responds to exercise
However, according to Dr. Lindsay Baker, an expert on perspiration at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, this is not actually true. According to the scientist, there are several factors that determine how much you sweat, and discovering the reasons for how and why people sweat can provide useful insight on how the human body responds to exercise and post workout recovery.
There does seem to be evidence that when an athlete exercises vigorously — in particular if they engage in endurance training such as long-distance running — they tend to sweat more and do so sooner.
Your overall fitness level can be measured by the amount you sweat, and this information can assist you in both pre-workout preparation and the recovery process when you finish.
It is true that the intensity of your workout does make you sweat more as the more energy you put into it, the more heat your body generates. As a result, your body will sweat more as a way to stabilize your body temperature, says Dr. Baker. The best way to think about it is as your body’s natural cooling system.
But there are other forces at work that determine how much you sweat, namely genetics, gender, and weight. For example, people who are heavy built generally sweat more since the amount of effort needed to move the larger mass is greater as compared to someone who has a slender figure.
In addition, the air temperature and humidity in your environment also factor into the amount of time it takes for the sweat to evaporate, and so you might have sweat considerably, but just not realize it. For example, if it is dry outside, windy, and cold, your body will generate less sweat or that sweat will dry more quickly.
No need to be alarmed
So taking all these factors into consideration, it is entirely possible that you’ll get in a really good workout and might even need to be rehydrated afterward, but you simply aren’t sweating as much as you would if the weather were hotter or less windy.
You also shouldn’t worry if you do happen to sweat a lot. Studies that have involved hundreds of athletes demonstrate that even taking into consideration the intensity of the workout, some were sweating less than half a quarter per hour while others sweat more than three quarts.
The bottom line: there is more that determines the quality of your workout than getting a good sweat.
Other studies have found that subjects with a large amount of experience in fitness are more inclined to sweat more, especially when it involves exercise that tests your endurance. The reason is simple: your body anticipates that you’re about to engage in rigorous activity from the warming up stage, and immediately springs into action to keep you cool by generating sweat.
Dr. Baker notes that if exercise is a regular routine for you, your body adapts as well and makes sure your body temperature is well regulated. It does this by sweating sooner, which keeps you from heating up to dangerous levels.
When an athlete has a high degree of training, they can keep up the intensity of their workouts for longer periods, which also results in more sweat.
As for which athletes are the sweatiest, according to Dr. Baker the answer is endurance runners, although American football players are a close second due to their size and the helmet and pad requirements.
When you sweat, you lose fluids and electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) which need to be replenished so that you don’t dehydrate. The most simple way to determine whether or not you are properly hydrated is by looking at the color of your urine. If it’s dark (or you aren’t urinating enough), it’s a sure sign that you are not getting enough water. This is why it is important to drink plenty of fluids before you start the workout.
This is often a problem with athletes, who don’t stop to consider the importance of hydrating until they actually suffer from the consequences. No matter who you are — a professional athlete or somebody who exercises in intervals — making sure you’re drinking plenty of water is key right from the start.
The amount you are sweating is important in this case. You can determine the amount by weighing yourself before and after the workout. If you weigh less, it is an indication that you need to hydrate yourself.
Pairing up your post-workout drink with a salty snack is another great way to replenish electrolytes and will keep you from cramping up and feeling extreme fatigue.