If you’ve ever wondered about the effect of sweating during exercise on fat loss, then this post is for you.
Sometimes when I’m training clients in cold weather, they become worried that they are not sweating enough to lose fat.
And when the weather is hot, they worry if all the sweating going on is really doing anything.
I’ve seen some strange acts of wearing very thick and layers of clothing just to coax the body into sweating more. Others visit the sauna for some minutes of sweating session to send fat out of the body.
You’ve probably seen some of the quotes like ‘sweat is fat crying’ and other motivation quotes to persuade you to push your body, till you see some sweat on your forehead, pits or any part of your body.
There are 2 fat loss myths that has led to this obsession with sweat:
- The more you sweat during exercise means that your workout is intense
- When you sweat during exercise, you burn more body fat
These myths are just that …… myths.
The sweat on your body when you are working out does not mean that your exercise is intense or that you are burning fat.
It could mean any of these:
- Some people naturally sweat more than others. You can put 2 people in the same environment, while one sweats, the other wonders where all the water is coming from and remains dry.
- Sports wears made of cotton may cause you to sweat more. Cotton absorbs your sweat and does allow it to evaporate. It holds on to the moisture, so you’ll feel soaked after the workout and feel that you nailed it.
- Fit individuals sweat more and sooner during exercise than those who are less fit.
- Bigger and more muscular people sweat more, because their bodies generate more heat
- When the weather is hot or humid, you’ll sweat more
You should also know that fear and stress can also cause you to sweat
What actually happens?
During exercise your muscle generates heat. This causes your core temperature (the temperature inside your body) to rise.
Because your body is created with a balancing mechanism, your sweat glands pumps fluid through the skin (sweat) and as it evaporates into the air it takes most of the heat with it and causes a cooling effect in your body.
During exercise, the main way the body maintains body temperature is by sweating and this results in a loss of body fluid. In most cases during exercise, the rate at which you sweat and lose water is higher than the rate you can drink to make up for the loss.
So if you step on the scale straight away, you’ll see some reduction in your number.
Does that mean you’ve lost fat? NO. It means you’ve lost more fluid through sweat — so you’re seeing a temporary loss in water weight (not fat).
So running outdoor or working out and jumping on the scale as soon as you get back will show a reduction in weight…… the fluid you lost through sweating. This is simply water weight that you gain back when you rehydrate and doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve burned lots of calories and body fat.
Your sweat consists mainly of water, electrolytes and salt. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature, maintain blood volume, help in the elimination of waste and allow muscle contractions to take place.
On the other hand, not sweating or low sweat during exercise may just be that you’re exercising in air-conditioning, the weather is cold, the day is windy or you’re near a fan.It may also mean that like me you naturally don’t sweat much.
It can be that you’re wearing a synthetic fabric such as Lycra or polyester which pulls sweat from your skin to the outer layer of your sports clothe, where it evaporates.
Sweat during exercise is your body losing fluid in order to keep you cool, it’s not you burning body fat
Forcing yourself into excessive sweating and not hydrating adequately in an attempt to burn fat can cause heat illness – Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The symptom of heat illness includes painful spasm, mild confusion, nausea, profuse sweating, sweating and chills of head and in extreme cases death.
Drink water before you workout, during the workout and after your workout.
Just clean of the sweat with a clean towel and get on with your workout.
Did you believe that sweating more means more fat loss? Let me know below.
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