You see it all the time; people who maximize sweating in order to lose weight. Whether it’s working out with a sweat suit on, having a post exercise sauna or doing Hot Yoga, they are convinced that they can literally sweat off their fat. But can they really? Let’s find out.
What is Sweat?
Sweating is a way that your body responds to overheating. The main component of sweat is water. The other constituents depend on which gland is actually doing the sweating. The vast majority of sweat is released by the eccrine glands. It is made up of a combination of water, urea, salt, ammonia and protein. That combination is what gives sweat its salty taste.
The sweat glands in your armpits, groin and breast are called apocrine glands. This type of sweat is more likely to be associated with body odor. That’s because these particular sweat glands also release a certain bacteria which is able to break down sweat into fatty acids.
Does Sweat Help You Lose Weight?
Technically, sweat does help you to lose weight. For instance, if you lose 10 ounces of sweat then you have lost 10 ounces. However, you have not lost 10 ounces of fat. You have lost 10 ounces of a substance that is mainly composed of water. When you drink 10 ounces of water, that weight will come back on.
Does Sweat Indicate a Better Workout?
There is a general perception that a person who finishes a workout drenched in sweat has just had a better workout than one who isn’t. While sweating can be a general indication of workout intensity, there are many factors at play. People sweat at different rates, so the fact that someone is sweating more than you can’t really tell you that much. Of course, the temperature in which you are working will also determine how much you sweat. You will also sweat more in a humid environment because the sweat will be unable to evaporate.
It is also possible to become adapted to training in a warmer environment. For these reasons, sweating a lot doesn’t tell you very much about how effective your workout is. You should rely more on weight progression, training tempo, sets and reps.
What About Those Sweat Promoting Products?
There is a whole market built around products that promote sweating. Many of them claim that they will help you to lose weight faster. We’ve already established that sweating won’t do that but that doesn’t mean that these items are no good. Products such as Sports Research Sweet Sweat Gel offer a number of benefits beyond weight loss.
Sweating helps to detoxify the body. Regular sweating will help to eliminate such toxins from your system as alcohol, mercury and other pollutants. Sweating also releases urea, which helps to improve the functioning of the kidneys. It should be noted, however, that excessive sweating without replacing the water lost can be harmful to the kidneys.
Sweating has also been found to help to ward off germs. Researchers have found that sweat contains the antibiotic dermcidin. This amazing substance forms a coating in the skin that prevents nasty germs from entering the body.
The very act of sweating provides a type of workout for the skin. It opens the pores which helps to clean the skin and improve the look and health of the skin. In conjunction with exercise, sweating also encourages the body to release the feel good endorphins that make us feel happy.
2 Tips to Lose Weight While Sweating
Sweating will not make you lose any serious weight but there are things you can do while sweating that will enhance your fat loss. The first is to choose the right form of exercise. The best exercise you can do to promote weight loss is to perform high intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT workouts involve performing repeated rounds of short intense cardio exercise followed by even shorter periods of rest. These types of workouts cause a substantial fat burn while you are working out. They also bring in the excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect, which will elevate your metabolism for at least the next 24 hours.
A popular form of HITT involves doing 8 rounds of 20 second sprints, followed by 10 second rest periods. You can use all sorts of exercises with this protocol, including running on a treadmill or working out on an exercise bike.
HIIT is hard work. To boost your energy, eat a banana before your workout. You can enhance your fat loss even further by doing your HIIT workouts first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Most of us will not have eaten for at least 12 months when they get up in the morning. This means that their glycogen levels will be very low, if not completely depleted. As a result, your body will have to draw on stored body fat to provide the training energy that you need.