06 May Health Benefits of Sweat
It’s gettin’ hot in here, so…?!?! Cross your heart and thank your body for the drip drip drip that is SWEAT.
What is sweat? It is mainly water, but it also contains traces of salts, amino acids, proteins, and other substances. It can be a little gross and inconvenient at times, but ahhhh the great benefits it brings to our health help to make it totally worth it!
Unfortunately, you and I don’t have our own private air conditioners within us. This is where sweat comes in to save the day. This is our body’s natural cooling system.
We function best at an internal temperature of 98.6º F (37º C)… this is our body’s sweet spot. As we start to heat up (such as when we are exercising, sitting in the sauna, feeling anxious/nervous, getting sick, or just taking a stroll during these hot Texas days), our brain monitors this rise in body temperature by sending a message to our body. This message is sent to our sweat glands, telling them to secrete liquid onto our skin.
Sweat comes out of the skin through small holes (called pores) and is then evaporated into the air. This process creates a cooling effect, which naturally helps to cool our bodies down. Ever noticed the hotter you get, the more you sweat?
Detoxification of Heavy Metals and BPA
The process of sweating with heat and/or exercise is often referred to as a way to cleanse and rid the body of toxic burden. The need to detoxify has increased due to what we are now exposed to through our modern day food, water, and environment. Detoxification is primarily done through our blood and urine, but what about through sweat?
A study that reviewed the excretion of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury showed that these heavy metals may be excreted in appreciable quantities through the skin, and rates of excretion were reported to match or even exceed urinary excretion.
Bisphenol A (commonly known as BPA) is an industrial chemical found in the hard, clear plastics of food containers and water bottles. A study showed that sweating appears to be a clinically useful tool to facilitate the release of BPA through the skin in order to eliminate this toxicant from the human body.
Many toxic elements appear to be preferentially excreted through sweat and a potential method for the elimination toxic elements from the body.
Sweat Boosts Immunity
The healthy human skin with its effective antimicrobial defense system forms an efficient barrier against invading pathogens. 95 sweat proteins were identified, 20 of them were novel defense proteins. A study shows that dermcidin is the most abundant sweat protein. Dermcidin was specifically and constitutively expressed in the sweat glands, secreted into the sweat and transported to the surface of the skin. It plays a pivotal role in the regulation of human skin flora and antibacterial defense through the presence this antimicrobial protein.
Sweating, from aerobic exercise in particular, helps protect your heart by increasing blood flow and strengthening your entire cardiovascular system. The endorphins produced after a good sweat sesh also help to minimize stress, which has positive impacts on you heart functions.
This can help to reduce your risk of heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, and other heart disease.
Does Sweat Produce Weight Loss??
Ever looked down at the huge puddle of sweat you created and thought “Man, that was a good workout!.”…? Many believe that when you sweat, you lose weight. However, sweating itself does not burn a measurable amount of calories. Sweating out substantial amounts of liquid may cause you to lose weight, but this will be simply water weight, meaning it is only a temporary loss.
Sweating through heat alone should not be your end fitness goal. A balanced diet and consistent exercise routine are the foundation for sustainable weight loss.
When in doubt, sweat it out! What are some of your favorite ways to bring on the sweat? Don’t forget to book your FREE 15 minute appointment with me, Farrah, so I can help you start livin’ your best life!