Sweating is the body's natural response to exercise. Water is a by-product of the aerobic training system, and sweat is also a natural way to cool ourselves down. But why do some people sweat more than others? And does sweating more mean you are burning more fat?
Does sweating help you lose weight?
When your muscles heat up as you’re training, your body works to cool you down which is why you sweat. The reason you may then experience a shift in weight is due to water loss, which needs to be replenished for your body to remain hydrated and avoid cramps and headaches. If you lose 1 litre of water through exercise, your weight will drop by 1kg. This is why you may see some bodybuilders at your gym weigh themselves before and after they've trained as it tells them how much water they've lost and therefore how much they need to replenish.
Sweating is caused by an increase in body temperature and heart rate. The act of sweating itself won't cause you to lose weight, but whatever caused you to sweat most likely will!
Are people who sweat lots less fit?
We are born with between two and four million sweat glands, the amount is determined by genetics and therefore, some people are destined to sweat more. Women have more sweat glands than men, but men’s sweat glands are naturally more active and so typically women sweat less. The amount you sweat has nothing to do with how fit you are, but is simply a matter of DNA. It can also be affected by your hydration levels, as if you don't drink enough water, your body won't have any to sweat out!
Sweat is a natural response to cool the body down so if it’s cold you could be training as hard as you possibly can and still not sweat at all. So sweat is not a measure of effort or calorie expenditure.