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Don’t sweat it - everything you need to know about perspiration

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

In my business, sweating is a kind of badge of honour - it makes me feel proud that I’ve done a good thing for my body.

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re a Sweaty Betty or a Glowing Gloria, let’s investigate all things sweaty:

What is sweat for?

Sweat is how your body regulates its temperature. Glands in your skin produce sweat onto the surface that is then evaporated to cool you down. Clearly, when we exercise we get hotter and our bodies produce more sweat to stop us overheating. Sweat is also good for eliminating chemicals from the body, so you get a detox as well as a good workout!

What makes us sweat?

Sweating more during exercise is perfectly natural and there are conditions that will make you sweat more, like how hard you work, the weather conditions, what you wear, fitness level, any health conditions and genetics. Generally speaking, men sweat more than women, young people sweat more than older people, heavier people sweat more than lighter people, and the type of exercise you do affects your sweat levels.

Do fitter people sweat more?

People who are very fit tend to sweat more overall but less-fit people can sweat more when they’re doing the same workout as a fitter person because they’re using more energy and creating more body heat. The amount of sweat you produce doesn’t necessarily match the intensity of your exercise or the number of calories you burn.

I don’t sweat much, is that bad?

The most common reason for not sweating during exercise is dehydration, ie. Your body doesn’t have enough fluids to produce much sweat. There is also a condition called hypohidrosis where you don’t sweat at all and this should be discussed with a doctor.

Why does sweat smell?

Fresh sweat doesn’t actually smell at all. The odour comes when sweat mixes with bacteria and hormones on your skin and in your clothes. The sweat that is produced from glands in your armpits, groin and breasts is more concentrated and nearer hair follicles so these areas can hold the odour.

How much sweat do we produce?

This depends on different factors like body size, age, muscle mass and fitness level (muscles produce more heat than fat). The body can lose up to two litres of fluid through sweat. Illnesses like colds and flu and mental health conditions like anxiety can increase how much you sweat. And we mustn’t forget hormone fluctuations which are linked to body temperature.

How do I replace lost fluids?

If you’re exercising for less than an hour, drinking water afterwards will be enough to replace lost fluids. If you’re exercising for more than an hour, keep drinking during the activity. Sweat also carries sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium and less-fit people seem to lose more sodium than others. So, if your sweat tastes salty and stings your eyes, you’re losing sodium and can replace these minerals with a sports drink.

Whether you sweat buckets or just a tiny trickle, we positively embrace sweat at Gemma Pearce Fitness!

Find out where you can get sweaty next at

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