It makes us feel embarrassed and ashamed or it may make us feel and smell weird and uncomfortable.
So, we try to avoid it and cover it up.
What are we talking about?
We’re talking about sweat.
While it may be gross and smelly, the truth is, sweating is actually good for us.
What is Sweat?
Sweat consists of 99% water and 1% of the following:
• Electrolytes (sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium)
Does Sweat Smell?
Fun fact: Sweat doesn’t have a smell of its own.
The chemicals mentioned above are what give sweat an unpleasant odor.
Another reason for the noxious smell?
When your sweat comes in contact with the natural bacteria living on your skin.
Why We Sweat
By sweating, your body can stabilize its internal temperature.
Anytime, the weather is hot or you have a fever, your internal temperature rises.
This can damage your organs and cause an imbalance in vital minerals your body needs to function and develop.
Christopher Minson, Ph.D. says, “If you didn’t sweat during even moderate activity, you’d overheat in 10 to 12 minutes.”
To help prevent this from happening, your eccrine glands give the signal.
This causes the sweat glands to start releasing water to the surface of your skin.
As this water evaporates, your skin begins to cool down, along with all your internal organs.
A second gland is responsible for sweating: the apocrine glands.
These are linked to hair follicles, and mainly trigger sweat when we feel anxious or afraid.
Sweating Too Little
Sweating too little when you’re hot is a sign that your sweat glands aren’t working as they should.
Also known as anhidrosis, sweating too little is a life-threatening condition.
Anhidrosis is a symptom of an underlying condition.
Some of these include extreme dehydration, severe burns, as well as a few skin and nerve disorders.
Sweating Too Much
Another condition that’s just as serious is sweating too much, or hyperhidrosis.
This usually takes place without any sweat triggers at all.
Hyperhidrosis is an indication that your body isn’t regulating its internal temperature.
It can be triggered by obesity, low blood sugar, or a disorder in your thyroid organ or nervous system.
5 Health Benefits of Sweating
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sweat?
Hot, sticky, and smelly, right?
But sweat is so much more than that.
Sweating is your body’s way of protecting itself from the inside out.
Read on for five health benefits of sweating.
1. Cleanses Bacterial Waste
Studies show that sweat consists of glycoproteins that bind to bacteria.
This allows your body to get rid of harmful microbes in your body.
These molecules play a vital role in multiple physiological functions, such as immunity, reproduction, and preserving muscle tissue.
Sweat also contains a natural antibiotic, dermcidin.
When activated, it works to kill pathogens on contact, reducing the risk of diseases.
2. Eliminates Harmful Chemicals
We’re surrounded by industrial and organic chemicals that somehow find their way into our bodies.
They have adverse health effects that may result in severe consequences.
The two main man-made chemicals that are flushed out with sweat are BPA and PCBs.
The former is used to make hard, clear plastics and epoxy resins.
PCBs are used to manufacture electrical equipment, hydraulic fluids, and lubricants.
Sodium is another chemical that gets flushed out with sweat.
In moderation, this compound is vital for our health.
Yet, taken in excess, sodium can lead to serious health issues, like kidney stones.
Luckily, when you sweat, excess sodium is released.
This is why your sweat may taste a bit salty at times.
3. Detoxes Heavy Metals
We’re constantly being exposed to toxins from the environment, the products we use, and the foods we eat.
They enter our bodies, wreak havoc, and we’re stuck with them.
Fortunately, sweating flushes them in small amounts.
This detoxification process has been used for centuries to purify the body.
You can trace its origins back to Ancient Egyptian vapor baths, Finnish saunas, and Native Americans’ sweat lodges.
Heavy metals that pose the most threat include:
4. Improves Blood Flow
Sweating boosts blood circulation throughout our bodies.
As a result, your heart rate speeds up and your organs, muscles, and tissue are rejuvenated.
This sets off a series of positive reactions, such as waking up your heat-shock proteins.
They help safeguard fellow cells from damage.
Not only that, but they help repair damaged cells while signaling the production of newer, healthier ones.
When heat-shock proteins are in good shape, they can block off cells that can cause inflammation in your body.
This boosts your immunity and makes you more resistant to diseases.
5. Hydrating Skin
The pH levels of sweat are the same as that of your skin.
This means it can keep your skin moisturized and hydrated.
It also helps avoid breakouts and clears up acne.
Just remember to wash your face as soon as you’re done with your workout to help keep your face clean and acne-free.
This happens as a result of a boost of oxygen and nutrients nourishing skin cells.
Healthy skin cells mean a youthful, more radiant look.
To replenish the water, you lose when you sweat, it’s vital you stay hydrated throughout the day.
A good way to remind yourself to always drink is to buy a durable water bottle and keep it with you everywhere you go.
Sweating is a natural body function.
It helps balance key minerals in our bodies and regulates internal temperatures.
Not only that, but it guards us against inflammations and diseases.
After reading about these five super benefits of sweating, you have no reason to feel uncomfortable when you sweat.
Embrace it and enjoy all its benefits.