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What Can Sweat Tell You About Your Health & Fitness?

By Sam Nardi / Oct 23, 20
Dermadry Team

Everyone sweats, but not everyone likes to talk about it. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about sweating, and a lot of questions in regards to what sweating really does to and for your body. 

In this installment, we are focusing on questions about the science of sweating, what sweat can tell you about your health, and it’s relation to exercise and fitness. We’ve covered everything from whether sweat can detox your body, if it helps you lose weight, how much sweating is “normal”, if you suffer from excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) and some of the things it can tell you about your overall health. Read our guide to the most frequently asked questions about sweat below and discover a thing or two about sweating!

What are the benefits of sweating?

The primary role of sweating is to regulate your body temperature. Sweating is mostly made up of water and salt and trace amounts of other substances.


What are the disadvantages of sweating?

Excessive sweating can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It can contribute to body odour and have a general negative impact on someone’s self-confidence and wellbeing. There are several conditions affecting the sweat glands, such as hyperhidrosis, anhidrosis, bromhidrosis, and chromhidrosis.


What is the importance of sweating?

Sweating is a necessary human function that is needed to regulate body temperature. If you don’t sweat (anhidrosis) or don’t sweat enough it can cause serious problems such as overheating. if you sweat too much (hyperhidrosis), it can negatively impact your quality of life.


Why am I sweating so much all of a sudden?

Sudden onset of sweating can signify hyperhidrosis, particularly secondary hyperhidrosis. If you have suddenly started experiencing excessive sweating you will want to check with your doctor to rule out any underlying causes, If you are experiencing the sweating after having started a new medication, it may be a side-effect of the medication you are taking.


Is it healthy to sweat a lot?

Sweating is a crucial body function, though it is not a key indicator of health and fitness. If you’re sweating excessively, you may suffer from a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis. While it is not dangerous, it can have considerable negative effects on your mental health, general wellbeing, and overall quality of life.


Does sweating burn fat?

Sweating does not burn fat, and how much you sweat when working out is not related to how intense or “good” your workout was.


Does sweating detox your body?

No, this is a myth. While there are trace amounts of toxins in sweat, these are negligible amounts. Your body does not detox itself through sweat, your body detoxes through your liver and kidneys.


Should I wipe the sweat off my face?

Yes, it is recommended that you wipe sweat off your face post-workout to prevent blemish-causing bacteria to linger on the skin.


Is sweating good for skin?

Yes, sweating is good for your skin… However, you do not want to let sweat linger on your skin for too long or wear sweat-soaked clothes directly on the body as this can cause odour, and irritation.


Is sweating a sign of irritation?

Sweating can cause irritation and chafing, particularly if the sweat is trapped in clothing that remains in direct contact with the skin. This moisture can be unpleasant and uncomfortable and lead to skin irritation and problems.


Does shaving armpits reduce sweat?

Not directly, but antiperspirants are most effective on clean, shaven skin as it is easier for your body to absorb. Shaven armpits can help with body odour as hair can trap bacteria and allow it to multiply more easily.


How do you reduce body sweat?

To reduce body sweat, applying antiperspirants and wearing moisture-wicking clothes, and breathable fabrics and shoes are recommended. If you suffer from excessive sweating, look into treatment options such as iontophoresis.


What to do after sweating?

After sweating from exercising, or being out in the heat, or even after a stressful situation, it’s a good idea to shower to remove any residue and prevent odour-causing bacteria.


Should I wipe my sweat during exercise?

No, sweat allows your body to cool down through evaporative cooling, so it should remain on your skin. Only wipe it off if it is a safety risk while exercising (affecting your grip, getting in your eyes, etc.). It is recommended to shower after completing your workout to remove sweat lingering on the skin, which can cause bacteria to breed and lead to body odour.


What happens if you don't wash sweat off?

It can lead to the growth of bacteria, causing irritation and discomfort, as well as body odour.


Why do people sweat a lot?

Some people sweat more than others, and a number of factors are at play, including gender, age, body composition, and physical fitness. Those who sweat excessively may also suffer from hyperhidrosis.


What is excessive sweating a sign of?

Excessive sweating can be a sign of primary hyperhidrosis. It can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition or a side-effect of a medication you are taking (secondary hyperhidrosis).


What does sweating mean?

Sweating means that your body is trying to cool your body temperature down after experiencing a rise in temperature, This can be from heat, exercise, stress, or otherwise.


Is sweating a lot good?

Everyone sweats, but the level of sweating varies from individual to individual. Sweating more than the average person can be due to a benign condition known as hyperhidrosis.


Does sweating help you lose weight?

There is no direct link between sweating and losing weight. You may temporarily lose water weight after sweating profusely but will gain this back once you drink water and re-hydrate.


Is sweating a sign of a good workout?

Sweating is not a key indicator of a good workout as the amount you are sweating depends on many internal and external factors, including body composition, physical fitness, age, gender, as well as what clothes you’re wearing and what conditions you are working out in (outdoors, heated room, etc.).


Is sweating a sign of infection?

Sweating can be a sign of a lot of things, including infection, especially if accompanied by a fever. 


Is sweating a sign of diabetes?

Excessive sweating is generally not something to be concerned about, however in some cases it can signify an underlying condition, such as diabetes. This is called secondary hyperhidrosis. Speak to a doctor if you have any concerns.


What does sweating do for your body?

Sweating allows your body to cool down and regulate your body temperature through a process called evaporative cooling.


Does sweating a lot mean you have a high metabolism?

Sweating does not signify that you have a high metabolism, and is not an indicator of how much fat and/or calories you are burning.


Does sweating make you healthier?

Sweating is healthy and is a necessary body function. However, sweating is not a good indicator of overall health. Sweating too little or too much can be a medical condition, or  signify underlying conditions. Of course, if you are sweating because you lead an active lifestyle, then that is making you healthier, but is not related to your sweat.


Do you sweat less when you lose weight?

Bigger people generate more heat because they have to move more body mass, so they also tend to sweat more. If you lose weight, you are likely to sweat less. However, this is not true in all cases, as hyperhidrosis (a medical condition that causes excessive sweating) is not in any way related to weight.

If you have any questions about sweat or hyperhidrosis you’d like answered, comment below! 

Keep an eye out for our next installment, we’ll be looking at the impact of sweating on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle!

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