Exercising is one of the best, if not the best way, to lose weight. Couple that with a healthy diet and you’ll be on your way to losing a few pounds.
But does sweating lead to weight loss? Does it contribute to a lower body mass?
For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over everything you need to know about burning calories and sweating below.
Calories are the fuel for your body and will typically stay in your body as fat unless you use them up.
When it comes to your weight, it’s pretty much a balancing act; you’ll gain weight if you eat more calories than you burn and will lose weight if you burn more through exercise.
So then the question is – does sweating make you burn more calories?
Calories Burned While Sweating
Ever heard of hot yoga? Some sources claim that you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour but unfortunately, that’s mostly false.
Studies have shown that it only burns 300-500 calories per 90 minutes, which is equivalent to a run around the neighborhood for the same period.
Not all calorie-burning exercises involve sweating either. For example, you’ll still burn calories if you’re swimming or running outside in cold weather.
In other words, there’s no magical number for how many calories you’ll burn while sweating. At the end of the day, all that matters is what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Your current weight and fitness level also play a role in the matter.
Having said that, sweat can be used to measure the intensity of your exercise. Put simply, you can use it as a guideline to see how hard you’re working. The more you’re sweating, the higher your calorie burn will be.
What Determines How Much You’ll Sweat?
Not everyone sweats the same amount. For example, one person might experience excessive sweating after a short run whereas another person might not sweat at all.
Several factors come into play, including genetics, fitness level, age, weight, and environmental factors.
Out of all these, fitness level and weight will probably have the largest influence on how much you’ll be sweating. Put simply, your body will need to use more energy if you’re on the heavier side, which will result in more sweat.
Your fitness level is important as well; the fitter you are, the quicker you’ll sweat. This has to do with the fact that your body will be more efficient at regulating body temperature compared to someone who doesn’t exercise often. This allows your body to cool down faster, which means you can work out for longer.
Does Sweating Help You Burn Calories? – Common Myths About Sweating
If you Sweat, It Means That Your Workout Is More Effective
This isn’t true. While sweating can give you an idea of how hard you’re working, it isn’t the best measure of workout effectiveness.
Remember, sweating is just your body’s cooling mechanism, and everyone’s body works a little differently. As we said earlier, a fit individual will sweat earlier as their heat-regulating system is more efficient.
People Who Sweat A Lot Are Out of Shape
This isn’t always true. While it is related to your fitness level, other factors as mentioned above, determine your sweat rate.
In other words, it’s not an accurate way to determine how in shape you are.
Here’s some trivia to put things into perspective – Alberto Salazar has the highest sweat rate reported in literature despite being an Olympic athlete.
Sweating and Water Weight
Sweat is 99 percent water. The remaining 1% consists of electrolytes, amino acids, bicarbonate, potassium, urea, and calcium.
This means when you’re sweating, your body is losing water. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that sweating can cause you to lose weight through water loss. Keep in mind, however, that it’s only temporary.
What Is Water Weight?
It refers to the amount of excess water stored in and around our cells. This makes sense when you think about it since the human body is made up of approximately 60% water. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to survive.
There are a few things that can alter this number – sweating being one of them.
Other causes include intake of salts and carbs, menstruation, pregnancy, stress hormones, and certain medications.
It’s important to remember, however, that it does fluctuate constantly during the day; that’s normal. As long as you eat a healthy diet, it will be where it needs to be so don’t be too alarmed if your weight is different in the afternoon.
How Much Water Weight Can We Lose From Sweating?
It depends on how much you sweat but the average person can lose up to 1 to 1.5 pounds of water per day from sweating.
This number would also be higher if you exercise more or live in a hotter climate as you would be losing more water through your skin.
Risks Associated With Sweating
Sweating allows your body to cool down. However, it does come with a few risks.
For one thing, it can lead to dehydration; this is especially true if you live in an area where the weather is hot or humid. That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated when you’re exercising.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to drink a pint of water for every pound of sweat you lose. Don’t forget the electrolytes as well.
Signs of Severe Dehydration:
- Extreme confusion or exhaustion
- Rapid or weak pulse
- Loss of consciousness
- Persistent dizziness that doesn’t go away
- Lack of urination
Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Importance of Washing Sweaty Workout Clothes
You don’t want to wear sweaty clothes for long periods either as the sweat can easily irritate your skin.
That’s why it’s so important to change out of dirty clothes as soon as possible after working out. You don’t want your skin to be in contact with the sweaty fabric for longer than it has to.
Once you’ve taken it off, throw it in the washer – the sooner the better. If you don’t have time to wash it right away, hang it on something so that it can air out. The goal is to get rid of as much sweat/moisture as possible so that it won’t attract bacteria.
In terms of how to wash the items, we highly recommend ACTIVE Detergent. It’s made specifically for tech fabrics such as those used in athletic wear.
It features a concentrated enzyme blend and will dive deep into the fibers to physically remove sweat and other residues. It does not contain any chemicals such as SLS or sulfates either and you can use it both for hand washing and machine washing.
The Bottom Line
Sweating burns calories but the amount you sweat doesn’t dictate how much fat you’ll be burning.
Many factors determine your sweat rate, including your fitness level and genetics. At the end of the day, you can use it as a rough guideline of how hard you’re working but that’s about it.
Having said that, sweating can cause you to drop a few pounds of water weight. However, the changes aren’t significant and it’s only temporary; it’ll come back eventually as you consume more water.
Does Sweating Burn Calories – FAQs
Does sweating burn fat?
Sweating does not burn fat itself. However, it can be used as a rough guideline of how hard you’re exercising, which can put you at a healthy weight.
Will I sweat less if I lost weight?
The amount of sweat produced by your sweat glands depends on several factors including your fitness level, weight, and genetics. You will not necessarily sweat less if you have less or more body mass.
Do people sweat more if they do more intensive workouts?
Yes, the intensity of the exercise is one of the factors that determine how much an individual will be sweating.
What does it mean if I’m suddenly sweating excessively?
Certain triggers can cause your body to produce more sweat. For example, it can happen if you’re feeling stressed, nervous, scared, or anxious. Humidity or warm temperatures can also cause an increase in sweat production.