Is sweating a sign of weight loss? Do people who sweat more lose more weight? What is the connection between sweating and weight loss? Does sweating burn more calories? These are just some of the questions frequently asked by fitness enthusiasts. Read our article for the answers.
Why do we sweat?
Sweating is normal, let’s begin with that. More or less everyone sweats, unless there is something wrong with their sweat glands.
Sweat’s main function is to regulate your body’s temperature when your body heats up. When this water-rich secretion, sweat, evaporates off your skin, your body cools down naturally.
That’s why it’s normal to sweat when exercising, as moving your muscles creates a certain amount of heat in your body. You can also sweat in hot and humid climates.
Does sweating help weight loss?
Sweating and weight loss aren’t necessarily correlated. You may be sweating but you might not be burning many calories.
Sweating is an indicator of your body’s temperature regulation rather than how hard your body is working. So sweating and weight loss aren’t entirely interdependent.
When you sweat, you lose water instead of fat. If you notice a weight change after sweating a lot, it won’t be a permanent loss. You are likely to regain that weight after having a meal or a few glasses of water. Sweating on its own doesn’t burn a measurable amount of calories.
Does sweating when exercising mean you’re burning calories ?
When you picture an efficient workout, you might be thinking of a red face and a sweaty t-shirt. However, sweating more doesn’t always mean that you’ll lose more weight.
Actually, the quantity of sweat we produce varies from one person to another. Everyone has a unique body. Some people have more active sweat glands than others, and people with more active sweat glands perspire more. That doesn’t mean they can burn more calories than others.
What other factors play a role in sweating?
Apart from how active your sweat glands are, sweating depends on a variety of factors:
- Body size: People with bigger body sizes sweat more, because they have a larger body surface to cool down.
- Age: The body becomes less tolerant to heat as you age, so the amount of sweat you produce might change over the years.
- Muscle mass: Muscle mass produces more heat than fat. For instance, if you take two people with the same body weight and make them do the same workout, the one with more muscle mass will sweat more, as their muscles create more heat.
- Health status: Hormonal changes, flu, and mental health conditions such as anxiety can have an impact on how much you perspire.
What can you do to burn more calories?
If your goal is to maximize your calorie burn and lose weight, you have to increase the intensity of your workouts. As the workout intensity and calorie burn increase, it becomes easier to lose weight.
Remember that you can burn calories during activities where you don’t sweat much, too. For example, you still burn calories while swimming, lifting light weights, or exercising in wintertime when it’s cold outside. So you don’t have to be sweating to burn calories and therefore lose weight.
Healthy adults are recommended to do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts five days a week. These could be brisk walking, jogging, cardio, weight lifting, or bodyweight workouts.
You can find cardio and other bodyweight workouts for every fitness level on Fitness Kompanion.
To sum up
Sweating alone isn’t a reliable indicator of how much weight you’re going to lose and how many calories you will burn. Nor does sweat volume indicate how fit you are.
The amount you sweat can vary due to several factors. If you aim to lose weight, your focus should not be on sweating more, but increasing the intensity of your workouts.