Sweat, The Importance In Sport

The hottest months arrive, and with it, the stage of the year we sweat the most.


Do you know what sweat function is and what benefits it brings to an athlete?

Many people believe that practicing sports, the more you sweat, the more fat loss you get, and that is not true. If it is true that the greater the physical effort, the greater the energy consumed and with it greater calorie consumption, but that has no direct relationship with the amount of sweat.

To give you an idea, people with minimal physical effort sweat much more than others who have a greater effort and therefore do not mean that the person who sweats more with less effort, is burning more fat.


What is sweat?

Sweat is one of the resources that the human body uses to regulate body temperature and keep its temperature constant. Specifically, it is responsible for cooling the body when there is excessive heat.

This effect occurs with perspiration through the sweat glands, placing sweat drops on the surface of the skin that have the function of absorbing body heat.

This temperature transmission is based on a principle of physics. For you to understand it better, it means that when there are two bodies in contact at different temperatures, the body with more temperature will transmit this heat to the colder body until both are balanced. In this case, the drops of sweat would be the cold body that absorbs the body heat, causing the body temperature to fall, and the temperature of the sweat increases until it evaporates.


Increased sweating when doing sports

Now that we have explained the function of sweat, you will understand that it increases its temperature when you practice sports due to greater involvement of muscles and the cardiorespiratory system.

When this effort occurs, fatigue increases, and with it, there is an increase in body temperature, which the body tries to counteract by producing more sweat to decrease that temperature.


Sweat more or less, what does it depend on?

The amount of sweat does not depend only on the effort or fatigue of the person. Other factors can vary.

  • Genetics: Depending on the number of sweat glands that each person has can make two people with the same effort sweat differently.
  • Temperature: The higher the ambient temperature, the higher the body temperature; therefore, the greater the amount of sweat the body will produce.
  • Humidity: When there is more humidity we have the feeling of sweating more, but the reality is that there is more sweat accumulated on our skin because the environment is so loaded with water vapor that practically that it can not absorb more steam, therefore the Body sweat does not evaporate, and more amount accumulates.

Moisture is a very important factor to take into account regarding performance in sport. When we reach the point where there is so much humidity in the environment, the body begins to accumulate a large amount of sweat, that sweat is getting hotter, but instead, it does not evaporate. Therefore it can not perform the function of cooling the body.

When the sweat does not evaporate and does not cool the body well, the body temperature continues to increase. That is when the physical performance begins to decrease, and the fatigue is greater.

It is for that reason because if you are not used to training in humid environments, if one day you travel to another city with temperatures and humidity different from what you are used to, your physical performance may be affected.


What do we lose when we sweat? Do you lose weight?

When we sweat, we lose weight, but it is not weight due to a loss of fat, but they are liquids. These liquids in large parts are water that we recover again quickly when hydrated.

The good part is that sweating the body also expels harmful and unnecessary toxins, but instead, the bad part is that we also lose mineral salts.

These mineral salts are necessary for the proper functioning of the organism. It is mostly sodium and magnesium, which, among other things, during physical activity, are responsible for reducing dehydration and supplying oxygen.

That is why after and during a long-term physical effort, it is essential to hydrate properly and replenish mineral salts if there can be no dehydration, reduction of physical performance, and an incorrect muscular function appears in the form of muscle cramps.

To hydrate properly and recover salts, it is advisable to constantly drink plenty of water, isotonic drinks, or even if it is an effort long-lasting (more than 1 or 2 hours) with mineral salts supplementation.

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