5 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Sweat
Perspiration is a good thing. Without it, your body would be in trouble. Here are five truths about sweating's superpower.
We typically think of sweat as, well, gross. It leaves stains on clothes, ruins makeup and can often have you feeling self-conscious about the way you may smell to those around you. But, sweat serves a function and like it or not, sweating is good for your body. Take a look at a few fun facts about sweat you may not have known, along with some of our recommendations to combat excessive sweat and smell—even for those with sensitive skin.
1. Sweat Keeps Your Core Temp at 98.6°F
“The main duty of sweat is to help regulate body temperature,” says sport and health physiologist Michael Bergeron, Ph.D. If you’re in hot weather or exercising, perspiring helps minimize the increase of core temp. As sweat evaporates from your skin, it takes body heat with it. The more skin exposed, the faster evaporation can happen, says Walt Thompson, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate studies and research at Georgia State University.
2. Being Sweaty Doesn’t Mean You Burned More Calories
If you’re a heavy sweater, it doesn’t mean you’re out of shape, says Thompson, a former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. Genetics and how your body responds to the temperature determine how much you sweat. And if you’re regularly in hot temps, your body acclimates so you don’t need to sweat as much.
3. Sweat Doesn’t Stop the Minute You Stop Exercising
It takes at least a few minutes for your body temperature to begin to come down. “Depending how hot you got and the environment you are in, it can take up to 15 minutes after you’re done exercising to stop sweating,” Bergeron says. If you’re extremely hot and need to cool down fast, go where it’s air-conditioned or take a cool shower.
4. Sweat Isn't All Smelly
There are different types of sweat. The cooling one originates in the eccrine glands, which are mostly odor-free. But when you perspire as a response to being stressed, that sweat is usually released from the apocrine glands (located primarily under the arms and in the groin area) so can contain traces of protein and fat. When stress sweat mixes with bacteria on the skin, it can smell like body odor.
5. Hydration and Perspiration Go Hand in Hand
If you’re dehydrated before you start exercising or before you go out in hot temps, you won’t be able to sweat as much, which means your body temperature will rise more rapidly and you’ll have a harder time cooling down, says Thompson.
Just because sweat is good for your body doesn't mean you couldn't use a little help with the extra sweat and smell. Here are five formulas for all things underarm that are also safe for sensitive skin.
Best Roll-On Deodorant: Ban Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant
This gentle deodorant is a triple threat: Fights sweat and odor and is unscented. It glides on clear so you're less likely to end up with annoying white marks under your arms and on your clothes. Safe on all skin types, and ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Best Aluminum-Free Deodorant: Secret Aluminum-Free Deodorant
This deodorant comes in three fresh floral scents (we love the rosewater version). Get the long-lasting odor protection you need without any harsh dyes or chemicals, making it nice and gentle on skin.
Best Body Wipes: Bliss Lemon and Sage Refreshing Body Wipes
Use one of these body wipes for when you need an on-the-go freshener. Great for keeping in your gym bag or purse to pull out whenever you're needing a quick solution for dirt and sweat.
Best Deodorant for Dry Skin: Dove Dry Serum Antiperspirant Deodorant
Dove's Dry Serum Deodorant goes on like a moisturizer to soothe skin. The lightweight formula absorbs into skin instantly and leaves underarms soft, and most importantly, smelling fresh.
Best Deodorant Pads: Dr. Sweat Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant Pads
Swipe underarms once a week for maximum sweat protection. Dr. Sweat Clinical Strength Deodorant has been proven to reduce sweat for up to seven days, giving you a high level of sweat protection without a prescription.