There are a lot of reasons to believe that there is a connection between sweating and losing weight. After all, there are a number of weight loss products out there on the market like waist trimmer belts and sauna suits whose entire mechanism is making you sweat.
You’ve probably heard plenty of athletes who need to make weight for a meet go through a last-minute weight-loss process that involves lots of times in sweat lodges.
And that’s not even to mention exercise classes like hot yoga that try to make you sweat as much as possible - and you may even see a small drop on the scale after attending one.
So, is it all true? Can sweating actually make you lose weight? This article is here to answer all of your questions to help you better understand the relationship between sweating and weight loss.
What Happens When You Sweat?
Let’s start by getting one thing straight. What is even going on when you sweat? Let’s break it down.
Sweating is a normal - and critical - bodily function that your body uses to cool down whether that be under conditions of hot temperatures or physical exercise. This is how it works.
Your body wants to maintain a temperature of about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. When it starts to get higher, your hypothalamus signals your eccrine sweat glands to produce sweat to cool you down. The glands release sweat and it evaporates off of your skin. The process of converting sweat into vapor requires heat, so it cools you down.
Sweating results in a loss of water from your body, which is why you’re often advised to drink water when you’re sweating a lot. All in all, this is a very effective way of cooling off your body and, without it, you’d probably get very uncomfortable.
In fact, 2% of the population suffers from a condition called anhidrosis which prevents them from sweating normally. You might think it’s nice to never have to worry about getting sweaty and gross but, actually, it can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
On the other side of the spectrum, there is the 5% of the population that suffers from hyperhidrosis, a condition characterized by excess sweating. There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary (also called diaphoresis).
People with primary hyperhidrosis excessively sweat in one area of their body while those with secondary hyperhidrosis excessively sweat all over due to some kind of underlying cause like pregnancy, illness, or medication side effects.
Do you suffer from excessive sweating? Try out one of Social Citizen’s sweat-proof tees to prevent 100% of sweat stains - guaranteed.
How Much Weight Do You Actually Lose From Sweating?
So what about the relationship between sweat and weight?
First, if you’re wondering if it’s true that being overweight makes a person sweat more, the answer is yes. This is because fat functions as an insulator, raising a person’s core body temperature. A higher body temperature means needing to cool down more, which requires sweating.
It can also be difficult to move around if you are significantly overweight, which means you’ll be physically taxing your body more often, something that generates heat. So the larger somebody’s body size, the more they sweat. This means that losing weight is one potential way to perspire less.
So does sweating make you lose weight? Maybe a bit, but not really.
It’s true that if you sweat a lot one day, you may notice a dip in your scale weight. That is, in fact, why athletes like wrestlers wear sweatsuits in order to drop a few pounds. But this weight loss is just your body losing water weight in the form of sweat. It’s only temporary and it doesn’t represent any significant change to your body composition. If you’re looking to lose weight in the long run and/or for health purposes, sweating isn’t the way to get there.
That being said, many of the activities that do help you lose weight, namely physical exercise, will cause you to sweat. So you might find a correlation between how much you sweat and how much weight you’re losing, but it’s not a causal relationship.
Either way, if you sweat so much that it makes you lose weight, that’s a good sign that you need to rehydrate your body by drinking water.
What's The Best Way To Sweat?
Maybe, even knowing that weight lost from sweating is only temporary, you still want to sweat some weight off. Perhaps you have to fit in a dress that’s a size too small for an event or you are looking to go down a weight class for your next wrestling meet. If that’s the case, you may be wondering what the best way is to sweat as much as possible.
Well, there are a few things that cause you to sweat. As we already mentioned above, high temperatures and physical exercises are two of the biggest causes of sweating. But that’s not all. You almost might get sweaty when you’re nervous or if you eat spicy food.
So if you want to trigger your body to sweat, any of those options should get you there. Of course, the amount that you sweat by watching a scary movie or eating an extra-hot chicken tikka masala isn’t necessarily going to be enough to cause a noticeable weight loss.
That’s why most people looking to lose weight by sweating tend to focus on exercise and temperature. There are several activities that can work here, including:
- Sitting in a sauna
- Doing aerobic exercise that gets the heart rate up
- Wearing a sweatsuit
- Exercising while wearing a sweatsuit
- Exercising in high temperatures, like in a hot yoga class
Again, it’s important to note that the physical process of sweating itself does not burn fat or calories. Any weight you lose from sitting in a sauna will be gained back the moment that you drink water and replenish your fluid stores. But aerobic exercise will actually burn calories and fat, making it a much better and more maintainable way of losing weight.
How Social Citizen Sweat Proof T-Shirts Can Help You
As we mentioned above, around five percent of the population sweats excessively. The relationship to weight loss aside, being an extra sweaty person can be difficult in a number of ways. Not only does it harm your self-confidence to know that people can see you sweating through your clothes, but it can also make you physically uncomfortable. That’s not even to mention the cost of having to constantly replace your clothes because of stubborn underarm sweat stains.
If this all sounds familiar to you, you might want to consider trying out one of Social Citizen’s sweat-proof Social Tees. Designed specifically for people who often get pretty sweaty, the Social Tee is made out of a breathable fabric that keeps you cool and dry all day. Best of all, the specially designed underarm pad is engineered to stop 100% of sweat stains. Made with bamboo, it’s both anti-microbial and anti-odor, so you can remain both clean and confident.
The Social Tee comes in three fashionable, neutral colors and in a stylish t-shirt cut, making it easy to fit into your wardrobe and wear as part of any outfit. Check it out today in men’s and women’s cuts and forget the feeling of being self-conscious about your sweatiness.