Sweating is a natural bodily function that we wouldn’t want to live without. But for some people, it can be excessive and even embarrassing. If you’ve found yourself wondering, “why do I sweat so much,” and if it’s normal - we have the answers for you.
Learn why some people sweat more than others and what can be done to manage excessive sweating, as well as the answers to all of your most burning questions about perspiration and hyperhidrosis.
Is Sweat Healthy?
Look, we’ve been there, too. You sweat through your shirt and feel so embarrassed that you just wish that you would never perspire again. But be careful what you wish for. Sweating is actually essential to keeping you healthy and comfortable.
Sweating is a totally normal process that helps regulate our body temperature and keep us cool. It’s controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our fight-or-flight response. When we’re exposed to heat or physical activity, our body temperature rises. To avoid overheating, the sympathetic nervous system triggers the sweat glands to release sweat. This sweat evaporates on our skin and cools us down.
Why Do I Sweat So Much, So Easily?
The exact amount of sweat that is normal to produce varies depending on a number of factors, including gender, temperature, physical fitness, and overall health. But to give you a general ballpark, on average, a person can produce around one liter of sweat per hour of moderate physical activity in a warm environment. If it gets very hot outside, this number can go up to 1.5 liters.
So even if you find yourself feeling like it must be abnormal that you’re sweating enough to drench your shirt, chances are you’re actually sweating exactly as much as the average person would under similar conditions.
That being said, there is such a thing as excessive sweating. This condition is called hyperhidrosis, and it’s defined as sweating beyond what is necessary to regulate body temperature.
How Do I Know If I Have Hyperhidrosis?
While there is no exact amount of sweat that counts as hyperhidrosis, it is typically diagnosed based on a combination of factors.
If you’re concerned that you might suffer from hyperhidrosis, it’s a good idea to speak to a healthcare provider. They will typically ask about your medical history and conduct a physical examination. They may also ask about your symptoms, including how long you’ve been experiencing excessive sweating and what activities or situations tend to trigger it.
All of these factors will go into whether or not you’re diagnosed with hyperhidrosis.
9 Causes of Excessive Sweating
Hyperhidrosis is only one factor that can cause a person to sweat excessively. Other potential causes of excessive sweating include:
- Diet - Certain foods such as spicy foods, meat, salt, and fatty processed foods are known to trigger extra sweat.
- Exercise - The higher your activity level, the more you’ll sweat – even when you’re not actively exercising.
- Environment - If you live in a hot, humid climate, you’re likely to sweat more.
- Genetics - Some people may be more prone to excessive sweating due to their genes.
- Hormonal imbalances - Changes in hormones, such as during menopause or puberty, can cause excessive sweating.
- Certain medications - Some medications, such as antidepressants and some heart medications, can cause excessive sweating as a side effect.
- Underlying medical conditions - Conditions such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and infection can cause excessive sweating.
- Obesity - Being overweight can cause excessive sweating as a result of increased metabolic activity.
- Emotions - Stress and anxiety can trigger excessive sweating.
5 Ways to Manage Excess Sweat
Even if you sweat more than usual, there are ways to manage your perspiration to make it more tolerable. Here are some tips that should help.
- Use antiperspirant and deodorant - Antiperspirants can help reduce sweating by blocking the sweat glands, while deodorant can help you smell nicer. The best deodorants for sweating contain both!
- Wear loose, breathable clothing - Tight or restrictive clothing can trap sweat against your skin, making you feel uncomfortable and sticky. Instead, choose loose, breathable clothing to help keep you cool and dry.
- Keep cool - Hot temperatures can cause you to sweat more, so try to stay in cool or air-conditioned environments as much as possible or take breaks to sit in the shade when you are outside in the heat.
- Lifestyle modification - To live a low-sweat life, reduce your intake of trigger foods, stay hydrated, and practice stress-reduction techniques to help you relax.
- Talk to a healthcare provider - If you believe you might have hyperhidrosis, speak with a healthcare provider. They can evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment, which may include medications or other interventions. There are dramatic solutions to completely stop sweating, but be mindful of natural solutions that could work for you first.
For clothing that will help you stay cool and fresh all day, try Social Citizen’s sweat-proof Social Tee.
Should I be concerned if I sweat a lot?
In some cases, excess sweating can point to underlying health conditions. Most of the time, though, sweating a lot is totally normal and nothing to worry about. If you’re concerned, a doctor should be able to help you figure out what’s going on.
Why do I sweat so much more than anyone else?
A number of factors might make you sweatier than your friends. Men sweat more than women, and physically active people sweat more than people who don’t exercise. It also might be related to your weight, diet, or stress levels.
What does sweat reveal about your health?
While sweat itself doesn't reveal much about a person's overall health, excessive sweating or a sudden change in sweating patterns can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Does sweating release toxins?
While sweating isn’t the body’s primary way to detox, it does release toxins and waste products like urea and lactate, which are byproducts of the body's normal metabolic processes.
Why do I sweat so much from my head?
There are more sweat glands on the head and face than on other parts of the body, because the head and face are more sensitive to changes in temperature, so they require more sweat glands to help regulate body temperature.
Why do I sweat so much when I work out?
Working out raises your body temperature, and sweating is the process by which you can cool yourself down again. If you habitually exercise, you probably sweat even more, as the body becomes more efficient at using perspiration to cool you down.
How Social Citizen Can Help You
Whether you’re sweating a normal amount or more than average, the best way to stay cool and dry is by wearing Social Citizen sweat-proof clothing. Coming in stylish cuts and colors for men and women, Social Citizen’s shirts are guaranteed to stop 100% of sweat stains, so you’ll be as confident as you are comfortable.