Sweating is the body’s natural method of controlling body temperature. It accomplishes this by releasing water and salt, which evaporates to keep you cool.
Sweating does not burn calories in and of itself, but sweating out enough liquid will cause you to lose water weight.But it’s only a temporary setback.You will immediately regain any lost weight if you rehydrate by drinking water or eating.
So, Can Sweating Help You Lose Weight?
No, technically.During an intense fat-burning workout, you’ll most likely break a sweat — but the sweat isn’t the reason you burn fat. So, just because you’re sitting in a pool of your own sweat doesn’t mean you’ve burned a ton of fat.
“Fat burning is a metabolic process,” says Jennifer Novak, M.S., CSCS, founder of PEAK Symmetry Performance Strategies and performance recovery coach.
When you exercise, your body converts carbohydrates and fats into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), your body’s energy currency.
Sweating, on the other hand, serves as a cooling mechanism. When your core body temperature rises, whether due to exercise or heat, your brain sends a signal that it’s time to sweat.
When moisture from your skin evaporates into the air, it carries some heat with it, which helps to return your body temperature to normal.
Sweating! Does it Burn Calories?
While sweating does not burn fat, the internal cooling process indicates that calories are being burned.
“The primary reason we sweat during a workout is that the energy we expend generates internal body heat,” Novak explains. So, if you work out hard enough to sweat, you’re also burning calories.
The intensity and duration of your workout will influence whether those calories are primarily derived from fat or carbohydrates.
“Carbohydrates are typically used first,” she adds. “However, because they are stored in limited quantities in the muscles and liver, the body must burn fat reserves for energy after a certain time period.”
How many calories do you burn when you sweat?
Some claim sweat-inducing activities, such as Bikram yoga, can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour — but this is most likely untrue.
According to one study, women burned an average of 330 calories in a 90-minute Bikram yoga class, while men burned 460 calories. That’s the same as walking at a brisk pace of 3.5 miles per hour for the same amount of time.
You can also burn calories while doing activities that don’t require much, if any, sweating.When it’s cold outside, you can still burn calories by swimming, lifting light weights, or exercising.
Sweating, on the other hand, may be a good way to gauge your intensity level, or how hard you’re working, during certain types of exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week, or enough to break a sweat while still talking.
How Can You Tell If You’re Burning Fat?
If you’re working out to lose weight, you might be wondering how you can tell if you’re burning fat.
Short answer: If you’re exercising at a high enough intensity that you’re sweating, you’re probably burning fat.
“However, sweating alone isn’t a foolproof indicator of fat burn,” Novak says. “To begin with, some people naturally sweat more than others.” And adding heat to the mix — whether by exercising outside in the summer or in a heated room — will hasten the onset of sweat,” she adds.
So, if you want to maximize your fat burn, focus on your intensity rather than your sweatiness.
When you work at a lower intensity (50 percent of your maximum capacity) or for a longer period of time, your body prefers fat as fuel.
As you increase the intensity, your body switches to using carbs more frequently because they are easier to access on short notice.
Sweating and Weight Loss
You may notice that the number on the scale has decreased after a sweat-soaked workout. You haven’t lost any weight, but you have lost a significant amount of fluid. To avoid dehydration, replace the lost weight with water or a sports drink.
If you go into a workout dehydrated, you may not sweat as well. Your body temperature rises, but you are unable to effectively cool it down. This results in a decreased ability to perform, which is why staying hydrated is essential for exercise success.
The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 20 ounces of water two to three hours before beginning a strenuous workout; 8 ounces immediately before exercise; 8 ounces every 20 minutes during exercise; and another 8 ounces within 30 minutes of finishing the session.
Weigh yourself both before and after the workout. If you notice you’ve lost weight right after a workout, drink 16 to 24 ounces of water to replace each pound you’ve lost.
What are the advantages of sweating?
Sweating has the primary benefit of cooling your body down. Sweating may also provide the following benefits:
Skin that is healthier.Intense exercise causes your blood to circulate throughout your body. This allows oxygen and nutrients to circulate through the skin and nourish the cells.
Strive to outperform yourself. If you’re working out and breaking a sweat, you’re probably doing workouts that are appropriate for your fitness level. But if you’re dizzy, exhausted, or in pain, you’re pushing yourself too hard.
Is there any danger in sweating?
You are more likely to become dehydrated if you are sweating. Sweating increases in hot or humid weather. Drink a pint of water for every pound of sweat you lose. Don’t put off hydrating until you’re thirsty. Instead, bring a water bottle with you and drink frequently during your workout.
Severe dehydration can be fatal. Seek medical attention right away if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Extreme exhaustion or perplexity
- Standing dizziness that does not go away after a few seconds
- Eight hours without urinating
- Erratic pulse
- Seizures with a rapid pulse
- Consciousness lapse
If you sweat excessively on a regular basis, you may have hyperhidrosis. Consult your doctor if excessive sweating interferes with your daily activities. Also, consult your doctor if you have night sweats for no apparent reason or are suddenly sweating excessively.
Seek medical attention right away if you experience sweating as a result of:
104°F (40°C) or higher fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rate.
How to Burn Calories While Staying Safe
To lose weight, you must expend more calories than you consume. A pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories. To lose one pound, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you consume.
Adopting an active lifestyle is the best way to achieve a healthy weight. The best way to safely achieve your weight loss goals is to eat a healthy diet full of whole foods and exercise regularly (up to five days a week for around 30 minutes).
Sweating out water weight may help you lose a few pounds quickly in the short term. This technique is used by wrestlers and horse jockeys who must be a certain weight to compete.
However, the calories lost are negligible, and this is not a healthy way to lose weight in general. One study found that sauna-induced rapid weight loss had a negative impact on women’s athletic performance, but more research is needed.
If you’re trying to lose weight, the healthiest approach is to do so gradually. Adopt a whole-foods-based diet and exercise on a regular basis. Your doctor can also assist you in developing a plan that is appropriate for your lifestyle.