Does Sweating During a Workout Mean You Burn More Calories?


Does Sweating During a Workout Mean You Burn More Calories?

If you don’t work up a sweat exercising, then you haven’t been going hard enough, right? Wrong. Well, possibly wrong.

When it comes to exercise, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a dripping forehead. But does a sweat-soak shirt equal a better workout?


As your muscles generate heat during your workout, and your body temperature rises, your body triggers a cooling process – sweating. Our sweat glands are designed to pump fluid (mostly water, salt and other electrolytes) through the skin to evaporate into the air, our body heat with it. Of course, every person is different. Some people are natural sweaters usually due to overactive sweat glands and others can stay dry as a bone.

Apart from your genes, level of fitness or gender, the rate at which you sweat depends on two things: the environment (temperature and humidity) and your metabolic rate (determined by how hard you are exercising).


Its common to think that the more you sweat, the more calories you burn, there’s actually little correlation between the two. Consider this: If you run on the treadmill in an air-conditioned gym, you’ll most likely sweat less compared to pounding the pavement in 90-degree heat. Your body has to work harder to keep you cool running outdoors, it won’t drastically elevate your metabolism. In fact, you may end up burning less energy instead because being hot makes exercise feel harder, so you may exert less effort and fatigue quicker than when working at lower temperatures. Have you ever sat in the sun at a ball game?  You can sweat a lot there too, but you don’t correlate that with calorie burning, don’t with exercise.


If you stepped straight on the scales after both instances (indoor vs. outdoors), you’d be slightly lighter after the outdoor run. Does that mean you’ve burned more fat? Not quite. It means you’ve lost more fluid through sweat — so you’re seeing a temporary loss in water weight (not fat). As soon as you replenish your fluids, your weight will even out again.


There are two key factors that determine an effective calorie burn: duration and intensity.


Forget stressing about your sweat. Just keep moving. Regular exercise, and healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to burn fat, maintain a healthy weight and feel great!

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