Came across this post and I found it really educational; thought you would learn something from it like I did!
Copy and pasted with permission from:
You might work up a sweat at various times: a long run, sunny summer afternoon, or an important job interview, to name a few. Whether it’s refreshing or unplanned, sweating leads to a number of incredible health benefits, some of which may be surprising.
Perspire Much? Don’t Sweat It!
Glance around any fitness class, and you’ll see all kinds of perspiration. Some exercisers will be drenched from head to toe, while others will have nary a drop of sweat on the brow. Sweat isn’t exactly one of the great mysteries of the universe, but there is still a lot to discover about this amazing built-in skin system.
The human body is equipped with its own cooling system. The skin is covered with approximately two to five million sweat glands that run like ductwork in an attic. How much a person sweats is determined by physiological characteristics, including age and gender, room temperature, the level of exertion during exercise, how anxious a person feels, and whether the person is overweight.1
On average, humans can produce up to one to three liters of sweat per hour. Exercise and heat are the most common causes of perspiration because sweat’s main job is to cool down the body. However, stress, anxiety, and excitement can also cause sweating.2 That’s why foods and beverages that increase anxiety, such as coffee and tea, can ramp up sweat production.
Let’s take a look at the chemical makeup of sweat and learn why we all perspire in the first place.
The Reasons Behind Salty and Stinky Sweat
Sweat is primarily made up of water but it also contains salt and, depending on a person’s diet, other chemicals. Ever heard of the saying, “You are what you eat?” That’s not too far from the truth for sweat. The chemical composition of sweat can be altered by food and drinks, the reason for sweating, and how long a bout of sweating lasts.
One of the highest mineral concentrations in sweat is sodium, which explains why sweat tastes salty. In addition, sweat contains moderate amounts of potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium as well as small amounts of trace minerals including copper, zinc, and iron.3
But not all sweat is created equally. The human body hosts two different types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands work like ducts on the skin’s surface and produce a watery substance. These glands are mostly concentrated on the brow, hands, and feet (though they cover much of the body), and they function primarily as the body’s A/C unit.4
Apocrine sweat glands are found in the hair follicles located in and around the scalp, armpits, anus, and genitals. Apocrine sweat glands produce a thicker, plasma-like substance that also contains fatty acids and protein byproducts, including urea and ammonia. Emotional stress triggers apocrine glands to expel fatty sweat into the skin, where bacteria break it down. This turns into an odorous fatty acid substance, which makes certain types of sweat smell and causes unsightly underarm stains . These glands remain inactive until puberty, which explains why preteen children suddenly smell after recess.
Man vs. Woman: The Sweatonomics
Japanese scientists discovered that women need to exercise harder than men to get a good sweat going. The researchers placed four subject groups in a controlled environment and then asked them to cycle continuously for one hour. The study showed that men are more efficient at sweating and that untrained women had the worst response when it came to breaking a sweat.5
Previous studies have shown that higher levels of testosterone in men may increase sweat output. The study mentioned above was the first to suggest that women may be at a disadvantage when it comes to cooling off during heavy bouts of exercise or during hot conditions. Researchers have suggested an evolutionary reason for this: women carry less body fluid than men, and they may sweat less to prevent dehydration. For this reason, it may be advisable for women to take more precautions in extreme heat conditions or during long bouts of exercise.
Age-related factors can also affect the amount of sweat a person produces. As the skin changes during the aging process, the sweat glands produce less sweat. This can make it harder to cool off and may increase the risk of heat stroke.6
Sweat Glands: The Everyday Hero
Sweat glands aren’t just nature’s ice bath. From warding off bacteria to protecting the kidneys, perspiration is the inspiration for several healthy functions that extend beyond a good cool down.
While studying proteins involved in skin cancer, a team of researchers discovered a potent natural antibiotic called dermcidin. The researchers learned that sweat glands constantly excrete this antibiotic.7 Persistent skin washing can remove this natural protective barrier.
Though a long shower after a hot sweaty day sounds perfect, it may limit your defense against germs. University of California researcher Tomas Ganz notes that bacteria thrive in hot, moist conditions. Dermcidin can limit what thrives on our skin, reducing our risk of infection. But Ganz cautions that being sweaty all the time does not guarantee protection: “It depends on how much dermcidin a person exudes.”8
University of Michigan researchers discovered that sweat glands play a role in the wound-healing process, including recovery from scrapes, burns, and ulcers. In a study published in the American Journal of Pathology, Laure Rittié, Research Assistant Professor of Dermatology, notes that sweat glands are understudied and that they may hold the secret to speeding up wound repair.9
The study found that eccrine glands store an important reservoir of adult stem cells that can quickly take action when a wound occurs. Rittié explains that sweat glands are understudied because they are unique to humans and not present in animals, which are commonly studied in laboratories. Rittié and her research team hope these findings will pave the way for a greater understanding of the skin’s healing process and lead to better targeted therapies – especially for those who experience skin ulcers from diabetes or bedsores.
The act of sweating alone doesn’t ward off bad moods, but a good sweat in the gym or outdoors increases endorphin levels – those feel-good hormones that contribute to a runner’s high.10 Endorphins are related to positive mood and an enhanced sense of overall well-being. Endorphins are related to positive mood and an enhanced sense of overall well-being.11
Sweating limits the accumulation of salt and calcium in the kidneys and urine, which can reduce the risk of kidney stones. In addition, more sweating increases thirst, which may lead to greater water consumption. The more water goes in, the less likely it is that kidney stones will form.
A study published in 2013 by the American Society of Nephrology found that small amounts of physical activity and reduced caloric consumption might decrease the risk of kidney stone development by 31 percent.12 Breaking a little sweat on a brisk daily walk can go a long way when it comes to prevention.
How Much Sweat is Too Much?
For the most part, sweating is necessary and healthy. But sweating more than normal may be caused by a condition called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis occurs when the body sweats unnecessarily, dripping perspiration from the head, feet, palms, or underarms.13 Though it’s not harmful, excessive sweating can put a damper on daily activities and cause added stress, which can lead to even more sweating.
Signs of Hyperhidrosis:
- Visible sweat when no physical exertion or excessive heat is present
- Interfering with daily activities (for example, sweaty palms make it difficult to open doors)
- Soft, peeling skin from continued moisture
- Frequent skin infections, such as athlete’s foot or jock itch
Tips to Reduce Excessive Sweating:
- Apply antiperspirant (not deodorant) to dry underarms before bed. Sweating is less likely to occur during sleep, and this will allow the skin to absorb more of the ingredients overnight, which provides greater protection during the day.
- Avoid foods and beverages that may cause excess sweating or anxiety. Some of these foods are caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and tea, and spicy foods.
- Wear natural fibers that allow the skin to cool. Loose clothing can also help prevent excessive sweating.
- Learn how to relax during stressful situations. Meditative practices can reduce stress and anxiety, which may help reduce perspiration.
- When all else fails, a dermatologist can prescribe an antiperspirant or inject Botox in the affected areas, which can reduce excessive sweating.
Go Ahead, Break a Sweat
Offering a natural cooling system and unique healing properties, a little perspiration each day may be what keeps the doctor at bay. Remember to replenish what you sweat out by sipping plenty of water throughout the day and drinking a little more during and after a vigorous workout.
Well what can I say! This would have to be one of my most favourite fields trips! A once in a lifetime opportunity! I am so thankful to the people at Canada Running Series for making this happen. All the #STWM Digital Champions and Community Leaders were invited for an exclusive invite only run and tour of Twitter Canada HQ followed by a presentation from Chris Doyle the Director of Media leading Twitter’s partnerships for Canada in TV, sports, news, music, gov and more.
The evening started with me taking the GoTrain and man am I ever thankful I made that decision! There were others that chose to drive and because of awful traffic and collisions on the highway they were not able to fully attend:(
The train got me real close to our secret destination downtown and it was only a short 10min power walk! Turned out to be a nice warm up before the run! Although have you ever tried to walk quickly in Birkenstocks? Its no easy
feet feat and I felt my shins start to tighten up a little! Thankfully I got there early enough to stretch them and change into my runners!
The run went well at a nice pace (check out my Garmin data Garmin Connect) with a few stops for traffic lights and most importantly photo ops!
When the run was complete and high fives given we moseyed on over to the uber secret location to meet with Chris Doyle. Once inside, the perfect post run spread of food and snacks was waiting for us; bonus! Many of us were meeting each other face to face for the first time so this was a great chance for us to introduce ourselves, mingle and, of course, snap some more pics!
Then it was time for Chris’ presentation!
Chris did an amazing job of presenting some Twitter best practices, his involvement with Twitter Canada’s sports partnerships, and, an introduction to their new app Periscope. Periscope is an app where you can live broadcast any event you like! This is the next level of SM sharing. So now instead of text or picture based post you can now bring people right into your world with sound and video! I am very excited about the future possibilities of this! I can foresee many people broadcasting parts of their #STWM race or even the triumph and reunions at the finish line. The possibilities of this really are endless and subject only to the limits of your imagination!
Next it was time to tour the rest of their office!
Once again thank you to Twitter Canada for inviting us into your home! Thank you Canada Running Series for orchestrating this and accepting me as a digital champion! I’m really looking forward to sharing my first marathon journey and interacting with other #STWM runners!
When I think about a personal best for my runs it usually revolves around a new shorter time for a distance, a new total distance, or a better pace. But what if there was a different kind of personal best? One that’s more satisfying, more exhilarating and more gratifying. Bring on the Justice League Runners and their campaign to run while raising money for The Hospital Sick Children in Toronto.
While training for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k myself and my good friend Matt Small had come up with a race goal of sub 45min. As time went on and my training runs became quicker and quicker I had gotten very excited that this possible new personal best could actually become a reality!
Though my experience with being a Digital Champion for this race I had the great pleasure of meeting a whole bunch of runners I had never known about before. One of those people was JP Hernandez. It didn’t take long for me to realize the true super hero powers of JP. He truly inspired me with his charisma, humility and down to earth welcome everyone with open arms personality. In 2013 JP ran the Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon as Batman and raised money for SickKids hospital. In just 2 short years JP’s marathon run as Batman has evolved in something AMAZING! The Justice League Runners. It didn’t take me long to decide that this was something I wanted to be a part of! I contacted JP asking him if I could participate and he quite enthusiastically welcomed me into his League! SickKids already holds a special place in my heart for me and my family so I was quite excited to be a part of a team raising money for Sick Kids Foundation. If you would like to read more about JP’s journey to the creation of the Justice League Runners I really recommend you click here.
I have been finding it quite difficult to put into words the feelings I had on race day, April 19th 2015, but I will do my best 🙂 The morning started with the excitement of meeting many of the runners I had only conversed with through Twitter and Facebook. There were many pictures taken, many hellos, and many high fives. I always love the time before a run as I meet running friends both new and old and just the camaraderie that takes place as people mill around.
We assembled ourselves into our coral talked about how we were all going to stay together and do our very best to put a smile of every single kid (and adult for that matter) we came across.
Aprox 3-4 km into the run we were approached by a runner and mom who said her daughter had been a patient of SickKids. She went of to say that her daughter would be cheering her on father down the course and asked if we might give her a wave as we ran by. Well that’s not what what we were going to do! When we got tot he corner of Yonge and Bloor all 15 of us stopped gave her a high five and asked if she would stand for a picture with us! Mom showed up just as we were getting the pictures taken by grandma. The look of sheer gratitude and emotion on all 3 of their smiling faces was something I don’t think I will ever forget and I have a pretty good feeling that little girl will never forget either! This was proof right there that we were up to something magical!
We continued down the rest of the course high-fiving and stopping for pics with any and all the kids we saw along the route. The cheers from the spectators and volunteers at the water stations was exhilarating. As we neared the end of the run I found myself a little sad that this train was coming to an end but I soon realized this was not the end it was merely stop on the journey. This train has a long road ahead of it with many stops to make, more smiles to induce and money raised to help kids in need.
In the end I was left with a whole new sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and inspiration. It was a whole new kind of personal best for me! One that I will cherish forever. One that I hope to better as my running career continues! You can still donate by visiting my page here.
All this could not be possible without these amazing members of the team I ran with! I encourage you to follow them on their social networks!
Todd Chretien aka The Flash — Facebook
Big thanks to Canada Running Series the family and friends of all the runners as well as all the volunteers for all their support; this couldn’t have happened without them!
I’ll leave you with this one picture that I think is an amazing representation for the day. I little boy approached us after the race with a super excited voice saying “CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!!”
Runners & Digital Champions of @runCRS #TYS10K are fueled by @PowerBarCanada Performance Energy Blends
I am very thankful and honored to have been gifted two boxes of PowerBar Canada Performance Energy Blends as part of being a member of the Canada Running Series Digital Champion program. Each of the Digital Champions were given one box of the Apple Mango Strawberry as well as one box of the Pear Blackberry for our participation, support and promotion of #TYS10K. We were provided these as a thank you for our work with no conditions and I was not required to write about this.
I’ve had a few chances now to try these blends before and after some of my training runs. They have the consistency of apple sauce which for me I LOVE! I grew up eating a lot of home made apple sauce so this to me really feels like a treat! But its more than that and that’s what makes these blends really amazing! These gluten- free fruit-based blends are formulated with PowerBar’s C2MAX, a 2:1 glucose to fructose blend found to deliver 20-50% more energy to muscles than glucose alone and can help improve endurance performance by 8%. But you would never notice! The only thing I noticed when I had it either before or after a run was they they had great flavor, great consistency and the perfect amount of fuel for each of my runs. I never once found that I needed more!
Another great thing I liked about these badboys is the packaging! They’re inside a very pliable bag that allows you to squeeze it into your mouth quickly while running and a great ability to pack it anywhere since it’ll fit into odd shaped spaces. I also love the screw on lid. If you ever need to, you can put the lid back on and shove it back into your pocket or running belt without a huge mess!
For those of you interested in the nutritional values
I would like to thank the Canada Running Series for accepting me as a Digital Champion and supporting my training. I would also like to thank PowerBar Canada for being a sponsor of this race and providing the perfect fuel for my training runs as well as for all the runners during and after the race!
For more information about PowerBar please visit their website and if you’d like to hear more from PowerBar Canada please follow them on their social media channels:
If you’re looking for some great races and haven’t already checked them out visit the Canada Running Series website for a list of all their races throughout the year.