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At some point or the other, most of us have believed that more sweat means a better workout, and greater fat loss. Over the years, somehow, sweat has become a parameter to gauge the effectiveness of our workouts and calorie burn. However, is there any truth to such claims? The answer is NO. The amount of sweat is not an indicator of a good workout or increased fat loss. It is a myth.
Basically, sweating is our body’s way to regulate its temperature. It is a natural phenomenon through which the body cools down, in response to the rise in our core body temperature. However, there can be some confusion, because some people sweat more than others. Usually, people with more sweat glands tend to sweat more in comparison to people who have relatively fewer sweat glands. Some of the other factors that contribute to this are temperature, humidity, genetics, weight, water intake, gender, age, and fitness levels. So, while a person with high fitness levels and not-so-fit person can sweat a lot, their reasons to do so are likely to be different. Someone who is fitter has a better body cooling process, giving them the ability to work harder and longer. On the other hand, people who are unfit or heavier may also sweat more, due to a significant body mass that needs to be cooled down.
For decades, this correlation between sweat and the amount of calorie, or fat burnt has been made, albeit without any evidence or truth to back it. Sweating does not burn any measurable calories, but it can cause us to lose water weight. However, this loss is only temporary. As soon as we rehydrate by drinking water, we can expect to immediately regain this weight. Therefore, forcing ourselves to sweat more by working in hot conditions or wearing heavy clothes will not lead to additional fat loss.
So how can one lose fat? The only way to achieve fat loss is by following quantified nutrition and creating a calorie deficit. Along with this, a regular workout regime is needed. Strength training/resistance training, aerobics, running, bicycling, even yoga – there are plenty of options. We need to find out what works for us.
It is a fact that 60-75 percent of our body is composed of water. Inadequate water intake coupled with excessive sweating could lead to hyperthermia, overheating (heatstroke), extreme loss of electrolytes, kidney damage, other cardiovascular related emergencies, and a drop in muscular endurance and strength.
Therefore, it is important to keep ourselves hydrated, especially during the summer season. It is recommended we replenish ourselves with natural fluids at regular intervals.
While there are several factors that determine how much we sweat during a workout, it is certainly not a measure of the success of the workout or fat loss. The only thing it indicates is that we were active and took a step forward in our fitness journey. For us to achieve the desired results, we cannot ignore the importance of staying consistent with our diet and workout plans. At the end of the day, fitness is a journey, not a destination.