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Does Sweating Mean You're Burning More Calories?

Does More Sweat Translate to More Calories Burned?

Why is it that after a workout, some of us sweat so much we look like we did our run in a pool, while the rest of us look as dry as we did before the workout even started? It seems like the more you sweat, the harder you're working, which would also mean more calories burned, but is that the case?

Your body creates sweat to cool you off when your body temperature gets too high. You're born with between two and four million sweat glands, and how much you sweat depends on the number of sweat glands you have (more glands equal more sweat). Women tend to have more sweat glands than men, but men's glands are more active, so they sweat more. Perspiration is also affected by how hot it is, how intensely you're exercising, and whether or not you smoke or drink coffee or cocktails — smoking, caffeine, and alcohol can increase perspiration. What you're wearing also affects your sweat as synthetic fabrics trap in heat. Fat also acts as an insulator, so overweight people sweat more than those of normal weight.

Don't use the amount you sweat as a good indicator as to the number of calories you've burned. What matters is how long and how intensely you're working out. Any weight loss that you experience immediately after a workout is only water weight, and you'll gain it right back as soon as you rehydrate yourself. So don't worry about how sweaty you get. If you go for a 30-minute run and you haven't sweat a drop, you still burned almost 300 calories.

Join The Conversation
beeutifulkareenn beeutifulkareenn 5 years
I'm very glad i found this. c: It's been very useful and true. I learned so much from this, although as most of these people said, not sweating at all would mean something is not right. Thank you so much though, you helped me clear my doubts and wonders!!! :3
NatureMadeLisa NatureMadeLisa 9 years
Such an interesting post. I often view it as a measurement of how much I raised my heartrate - but I'm sure it is different for everyone...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Now I know...
kia kia 9 years
When I am fit I sweat more than when I am less than fit. I am not losing more calories but it is one of my benchmarks of my fitness.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I know this, BUT I still love to be drenched because it's that mental feeling of a successful workout.
cotedazur cotedazur 9 years
I've always been curious about this! Thanks Fit
emalove emalove 9 years
Good to know!
LeLeBabii5 LeLeBabii5 9 years
seriously if it makes no difference then what gives!!! i'm a a pretty little girl.....but no matter what hand to god whether its running or biking or whatever i ALWAYS sweat MORE than anybody else around me at the gym INCLUDING the big men!!! ick i wish it was worth something lol
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Sometimes, I sweat a lot and sometimes I don't sweat as much. It depends on the outside temperature, what I'm wearing, etc. I do notice though, that I sweat more than my husband does when we bike together. Maybe it's because my body recognizes that it's about to do some serious work, so it starts cooling off right away.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 9 years
I think it also depends on how much water you drink daily. I sweat more now that I drink more water.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I have a slightly elevated body temperature all the time, so I'm a sweater. *sigh* I always wanted to be one of those girls who looks flawless while jogging, but it never turns out that way. One of many reasons I stopped running in the gym and took it outside.
ditorres ditorres 9 years
I've read this too linsita. As a person's fitness level increases so does the body's ability to maintain homeostasis. So when the body's internal temperature slightly increases, the body will sweat to cool down.
linsita linsita 9 years
I've heard that fitter people start sweating sooner, and sweat more. Of course, every individual's physiology is different, some are just prone to sweat more than others. So "sweating more" and "sweating sooner" is all relative to the individual--don't compare your perspiration to others!
Emdance Emdance 9 years
I agree with Jdeprima, I sweat so bad I wish I was burning more calories, that would be nice!
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 9 years
i agree as well, fleurfairy.... could mean you are dehydrated if you arent sweating.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Good to know Fit! Thanks!
jdeprima jdeprima 9 years
I knew the answer to this already, but oh how I wish more sweat meant more calorie burn! I'm dripping wet practically before my heart rate starts going up.
lolababy575 lolababy575 9 years
I agree with fleurfairy - I would be worried if someone didn't sweat on a half hour run. Even if you're power walking/jogging you should get a bit of a "glisten" I would think. Granted, this is coming from someone who sweats, but still.
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