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Why Some People Sweat More Than Others

Why Some People Sweat a Lot More Than Others

You're trucking along on the treadmill and as you reach for a towel to wipe off the perspiration on your forehead, you can't help but notice the guy to the right who's sweating so much. It looks like he jumped in a river. Why is it that some people sweat like crazy and some are barely glistening?

Sweating is the body's way of cooling itself off and maintaining a healthy temperature. You're born with between two and four million sweat glands. Women have more sweat glands than men, but men's glands are more active. How much you sweat depends on your gender, the number of sweat glands you have (more glands equal more sweat), how hot it is, how intensely you're exercising, or how anxious you feel.

The amount a person sweats also depends on how many sweat glands are activated and how much sweat is excreted from each gland. It turns out that fit men sweat significantly more than fit women. The same amount of sweat glands might be activated, but women produce less sweat from each gland. Fit people sweat more efficiently by sweating sooner during workouts, when their body temperature is lower. However, a sedentary person working at the same intensity will heat up a lot faster and possibly sweat more. Also, overweight people sweat more profusely than normal-weight individuals because fat acts as an insulator that raises core temperature.

Some things are in your control when it comes to sweating. If you're a coffee drinker, caffeine can increase perspiration, so if you're concerned, try cutting out that cup of joe. Drinking alcohol can have the same effect, so limit the cocktails. Smokers may also sweat more since nicotine can affect your hormones, skin, and brain. Wearing synthetic fabrics that trap in heat will make you feel more hot, making you more sweaty, so go for more breathable fabrics.

Unfortunately, some people suffer from excessive sweating, a common condition called hyperhidrosis. Their bodies' faucets turn on and their palms, feet, back, and face become covered in sweat, even if it's cold out or they're not moving. If this sounds familiar, consult your doctor to see what treatment options are available.

cosmoslyn cosmoslyn 3 years

yeah but u have to agree that raining sweat on treadmill is ewwwwww

risqueredhead risqueredhead 4 years
I have a heart/autonomic nervous system condition that causes a symptom called "exercise intolerance" - I get out of breath, sweaty, red, from very little amounts of exercise because my resting heart rate is about as high as a normal person walking. Even walking around the mall, My face and back will start getting sweaty. Exercise makes the condition better, but it has to be moderate/not intense.
thehilside thehilside 4 years
This a great article. Thanks!
answerme2000 answerme2000 5 years
I am a big sweater and I always get ugly yellow sweat stains. I wanted to share a product called Raise it was made to get rid of armpit stains and IT REALLY WORKS!!! My favorite tee from college looks brand new! I am really excited about this!
TheLittleMonster TheLittleMonster 5 years
edit: "as much anxiety as it CAUSES"...not concerns. Sorry. But on another note to other sufferers: some of my friends have this problem too. So it's much more common than you think. Take comfort in knowing you're not alone :)
TheLittleMonster TheLittleMonster 5 years
Even before I started working out, I had excessive sweating under my arms. My doctor basically laughed in my face when I expressed concern. So I went to the dermatologist, who prescribed Certain-Dri. It gave me such a bad reaction, so I'm back to regular, OTC anti-perspirants. I've been suffering since I was 16 (8 years). I just hide under layers and have to be super careful about what I wear. As much anxiety as it concerns, it's made me love going to the gym even more because it's the one place I feel comfortable breaking a sweat (or you know, pouring buckets of sweat...)
katie225 katie225 5 years
i used to sweat like crazy under my armpits, it was so embarrassing because i'm a middle/high school teacher! i started using "certain-dri" which is a different type of anti-perspirant. you put it on at night, it stings a little bit, but i guess what it does is it closes off your sweat glands in your armpits. then i'd wear normal deodorant during the day. it takes about three applications to start noticing the difference, but IT WORKED. all those other anti-perspirants that call themselves "clinical strength" did absolutely nothing, but certain-dri worked for me. for anyone who knows how embarrassing underarm sweat is (and how you can't wear certain colors/fabrics because of sweat), the initial stinging is totally worth it. TRY IT!!!
Azenka Azenka 6 years
Helpful hints for sweaty people: -always, always, always wear layers, especially in summer heat. Make sure you wear layers that absorb where you need, like don't weat a tank top under a shirt with sleeves if your armpits are super sweaty -I had/have bad armpits. Oddly enough, super strong antipersperant made it WORSE for me. Crazy sounding, but it's true! Try switching to a regular deodorant for 2 weeks, it may help. I switched to regular deodrant because I would get lumps in my armpits from antipersperant (I don't want breast cancer or lymph node cancer or something!), and after finding that I sweated less, (I used to have big pit stains constantly, even doing nothing), I rarely use antipersperant. Unfortunately, I tend to smell worse now. Before, I'd sweat buckets but be relatively odorless. I usually apply deodorant twice a day. -Lastly, don't be embarrassed by your body! I'm a woman, and I sweat more than my obese, constantly hot and sweaty bf when I do any sort of physical activity, even just a regular walk. I sweat so much that once, on a 30+ degree day in the hot sun, doing tough yard work, when I sat down in the shade for 5 min, I got cold. Suffice it to say, short of surgery, get used to it.
VeeKeeTee VeeKeeTee 8 years
what about the opposite of sweating? my feet are ALWAYS cold, even in summer
TammyO TammyO 8 years
Yeah well, I'm a woman and I sweat more than my husband no matter what I'm doing. Not fair!
socrates socrates 8 years
Besides surgery, other options are also available. See:
amyfinke amyfinke 10 years
I sweat like crazy, but only during my workouts
Beautifulbarbie Beautifulbarbie 10 years
Thanxs birdwoman i didnt know that.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Still, I don't have an excuse since i don't drink caffeine. lmao. _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
Birdwoman Birdwoman 10 years
I heard that caffeine might increase the amount that we sweat. I drink a lot of coffee and sweat a lot. My hands and feet are either cold or hot and sweaty. When they heat up they sweat.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
No but a quick fix is that if you notice wet marks take the blow dryer to your armpits before you leave...I did that on my first date lmao _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
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