While dripping with sweat isn’t always a desirable side effect when exercising, sweating could mean you’re burning additional calories during your workouts. Sweat is your body’s cooling mechanism, so sweating more could mean you’re working harder or exercising in a warmer temperature. However, just because you’re sweating more than the person working out next to you doesn’t mean you’re burning more calories than that individual.
Sweating during hot-weather workouts helps you burn additional calories, according to the American Council on Exercise. This is because your body expends more energy trying to keep cool, by pumping blood to your skin’s surface to promote sweating. However, burning additional calories during hot-weather workouts doesn’t mean you’ll burn more overall calories, because it’s harder to complete long workouts in the heat without feeling uncomfortable or becoming overheated.
Boosting your workout intensity means you’ll likely sweat more – since your body is working harder to stay cool -- and increase your calorie expenditure. Harvard Health Publications reports that while a 155-pound person burns 335 calories running at a pace of 5.2 mph for 30 minutes, the same person expends 465 calories in the same amount of time running at a pace of 7.5 mph.
Water Weight Loss
Just because the scale says you weigh less after a sweaty workout doesn’t mean you lost body fat. You would have to burn 3,500 calories during your workout to lose 1 pound of fat. Chances are, you’ve lost water weight during your workout, which could mean you’re dehydrated. A review published in 2007 in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” reports that losing more than 2 percent of your initial body weight during exercise means you’re dehydrated, which can inhibit athletic performance. If you’ve lost weight during a grueling, sweaty workout, drink 2 to 3 cups of water for every pound lost, suggests the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Don’t let the amount of sweat soaked into your workout clothes determine how many calories you’ve burned. Some people, especially those who work out regularly, sweat more efficiently than others. A variety of factors play a role in the amount of sweat your body produces, such as genetics, fitness level, body weight and hormone levels. However, if your workout atmosphere and intensity remain constant, if you sweat more from one workout to the next you’ve likely slightly increased your calorie expenditure.
- Do I Burn More Calories When It is Hot Outside or Cold?
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Exercise and Fluid Replacement
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Sports Nutrition
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