Do you burn calories when you sweat? As a weight loss blog, we get asked a lot if an individual can burn calories when they sweat.
So, today’s article is dedicated purely to this subject. In the end, you will understand if sweating help you lose weight or not.
What is Sweat?
Sweat is a sign that the body is regulating its temperature.
The body does this by releasing salt and water, which escape into the air, thus, cooling you down.
So, do you burn calories when you sweat?
Yes, you do burn calories when you sweat, and you’ll see the scale moving down but, it can be tricky! (more on that later).
how many calories do you burn when you sweat?
According to many experts, “sweat-filled” activities such as Bikram yoga enable a person to burn as many as 1,000 calories per hour.
According to HealthStatus.com, by performing 90 minutes of Bikram yoga:
A 135-pound person burns 644 calories.
A 150-pound person burns 716 calories.
A 185-pound person burns 882 calories.
A recent study, on the other hand, indicated that women who stayed in a 90-minute Bikram yoga session burned an average of 330 calories, while men burned up to 460 calories.
That is the same as walking lightly at 3.5 miles an hour for 90 minutes.
However, sweating doesn’t necessarily mean that you are losing a ton of weight.
In fact, you can still burn many calories doing activities that do not result in sweating much or even at all.
Nevertheless, sweat can signify the intensity or how hard you are exercising.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity workout or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity is enough to make a healthy adult break a sweat.
Sweat is an indication that your muscles are very active and are producing enough heat to increase your body temperature.
Do You Lose Weight By Sweating?
Yes, you can lose weight when you sweat, but this is just a temporary weight loss. When you sweat, you are just losing water, which can be regained once you drink water or other liquids.
It is also important to remember that everyone has a unique body – some people have more active sweat glands than others.
And, individuals with a lot of sweat glands will perspire more compared to those with few sweat glands.
But, this does not mean they will lose more weight than those with fewer or less active sweat glands when working with the same volume and intensity.
Why do some people produce more sweat than others?
The amounts of sweat you produce depend on several factors, such as:
- Fitness level
- Environmental causes
Your fitness level and weight will have a great impact on how much you sweat during a workout session.
Your body requires much more energy to properly function at a greater weight.
Thus, leading to more sweat because of the body mass required to be cooled down.
If you are in a better shape, you will sweat quicker compared to a person who is not.
This is because your body becomes more effective at regulating the heat.
Sweating quicker leads to your body cooling down faster, this allows you to exercise for longer periods and at a higher intensity.
If you live in a dry and hot climate and work out regularly, you are likely to lose more weight through sweat.
Does Sweating During Exercise Mean Weight Loss?
Being soaked with sweat after a workout can create an illusion that you have exercised pretty hard.
And then, you hop on your scale and nothing has changed. Can you relate to this?
But, does sweating during an exercise means better workout?
The truth is, sweating profusely doesn’t necessarily suggest that you are finally losing weight.
Sweating is not a reliable indicator of the quality of your workout since you might lose weight temporarily due to water loss.
Nevertheless, exercising in a high temperature might boost the effectiveness of your workouts.
A study done on cyclists indicated that there are proven benefits of exercising in a high-temperature environment, including enhanced sweating or cooling process, improved blood flow via the skin, as well as expanded blood volume.
Moreover, hot yoga is becoming more popular, which started with Bikram that is performed in hot environments.
Since sweat burns very little calories and only help you lose water weight, how do you actually reduce the amount of this weight associated with water?
Here are the top ways to help you reduce your water weight naturally.
Drink More Water
This may sound counterintuitive, but drinking more water is one of the best ways to lose water weight.
When you are dehydrated, your body will retain more water to prevent the water levels from dropping too low.
By drinking a lot of water, you also enhance your metabolism, functions as an appetite suppressant, and detoxify your body.
Experts recommend two liters a day, though this can differ from person to person, so make sure to drink plenty of water!
It has been shown that feeling stressed for long periods can lead to increased production of the stress hormone Cortisol, which influences directly water retention as well as water weight.
According to scientists, it also increases the levels of a hormone known as ADH (antidiuretic hormone), which transmit signals to the kidneys to pump too much water into your body.
So, managing stress levels could help you effectively lose weight through sweating.
Sleeping is just as important for your health as exercise and diet.
Research has indicated that sleep may impact the sympathetic renal nerves in your kidneys, which controls the balance between water and sodium.
So your goal should be to have around 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
This will help your body regulate hydration levels and decrease water retention.
Reduce Your Salt Intake
Just like drinking more water, eating less salt is also one of the easiest ways to lose water weight.
The salt provides the body with sodium, which then causes water retention because your body needs to maintain its water-to-sodium levels balanced to properly function.
This means if you consume too much salt, you will hold onto plenty of water too.
Table salt is known for possessing a high amount of sodium, but the largest portion of the salt we consume comes from highly-processed foods such as bread, cheese, savory snacks, and ready meals.
It is a good idea to switch to natural foods like nuts, vegetables, and seeds since they have very low sodium content.
Some foods can also reduce the levels of sodium in your body, such as avocados, bananas, as well as leafy vegetables.
Excessive Sweating Side Effects
Excessive sweating is also more common in people who are overweight or out of shape.
The good news is that most cases of excessive sweating are harmless. Here are just a few side effects that may come with the latter.
If you sweat too much, you will become dehydrated that’s a no-brainer.
To overcome this issue don’t wait to drink water until you are thirsty, instead, carry a water bottle and drink frequently during your workouts.
Dehydration has its own symptoms such as:
- Rapid/Weak pulse
- Confusion or extreme exhaustion
- Loss of consciousness
- Not urinating for 8 hours (except when sleeping at night)
Reduce Your Salt Intake
If you tend to excessively sweat, it might be due to a condition known as hyperhidrosis.
If sweating disrupt your social life, make sure you consult a doctor immediately.
Also, report any case of night sweats for an unknown reason. Or, if it is accompanied by:
- Chest pain
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- High fever
Final Thoughts – Does Sweating Make You Lose Weight?
Do you burn calories when you sweat?
Sweating can burn a few calories, but this will not be substantial to make you lose weight and get in shape.
The point here is that sweating may help you temporary lose weight by getting rid of the extra water weight.