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Health: true or false?

If you sweat more while exercising, do you burn more calories?

A Hong Kong personal trainer says sweat levels are linked to your physiology and the climate you are working out in, not the number of calories you are burning

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 July, 2017, 12:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 July, 2017, 5:47pm

Is it true that, the more you perspire the more calories you burn?

The short answer: No.

Chances are a long run in the hot afternoon sun will leave you drenched in sweat, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have burned any more calories than usual. That’s probably not what you want to hear, but the truth is, perspiring profusely after a workout doesn’t translate to anything more than water loss (sorry!).

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According to Nathan Solia, a holistic personal trainer, and managing director of Elite Personal Training in Aberdeen, perspiring is our body’s way of keeping cool when our body temperature increases. “When the body reaches a certain temperature, our sweat glands produce sweat, a salty liquid that’s made up almost completely of water, with small amounts of salt, sugar, ammonia and urea,” he explains. “This liquid is released through our pores and settles on the surface of the skin. As it comes into contact with the air, it evaporates. this evaporative cooling is how we regulate temperature.”

Perspiring a lot during a workout session only feels like you’ve burnt more calories because most of us equate perspiring excessively with extra physical effort.

When you perspire excessively during a workout, it just means that you have lost water.
Nathan Solia

But Solia says that you don’t have to sweat profusely to burn a lot of calories. Take weight training, for instance. While this activity does not exactly work up a sweat, it certainly uses up a high number of calories.

In addition, because of their physiology, some people simply perspire more than others. “Men who are fit tend to sweat more than women who are fit, even though women have more sweat glands than men,” Solia explains. “The reason for this is because sweat glands are more active in men than in women. Fit people also tend to perspire as soon as they start working out so that they can cool down faster. In fact, people who are in good shape tend to perspire more than people who are not as fit.”

How soon and how much you perspire also depends on other factors, including the climate, temperature and humidity level of the location you are working out in, and your body temperature, which may be influenced by what you’re wearing.

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“When you perspire excessively during a workout, it just means that you have lost water,” Solia says. “So, if you find that you weigh a little less after a long run under the sun or a hot yoga class, remember that it’s just water weight that you’ve lost, and not fat. If you do perspire a lot during or after a workout, you may also become dehydrated, which is why it’s important to monitor your fluid intake frequently.”