Many people have a misconception about sweating.
Many time I have seen, during the summer period, on the sunny streets of my native city of Naples, people running around wearing winter running clothes including a rain jacket!
My first question was why do they run like that?!
Later I have tried to give some explanations to myself:
1 They want to lose weight more rapidly.
2 they think that by making more effort to run they are going to burn more calories.
3 They think that more you sweat more you lose weight and burn fat.
I had a confirmation of my thoughts when I was providing a Diet Program to my overweight patient that asked me a question: Do I burn more fat and calories if I sweat more?
To respond to his question I have explained to him why do we sweat.
Sweating is a process of our organism to protect itself from the high temperature.
Our body works perfectly at 36° C and all its physiological processes can take place normally.
When we start to exercise, the temperature of our body increases due to the heat produced by our muscles.
When the temperature increases above 36° C, our body operates a defence mechanism, the sweating, to decrease its temperature.
Our body produces a salty and colourless liquid which comes through its skin.
This liquid is composed of:
- Water ( 99% )
- Sodium ( 0,9 gram/Liter )
- Potassium ( 0,2 gram/Liter )
- Traces of Urea ( Waste Product ), lactic Acid, Protein, Fatty Acids.
How we can note from the graph above, the most part of our sweat is composed of water and so It is not so convenient to lose too much of this liquid for the risk of dehydration and overheating.
So It is quite dangerous to try to sweat more to lose weight or burn fat as It does not produce more burning fat or real weight loss.
Even if after an intense workout the bodyweight has decreased a lot due to the loss of fluids, we must drink the same amount of water to restore the normal hydration of our body.
During exercise, the condition of dehydration and overheating of our body is very dangerous as It can lead to syncope ( fainting ).
If you want to know how to burn fat, you need to understand your Energy Metabolism during exercise, because It will explain the relationship between exercise and substrates ( Glucose, protein, fat ) utilised as energy sources.