Will Your Sweating Burn Calories?

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Published: 08th June 2010
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Copyright (c) 2010 Lynsey Carter

Sweating is now become such a common problem, that one of our most asked-about questions involving sweating is, does your sweating burn calories? And? Unfortunately, there is no 'one real' answer. So instead of just a single response to the question on all of our lips, there are a couple of different things that should be taken into consideration though.

So, Does Sweating Burn Calories?

When you ask that question of sweat burning calories, one of the more important issues to realize is that it all depends on the reason/s why you are sweating in the first place. Is it by doing active sweating or by passive sweating?

(( The calorie is a pre-SI metric unit of energy. Definitions vary but are all based on the specific heat capacity of water. The gram calorie, approximately 4.2 J, is based on one gram of water. The kilogram calorie, equal to one thousand gram calories, is based on one kilogram of water. In the context of your nutrition, and especially when food labeling, this larger unit is used and referred to interchangeably by the terms calorie (or Calorie) and kilocalorie. )) - thanks Wikipedia

For instance - when you sweat during physical exercise, it is your body's way of burning calories, mainly because you are involved in physical activity, and sweating off those calories that are stored in your body.

Though, should you be having night sweats, where while you are sleeping you are sweating, you will still be burning off those few calories, but nowhere near as many as you would while exercising. This will also be the circumstance if you find you are sweating profusely on a hot summer day without doing any form of physical activity.

Here's How it Works

When you work out aerobically, the groups of large muscles within your body demand more oxygen. This requirement places what is called an 'oxygen debt' on your body. Then when you breathe in large amounts of oxygen, your body then utilizes that oxygen to produce heat, which results in you sweating. But the heat that you generate through exercise and sweating is the reason you burn those calories, to fuel the burn!

Therefore, to answer the question of does your sweating burn calories, you will need to understand that at those times when you sweat you are burning some calories, and this process is accelerated when you are being physically active to burn off the calories.

On the other side of the coin though, in regards to the question of does sweating burn calories, you also need to be aware that there will be instances in where you will be sweating but yet not burning any calories at all. Case-in-point for instance, is when you are basking or lounging in a sauna. So remember that when you go into a sauna you will not be burning any calories, you will merely be sweating. Any weight loss you endure in the sauna, is likely to be only water loss from perspiration or sweating, but it will be replenished when you leave the sauna and begin to drink fluids again. The use of a sauna is a great way to remove the excess toxins and nasties in your body, it is such a quick-purge method of detoxification.

So remember, your sweating is primarily a way to cool down your body so that it doesn't overheat. Some people will prefer to workout or exercise in ways that will actually make them sweat, this way they feel like they have worked hard. Plus you will find an added bonus from exercise is the increase of the endorphins from your brain, where these endorphins will have the effect of making you feel good! But there are other people who enjoy sweating while they are working out as they feel themselves cleansing as the releasing of the toxins from their body improves their health and well-being.

Whichever way you look at it, if you are looking to burn of those calories you will definitely need to do some cardiovascular and strenuous activities, ones that are actually going to work you out and burn the calories, and not just to create sweat.


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