Sweat & Health

Contributed by Amanda Albiar, NCSF-CPT

What can your sweat say about your health? We tend to think that getting sweaty is merely an indication that we’re hot or going hard during an intense workout. But, according to Women’s Health Magazine, our sweat can actually tell us a heck of a lot more about our health.
“Sweat contains physiologically rich information about what is happening in the body, with many different substances — from electrolyte ions to metabolites to protein molecules,” says Ali Javey, Ph.D., a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at University of California. Dr. Javey is also a pioneer in the field of sweat sciences whom recently worked on a prototype for a high-tech wearable sweat sensor.
These sensors can measure super-minute details about your health that you wouldn’t be able to pick up on your own — like whether your glucose levels are out of whack. The cool thing is that you can gain certain clues about your health based on how you sweat. Here are a few sweat facts:

1. If your sweat really stinks; you may be stressed. Ever notice that when you sweat at the gym, it’s usually pretty stink-free? Or maybe you’ve been slammed with a high-pressure situation at the office and you find yourself saying a silent prayer to the deodorant gods that no one will get close enough to smell you. The reason for theses two types of sweat is that they are actually produced by different glands. When you overheat, sweat is produced by eccrine glands, which are found all over your bod and produce sweat that is mostly water and salt. Meanwhile, stress sweat comes from apocrine glands, which are mostly confined to your armpits and produce sweat mixed with fat, protein, and skin bacteria. Hence the stench.

2. If you sweat a lot, this can also clue you into your overall health. We all sweat at different rates and times, and for the most part a range is normal. But as a general rule of thumb, the more fit you are, the more you’re prone to perspire. A 2010 study done in Japan found that not only do fitter people tend to sweat at a greater volume, they also start sweating sooner. So if you notice that midway through marathon training your shirt is getting soaked after just a few miles, take it as a cue that your training is on track.

3. If you find yourself with sweaty palms when you’re not nervous or a sweaty bod even when you’re not working out, you might have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which describes excessive sweating that’s not related to sweltering temps or hitting the gym. If this is the case, you may need to see your doc for a prescription strength antiperspirant.

Source: Skinny Mom March 2016

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