No Sweat! Sweat buckets!
OK – which is it?? As athletes we spend a lot of time doing this, but how much time do you spend thinking about it? As I was tackling burpees the other day in my workout, I entertained myself by racing a drop of sweat falling to the floor – who would land first – that precious drop or me? Sweat won. I then moved into planking where it is amazing how you can occupy yourself moving just a tiny bit to make your sweat drops land in different places on the mat. Probably not the thinking that you thought I meant, so lets try again…
The average person in a one hour workout sweats 27.4 to 47.3 oz. That is one to three pound of body weight. The average person sweats 1.5 gallons a day. Scientists estimate one drop of sweat can cool one liter of blood one degree. There is actually a measurement of a bucket – it is approximately 5 gallons. It has been scientifically proven that the sweating process slows down after we have lost 3 to 5 percent of our body weight, although there is not a point where the body will stop sweating – it just keeps sweating.
Study after study is finding that every body is not created equal. Each athlete has their own sweat profile and the total volume, speed to start sweating and rate of sweat are all a very personal characteristics. Yes, sweating more may mean that you are getting more conditioned. Yes, sweating more may mean you are moving your body more. BUT it is also a major indicator day by day on how hydrated you are. The human body is only about 25% efficient – meaning 75% of the energy expended into exercise is the body generating heat and hence the need to cool through sweat and 25% is actually used to keep the body in motion.
There are some factors the body does start to anticipate… The body knows what is coming, so it may start to sweat earlier in the process of exercise. It may also generate sweat faster – kinda like a faucet being turned on full blast rather than a slow drip. Lastly, the body does get more efficient in holding onto the salt and electrolytes. Your sweat profile may be a higher percentage of just water, rather than salt and electrolytes, as you become more conditioned.
Bottom line – go make those sweat angels and be proud of them! You are working hard – wear that sweat as a badge of honor!!