Running causes our bodies to react in many different ways. As we expend our energy during a run, our bodies will release endorphins that make the effort worthwhile. Besides that, we also produce plenty of sweat the more we move. But why do some of us sweat more than others even though we’re performing the same movements?
The amount of sweat you produce on a run depends on many different factors, such as your physical conditioning. For example, seasoned runners will sweat less than newbies struggling to complete their first mile. Besides that, environmental factors like temperature and humidity can also have an effect. In severe cases, excess sweat could be caused by a condition called hyperhidrosis.
In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at the relationship between sweat and running.
Let’s get started.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that sweating is a completely normal way for our bodies to react to strenuous physical activity. Still, everyone sweats at different rates; some will be drenched by the end of their run, while others might look like they barely broke a sweat.
So, if you find yourself sweating more than the average runner next to you, don’t worry! It’s perfectly normal, as long as you are rehydrating during and after your run.
You see, a runner’s body doesn’t just lose water when they sweat but also electrolytes. This combination of hydration and electrolytes is critical for our bodies to function, especially when pushing our limits by running.
With that in mind, always remember to drink water, isotonic beverages, or anything else that can rehydrate your body while also replenishing its electrolytes stores.
While it’s normal to sweat more than some other people, some individuals suffer from a condition that causes them to sweat excessively. This condition is known as hyperhidrosis, and it affects about 1% of people.
When someone has hyperhidrosis, they’ll find themselves sweating excessively from the hands, armpits, feet, or a combination of those three areas. While the exact cause behind this condition is still unknown, it’s said to be caused by the sympathetic nervous system and is related to stress or fear.
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Yes, you must drink extra fluids if you find yourself sweating a lot while running or exercising. That’s because your body is losing much more than just water when you sweat; it’s also losing electrolytes.
Electrolytes are essential minerals in the body that are critical for many of its functions. These substances, like potassium, sodium, and calcium, carry an electrical charge and ensure that your cells, organs, and other body systems work as they should.
When you sweat and deplete your electrolytes during a run, your body’s functions start to get unstable. When that happens, you’ll experience common symptoms like:
As you can see, the symptoms related to a lack of electrolytes can be pretty severe for runners. Worse still, you won’t realize that your electrolytes are low until it’s too late, i.e. when you start experiencing problems.
Related: Are you looking for a water pack to keep your hydration in check while running? Check out these hand-picked hydration packs that will keep you topped off while you run!
So, how do you prevent the lack or imbalance of electrolytes described above? That’s right! You should be drinking much more fluids during and after your run. That’s especially true if you plan on running for more than 30 minutes, in which case carrying fluids with you would be an excellent idea.
These days, there are plenty of different sports drinks that you can buy at your local store and take with you on your run. Drinking juice can also be very beneficial. However, those two options might not be such a good idea if you’re trying to control your sugar intake.
Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy alternatives that provide the same benefits. Coconut water, for example, is less sweet and highly effective at maintaining your electrolytes.
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Typically, the average runner sweats approximately 13.7 ounces of water every 30 minutes while exercising. But, of course, that ‘sweat rate’ is a ballpark figure that will differ significantly depending on the individual.
For instance, someone at the peak of their physical fitness will sweat a lot less than a first-time runner, simply because their body is well-conditioned for that activity.
Besides that, environmental factors like weather, temperature, and humidity levels will also affect how much your body sweats.
Thankfully, there is a way to measure the rate at which your body produces sweat, commonly known as your Sweat Rate.
To calculate your Sweat Rate, simply follow this formula:
Once you’ve performed this calculation a few times, you’ll have an understanding of your average Sweat Rate and can plan for it.
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Yes, hyperhidrosis can be treated, and there are several options to do so. For starters, some doctors might prescribe specialized topical antiperspirants that are stronger than that available in-store.
Besides that, there are also medications known as anticholinergic drugs, which might be effective for some people suffering from this condition.
Although this might be a bit extreme for some people, surgery is also an option. With this option, doctors will remove sweat glands causing the problem while also severing the nerve glands related to sweating.
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