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Does Sweating Help Burn Fat?

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I've often heard that you should sweat as you're excercising.   So I was wondering, does the actual act of sweating cause you to burn more calories?   Or is it just a way to measure how hard  you're working?

If I did the same workout on two seperate days, but on one day I wore layers and sweat more, would I burn more calories?

I'd just hate to be missing out on extra calories I could be burning, because I chose to wear cool clothing and didn't sweat enough.

Edited Apr 01 2013 10:42 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent zombie spam bumps
15 Replies (last)
This is a great question! I want to know too.
this is just a guess, but i think any weight loss from sweatign more would be water weight..?
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I have to agree with Stephanie, I think its just water weight... But, we could totally be wrong!  :)
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When you blow on wet skin, it feels colder.  That's because it is colder :-)  Sweating is the body's way to try to lower internal temperature, and it's important to let it do so.

Athletes who compete in weight classes (like boxers and wrestlers) exercise in heavy sweat suits, and even in saunas, but only when drastically cutting weight before a pre-competition official weigh-in.  The weight lost from sweat then is all water weight, and is regained very quickly.  In extreme cases some can lose (and regain!) 20 pounds in 2 days -- all of it water.  For brief times they deliberately prevent sweat from doing its job, to force the body to keep sweating and sweating and sweating.

It's never a good idea for anyone to do this routinely -- internal overheating can have seriously bad effects on your health.  Sweat's purpose can only be served by letting it evaporate from the skin.  "Wicking it away" instead with layers of clothing defeats its cooling purpose.

If you want a very easy way to burn more calories, just drink colder water!  The definition of "a calorie" is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of a gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.  It takes significant energy to raise the temperature of cold water to body temperature, and more energy the colder the water.

Of course nobody will get slim just by drinking cold water, but everything counts.

BTW, I should note that the calorie-counter's "calorie" is really 1000 of the scientist's "calorie"s -- a "food calorie" is a kilocalorie, or the amount of heat energy needed to raise a kilogram (1000 grams) of water by 1 degree Celsius.
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well then... we learn something new everyday..  thanks so much tgpish!  :)
I feel like the act of sweating during exercise is a sort of a judge of one's heart rate.  If your heart rate is high, you are definitely going to be sweating.  We always hear about working out and getting the heart rate up, and the longer your heart rate is elevated, the more calories you are going to burn. So when I work out, I just try to work up a good sweat!
I actually found the opposite to be true.  When I was out of shape my heart rate would be through the roof by I would not sweat much at all.  Now I have to really work hard to get my heart rate up and I pour sweat.  I am finally strong enough to work up a good healthy sweat by being able to work all my muscles as hard as my heart!!!  That is just me.  The more fit I am the more I can sweat
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agana, you're normal :-)  It's very common to sweat more quickly and profusely the fitter you get.  All your body systems become more efficient, and your body's cooling mechanism (sweat!) is no exception.  You'll sweat quicker, but you'll also stop sweating sooner after a workout ends, since you've been doing a better job of cooling all along.

This is easiest to see in people who get fitter without changing weight.  For people who lose fat too, the distance between the overheated muscles (and organs) and the skin shrinks due to fat loss, and that also makes sweat's skin cooling more efficient.  It's not really the skin that sweat is trying to cool, it's the muscles and organs, and the less fat between those and the skin the more effective sweating is.  So people losing fat have this additional factor tending toward less sweating.

I've rarely seen people get fitter and fatter at the same time.  The few I have seen can do a pretty good impression of a fire hydrant, as they have multiple factors all working to increase sweating.
Thanks tgpish.  I didn't have a clue about at least of half of the stuff you explained.

As stated, sweating is simply your body cooling itself.  Wearing extra clothing will cause you to sweat more and lose water (weight) but it is temporary.  Very temporary.

If you don't work hard enough to sweat, you probably aren't working hard enough to burn many calories.  But you don't need to put on a sweat suit to deceive yourself.

During the summer when I run, I sweat an average of a lb a mile.  I literally will sweat out 5% to 7% of my starting body weight.  In spite of consuming huge quantities of fluids, I can lose 10 to 12 lbs on a single run.  Yes, I like to weigh myself before and after a run.  It has nothing to do with weight.  It is a safety issue with hydration.  By the end of the day, I have regained all of that water and weight back.

In the winter, it might be 20 or 30 degrees when I run.  Still, I work hard enough to sweat.  The difference.  Since my body is using less energy to cool itself, I can run much faster.

Bottom line.  Sweating itself doesn't burn more calories.  Working hard enough to sweat does.

Do zombies sweat?

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Do zombies sweat?

Your momma sweats!

Original Post by trh:

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Do zombies sweat?

Your momma sweats!

Now tr, don't you go talkin' 'bout my mama that way.

Oh, and your face.

Well, the guy with the blog he wanted to push who resurrected this thread is hopefully sweating a bit ;)

This is an old thread, but it seems people are still wondering.

The second guess is right: more sweat is a sign that you’re working harder. But not an invariable sign, because if you wore less clothes and got colder, your body would also burn some extra calories keeping you warm, compared to if you wore more clothes.

If you’re sweating more on account of exercising in hot weather or a warmer room or overdressed, not because of working harder, then the extra sweat doesn’t signal that you’re burning more calories, either.

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