Monday, April 25, 2016

I'm a Heavy Sweater

Not the kind you wear, I'm not an inanimate object. I mean I sweat a lot. I mentioned this in my Friday Five, "Confessions." I sweat more, and more easily, than most people I know. Why? I don't know.

It's also important to point out that in Florida, with our lovely humidity, your sweat does not evaporate to cool you off (which is its intended purpose).

I've read a lot of things about why we sweat the way we do and what makes some people sweat more than others. There's a lot of conflicting information out there. Some says it has to do with heart rate plus body mass, and those with higher body mass are going to reach a higher heart rate faster and therefore sweat more. Others say it's not body mass but body fat and it's ability to insulate us. Fat people sweat more than skinny people, right? I think I prove that theory wrong, or I'm an anomaly, which I've been told before.

My body fat percentage is around 20%, and while I would like it to be a little lower, I doubt anyone would consider me fat, yet I sweat sooner and more heavily than those with higher body fat. Then you have my husband, whose BMI is a little higher than mine, yet he hardly ever breaks a sweat. He can work outside all day, go for a 20 mile bike ride with me, and while I'm literally dripping sweat, he merely has a glisten. Now, he will have a sweat odor, just not much visible sweat production.

So what is it? Hormones could definitely be a factor, but I sweat more than other women as well. I do have a higher than average resting heart rate and my heart gets up really quickly and easily when I run, so I guess that could be part of it. Then again, I can stay in a low heart rate zone while riding my bike and still be sweating profusely. Inside the house, with the air conditioning running and a fan on me.

Another factor could be nerves, I sweat when I'm nervous too. That's a different sweat though, it's more in my arm pits than anywhere else. Then there's spicy food sweat too, which is more similar to exercise sweat. The sweat when I exercise (or walk outside in the heat) is first noticeable on my face. Maybe I should randomly take my temperature and see if it's getting really high when I'm doing those things. My "normal" temperature is relatively low though, and I hardly ever run a fever, even when I'm sick. Maybe that's part of it? My body's cooling system is working differently because my temperature doesn't get up?

This post is a bunch of questions with no answers. I think I will start randomly checking my temperature though, it would be an interesting experiment.

What does being a heavy sweater mean for a runner though? This I do have answers to. It means drinking a lot and taking in more electrolytes. I try to drink half my weight in ounces of water every day, whether I'm active or not, if I go for a run or ride, I drink extra. I'm a pretty salty sweater as well, and this poses another problem while doing Whole30 since all easily available electrolyte sources contain sweeteners. Maybe I'll just start carrying around a shaker of table salt.

I once mentioned to someone that in the summer I always bring water with me, even on a 3 mile run. They kind of scoffed at this and said they don't drink anything for runs shorter than 8 miles. Well, who's smarter? The person with water who might not need it, or the person who ends up severely dehydrated 5 miles from home?

At least you don't have to be embarrassed by heavy sweating when you're running or biking, right? It really depends. Now sure, in the middle of summer, everyone is soaked by the end of a run (except my husband, of course), but when it's nicer weather, others may barely break a sweat, but I'm still soaked and dripping. So, I wipe it on my shirt and hope no one notices.

Maybe I should just switch to swimming.

Do you sweat a lot?

Why do you think some people sweat more than others?


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