Is sweat the tear of fat?

It is commonly believed that the more we sweat during workout, the better for us. The amount of released sweat is supposed to evidence the intensity of training and the amount of burned fat. What's the reality?

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In connection with such opinion, we can observe people training in sweatsuits, special belts or neoprene outfits. Furthermore, there exists the conviction that if we feel sweat even on our glutes, it means that the workout was good. If we don't wheeze after training and the neck and T-shirt are dry, we think that something went wrong.

Where did such conviction come from?

The theory, which assumes that sweating causes faster loss of body fat, has been known for a long time. Of course, you cannot deny the fact, that sweating causes losing weight. But this weight does not come from fat.

During exercising, or other form of physical activity, higher body temperature leads to sweating, that way we lose water, which can be equal to 1 liter per hour or even more. One liter of water weighs 1 kilogram, so losing such weight during one workout is possible.

The amount of sweat released during training depends, most of all, on the atmospheric conditions – the temperature and humidity of the air. The warmer it is, the more we sweat. The amount of sweat may also depend on our mood, individual predispositions, having a cold, weaker body, and for women, also the phase of menstrual cycle matters.

The loss of weight achieved this way is connected with dehydration. It is not a good balance for our body. If we start hydrating after workout, by drinking water and other liquids, our weight will go back to normal.

Some level of dehydration is natural during training. However, we shouldn't let ourselves dehydrate the body too much.

That's the reason why we should remember about the intake of liquids during exercising, especially if it takes one hour or longer, and if it's done in high temperature.

The fact that we lost few liters of sweat during workout does not mean that it will be beneficial. The amount of sweat has no connection with the amount of burned calories.

If the success of body fat reduction depended on the amount of sweat, you would just have to exchange the gym with sauna.

The strategies of losing weight by sweating is useful in some sports. However, it is connected only with temporary drop of weight. For example, martial arts competitors use it to fit in particular weight group, or bodybuilders in order to expose their muscles better.

To sum up, the loss of water is only connected with temporary loss of weight. If we care about body weight and body fat reduction, we should focus on diet supported with properly adjusted physical activity.