I love a good workout session. It gives me energy, improves my mood, and keeps me healthy. What it doesn’t do is make me sweat.
No matter how hard I push myself, I sweat very little compared to my friends. I don’t mind that at all. I hate the feeling of sweat running down my face. Or worse, getting sweat in my eyes.
“But how do you detoxify your body if you can’t sweat it out?,” they ask me. “The same way you do,” I reply.
Hint: it’s not through sweat.
What Is Sweat?
Sweat is your body’s natural cooling system. Whenever you exercise, have a fever, or are in a very hot place – like my hometown Senigallia where the heat can rise up to 40°C in summer – your body’s temperature rises up above its ideal 37°C.
Your brain doesn’t like that at all. It wants to get back to 37°C. So, it sends a signal to the sweat glands in your body to start producing sweat.
(Btw, guess where most sebaceous glands are? Yep, underarms, feet and hands).
Sweat, or perspiration (its fancier name), is made almost completely of water. But it also contains tiny amounts of other chemicals, like urea, lactic acid, salts and sugars.
Can Sweat Really Detoxify The Body?
Even though I’m not much of a sweater, I’d love it if this myth were true. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to breathe the most polluted air, drink lots of alcohol, and then be able to get rid of all those toxins by exercising for an hour or spending some time in a sauna?
Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Sweat cools down the body, but it DOESN’T detoxify it.
So why do so we think it can? Because there’s usually a grain of truth in every myth.
The grain of truth: some studies have shown that toxins like mercury, lead, and arsenic, are excreted through sweat.
The full truth: Only in incredibly tiny amounts. Only less than 1% of these metals is removed through sweat!
If your body relied on sweat to detoxify yourself, you’d be long dead, gorgeous.Exercise has lots of benefits. Detoxifying your body ISN'T one of them.
How Your Body Really Detoxifies
Relying on sweat to detoxify your body isn’t a smart strategy. Good news: we don’t have to. Your body already has an inbuilt detox system: your liver and kidneys. Every day, they work hard to get rid of all the toxins that somehow make their way inside your body.
As long as your liver and kidneys are healthy, you don’t really need to do anything to detox. To keep them in top shape, always replenish all the liquids you lost during your workout session.
The Bottom Line
Exercise has many benefits, but removing toxins from our body is not one of them. It’s out liver and kidneys, not our sweat, that detoxify it.
Have you ever tried to sweat out toxins from your body? Leave a comment below and let me know. (Don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there).
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