By Shana Daniel, RHN

Time to raid the grocery freezers for ice cream, gelatos, popsicles and smoothies.

When your body starts to heat up, whether it’s due to exercise, work or outside temperature, your brain reacts by releasing sweat from more than 2.5 million eccrine glands spread out across nearly all of your body, pouring liquid through pores to lower your body temperature. When sweat simply drips off you and hits the floor, it can’t lower your body temperature. To reap the cooling effect of sweat, that salty liquid must evaporate off the skin and turn into a gas.

Sweating is the release of a salty liquid from the sweat glands. Sweat has one main purpose: as it evaporates, it helps to cool the body. Sweating is regulated by your nervous system.

A person has two million to four million sweat glands, with the highest density of sweat glands on the palms of hands and soles of feet. From baby to adult, the number of sweat glands doesn’t change.

Sweat is odourless. Bacteria on the skin mixing with sweat is what produces body odour. Most sweat is colourless, too.

When moisture in sweat evaporates off your skin, it cools you down. You sweat more in heat and humidity, but that doesn’t mean you’re burning more calories or fat, it simply means your body has to release perspiration to bring your body temperature down. Larger people tend to sweat more because they have a greater amount of body mass to cool down. Fitter people also tend to sweat more, but this is because their cooling system is especially efficient giving them the ability to work harder for longer.

Next time you’re thinking to wipe off the sweat from your forehead, remember that it’s your body’s natural impulse of cooling you down quickly. Resist using that facecloth and persist with hydration, as your body knows exactly what it’s doing.

Photo: When moisture in sweat evaporates off your skin, it cools you down.

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