Yeah, yeah I know, interesting topic right? Sweat seems to be more of an inconvenience that anything else, but to be completely honest, your life literally depends on your ability to sweat. Sweat is one of the body’s primary ways of regulating body temperature, and trust me, be glad that you sweat at certain times.
I want to give you a little anatomical background here, because after all, education is the key to growth and the more well- informed we are, the more impact we can have on our communities as we work together to create our Wellness Revolution!!!! Okay, off of my soap box and back to the topic of good ol’ sweat. There are actually two different types of glands in the body that produce sweat. Each of these glands produce sweat at different times, under different circumstances, and for all together different reasons. First are the eccrine glands which are found most commonly on the bottom of your feet, the palms of your hands, and your forehead. When you get stressed out, these guys begin to secrete sweat. Stress causes our body temperature to rise, and these little glands counteract this increase in body temperature. The eccrine glands secret the sweat on to the surface of the skin, which is the largest organ of the body, which then cools us down as the sweat evaporates into the air.
The second sweat producing glands are the apocrine glands. These guys respond to the hormone adrenaline, and they are most commonly found in the arm pits. The apocrine glands produce a thicker form of sweat and it typically has a slightly more milky appearance.
There are many circumstances that we encounter during our daily lives that cause one or both of these type glands to produce sweat which include: being anxious or nervous, working out, being outside on a hot day, getting a phone call from our boss about a missed deadline, sitting in a sauna, or getting pulled over by a police officer while running late for work because you have a deadline you’re about to miss. Regardless of the cause, the goal remains the same, to reduce the body’s temperature and prevent damage that occurs from overheating: Think heat stroke.
One downside to sweating is that it can lead to dehydration if you do not replenish those lost fluids, so make certain you drink plenty of water when outside on a hot day and during your workouts. A very general goal in terms of hydration is to make certain you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day as an adult, and to increase this if being outside in the heat or if you are sweating during a workout.
In Wellness and Love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.