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Sweat It!

Bikram Yoga

Last week my blog topic, “” discussed Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its focus on balancing energy. Sweat  is a perfect example of a natural body system that functions to balance body temperature and remove unwanted toxins from the body. Yet aside from the smell, it does not get much attention in western medicine. Sweat just like every other body function serves a purpose, see these 10 questions used in TCM,
Perspiration is a sign that your body is:
1. regulating its temperature.
2. removing toxins through the skin.
3. and when exercising, it is an indicator that blood is pumping harder and more oxygen is being used to nourish you from head to toe.
This last sign is the reason why sweating during exercise can help you lose more weight than if you are not breaking a sweat.
Be Cool
Stay cool, that’s what sweat does. It keeps you cool when your body gets hot. The hotter you get the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more calories (the energy you need to expend to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C)  you burn.
When exercising, muscle contractions heat the blood and your body, as body temperature rises. The hypothalamus, the part of your brain involved with controlling body temperature, simultaneously  signals sweat glands to start churning out sweat through your pores. The caloric expense of sweating makes it all the worthwhile. According to an article in Livestrong, , “each gram of water on the body surface absorbs .58 calories of energy before evaporating’. Sweating helps burn more calories while exercising as compared to exercising and not sweating.
Sweat is made up of mostly water, salt and other electrolytes (potassium, chloride), sugar and by products of protein breakdown (ammonia and urea). Replacing water and “lytes” are important with heavy bouts of activity.
Perspiration evaporates making you feel cool and refreshed. Voilà (pronounced wa la)! Mother Nature‘s air conditioning system.
The liver and kidney are known for helping to remove toxins from the body but sweat is proving to be just as important a vehicle in the detox process. Recent research shows perspiration works better than blood and urine in removing heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium) and petrochemicals ( Bisphenol A, BPA, and Phthalates) that are found in common environmental materials. These chemicals have been shown to negatively affect thyroid hormones (,  hunger signals and weight loss (,
Sweat can help with weight loss by working to remove these body toxins.
The Sweet Smell of Sweat
OK, I’ll be honest there is no sweet smell, but, there is no “smell of sweat” at all. The stench you smell when sweating actually comes from bacteria on your skin. Don’t freak, bacteria is everywhere.  If you are getting your game on and smell when you perspire, try taking a shower beforehand to avoid any unwanted lingering aromas when you do workout. Taking a shower before and after an extra hard or long bout of activity may help.  If not add in a little perfume or cologne and if that doesn’t work just exercise by yourself.
I am not a fan of using antiperspirants because it uses aluminum, a heavy metal, to block a natural body process…sweat. Deodorants, help deodorize so they are better. Check out Dr. Oz’s,  “The Science of Sweat and stick”
Sweat is sweet when it comes to good health and weight loss. So sweat it up!

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

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  • Aluminum is not especially “heavy”. Iron is heavy and a small amount is good. Some metals such as lead are harmful because they displace a needed element such as calcium and fail to function as calcium, causing brain damage.
    It is likely we ingest most of our aluminum from prepared baked goods rather than from our cooking pots. Exactly how and why it deposits in the brain is not yet understood.

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