Sweating is often associated with heat and exercise. And it’s true — you sweat when you’re hot or doing a brutal workout. It’s an essential bodily function that keeps us cool (and lets you know you got a good workout in!)
But why do some people sweat like a faucet while others seem to glisten? And how much do we sweat?
How Much Do We Sweat?
Your body has an average of three million sweat glands — eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands are all over your body and excrete an odorless sweat. Apocrine sweat glands are found in your scalp, armpits and groin. When it breaks down and reacts with the bacteria on your skin, it produces a distinct odor…what you know as B.O.
The average person sweats up to 1.5 gallons per day. Active or hard working adults can sweat a maximum of four gallons (or 15 liters) a day, depending on their activity level and temperature. But temperature alone doesn’t influence how much you sweat or where. Here are six other factors that influence how much you sweat.
Your body temperature spikes when you're active, so the higher the intensity, the more you sweat. Still, two people of similar size can complete the same workout and sweat totally differently. As you build endurance, your body becomes more adept at sweating to keep you cool. Studies show athletes sweat sooner and more heavily than untrained people because they have a higher maximum oxygen uptake — a measure of high cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance.
Why do some people sweat more in certain areas than others? Much has to do with your DNA (or predisposition to sweating). Some people start sweating in a particular area — like their armpits or feet — because those glands react to the brain's signal first. Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is also a hereditary condition influenced by your genes.
Leaner people tend to sweat more efficiently and handle heat better than overweight individuals. Because fat acts as an insulator, people with excess fat may feel hotter, sweat more profusely and take longer to cool down than a leaner person .
DISTRIBUTION OF SWEAT GLANDS
The placement of your sweat glands also influences how much you sweat. Your body contains roughly 2 to 5 million sweat glands located all across the body, which consist of two types: eccrine & apocrine. If you sweat in a certain area, you may have a higher concentration of sweat glands there.
Does being a man or woman really affect how much you sweat? Studies say yes. While women have more sweat glands, men’s sweat glands tend to be more active than women’s, so they sweat more. And physical endurance only intensifies the results, meaning fit men sweat significantly more than untrained or unfit women and dissipate heat better.
Known as the process of adjusting to environmental temperatures, this mechanism largely influences how much you sweat. When you regularly spend time in the heat, you become more acclimated to the temperature and sweat more efficiently.
Managing How Much You Sweat
The ability to sweat is an advantageous trait that keeps you from overheating during a grueling workout. But sweating excessively and spontaneously — regardless of the temperature or physical activity — can take an enormous toll on your life.
Although how much you sweat hinges on biological factors such as DNA, sex and the location of your sweat glands, that doesn’t make you beholden to excessive sweating. There are steps you can take to defy your gene pool and appear dry as a desert.
We designed Thompson Tees to completely absorb sweat while allowing it to evaporate. The result: no embarrassing underarm wet marks or yellow stains. If you’re looking for a solution to underarm sweat, we encourage you to try a Thompson Tee risk-free. Wear it, wash it, and if it doesn’t totally block your underarm sweat, we’ll gladly take it back.
What other helpful tips do you have for controlling sweat?