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04 Feb 2003

Sweating confusion
I checked your archive and note that on 24 Oct 2002 you answered a similar question. However I'm still a little confused as I don't sweat a lot at all even though I think I'm working hard. I also think I have a high metabolism as I don't need to watch what I eat.

Does the fact that i don't sweat much mean (a) I am in fact not working hard enough (b) I am still unfit (c) my body is not dissipating heat effectively.

I eat a lot of salt and crave it at times. Could my body be retaining water and that in fact be the reason that I don't sweat much?

Thanks for your time doc.
Answer 374 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi t

Sweating gland distribution, sweating reponses and sweat rates are highly individualised and therefore what is common to one person need not apply to another (even in the same family). Some people have a very high density of sweat gland tissue and therefore sweat much more than the next person. That doesn't make them more or less fit - it is a unique response. What does alter with training - is the composition of sweat - ie. as you become fitter and better adapted to training, so your swaet becomes less salty, i.e your body becomes better adapted to reabsorbing the salt, so that you don't lose too much. There is a genetic condition, where some people don't have sweat glands and therefore they have a problem with heat dissipation, however, most people who have sweat glands cope alright with this issue. If you feel you don't cope that well, try to use other methods of cooling eg drinking cold fluids, using a wet sponge, not running/exercising in the heat of the day etc.

I don't think your salt consumption is affecting your sweating rate, but perhaps you should watch that for health reasons (eg you don't want to end up with high blood pressure!)

I hope this helps.
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