Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Sweating Is Good Right?

Posted by terrepruitt on September 9, 2010

Whether I am teaching a Nia class or participating in a Nia class I sweat . . . . a lot.  I used to think I sweat too much, then I heard that when you sweat your body is sweating out toxins.  So then I went on thinking that it was good and ok that I sweat a lot because I was ridding my body of toxins.  My plan for the post today was to jump on the computer and find all kinds of information regarding the toxins that are sweated out and to provide information about why we sweat.  The first thing I read said there is no scientific evidence that proves bodies sweat out toxins.  What?  Did you know that?

Sweat is not just water, it does contain other things (minerals, lactate, and urea) but it has not been found to contain toxins or maybe more accurately, it has not been found to contain enough toxins to conclude that we actual sweat toxins out. Sweating is the bodies way of cooling us down.  The mechanisms that produces sweat is not constructed to filter out toxins like, say, the liver or the kidneys.

When our bodies get hot the 2.6 million sweat glands (average person) produce perspiration or sweat.  There are two different types of sweat glands and they produce two different types of sweat.  There is the armpit and genital area type and then the rest-of-your-body type.  Sweat itself does not have an odor, it is mainly made up of water.  It is the bacteria in the areas of the body that mixes with the sweat that sometimes causes odor.  Our bodies constantly sweat, but for some, most of it is absorbed back into the body before it even reaches the outer layer of the skin.  When too much is produced to be reabsorbed that is when it comes out of the body.  When it does come out of the skin some of it is evaporated to help produce a cooling effect.  When there is more perspiration then can be evaporated it rolls or drips off the skin (or soaks into clothing).

Like many, many things there is just not scientific evidence showing that toxins are sweat out.  Many people swear by saunas and bikram or hot yoga to sweat out the toxins.  When you are sick some of us have been taught to sweat it out.  I am just surprised that I have heard it for so long, but when I go to find supporting evidence I can’t.  Maybe I just can’t.  Maybe it is out there, but I am unable to find it.

The only information I found that supported the idea was webpages that had to do with the sale of saunas or one that has to do with a Detoxification Program created by the late L. Ron Hubbard.  What do you think?  Do you believe that we sweat out toxins?

7 Responses to “Sweating Is Good Right?”

  1. Becky said

    You know… this is very interesting to me.
    I do believe that a good sweat can have healing powers. I feel better when I exercise and it’s hot and I sweat a ton rather than in the winter and I might not sweat as much. I even wear long sleeves in 100* weather to enhance my sweat. I think that, whether the scientific evidence is there or not, that in my mind… sweating makes me feel better (my body and my mind) and I think I should just go with that! Now I see you’ve written something about sleep… I better go read that because my sleep patterns are not good!



      Well, B, there are so many things out there regarding health, nutrition, exercise, it is REALLY vital that individuals pay attention to their own bodies and decide what is best for them. Most information is just guidelines for the general public. Each invidual is different. The only way we could really know if our own body sweats out toxins is to have our sweat tested. From what I could find the research does not prove that the body does that. So . . . . you have to do what makes you feel good.

      Exercise is proven to produce “happy hormones” and exercise alone makes people feel good. And since many of us are programmed to believe that the more we sweat the better the workout, it could be that this is why you feel so good. But again, the only way we could really know if you are sweating out toxins is to have your sweat tested. 🙂

      You do what makes you feel good, B, just be careful, please. Don’t get too overheated and don’t get dehydrated. Because that is not good . . . . and we can find studies to back that up.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I like to see you here.


  2. Hi Terre…

    Another nice blog!!! What do I think? I think we DO sweat out toxins AND sweating also cools us off. Here’s an article that I found that talks about both.


    I sweat ALOT. I have some students say, “oh, I never break a sweat.” REALLY??? How can that be? Possibly, they do not get hot enough to produce the sweat to cool them down. I certainly don’t feel cooled down when I sweat…I feel like I need to take a shower! But I do love to sweat…when I’m dancing. I don’t each sweat running in my eyes and down my face when I’m gardening though.

    Thanks again Terre!



      I just replied to Becky saying there is so much information out there. Chris, the author of that article that you linked to did not site his source that says there is proof we sweat out toxins. He is a freelance journalist interested in health and fitness and it could be he believes it to be true. It very well COULD be true, I just could not find anything on the internet that said any research was done that proved it to be true. I got on my computer yesterday ready to write a post about the toxins we sweat out, but I couldn’t find anything that pointed to research done stating toxins were released from the body via perspiration. The sources I found that I feel are reliable like Discovery Health and WebMD just said we sweat water and minerals and urea.

      I found another article where Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, a professor of dermatology at St. Louis University and founding member of the International Hyperhidrosis Society said there are trace amount of toxins in sweat but it is really a mechanism used to cool us down. I believe that she would be in the know about sweat research. Since urea is produced in the liver and the liver is a filter that could be where the belief originated from that we sweat out toxins. What I am seeing though is there is such a small amount of urea released it might not be consider as a rid of toxins . . . . . which then maybe leads to the idea of the more you sweat the more toxins you release.

      As I also told B, the only way we could really know is if we had our sweat tested. And I would imagine that the less toxins we had in our bodies in the first place the less we could even sweat out. Again, I am writing about there being no research proving that sweating is a way to rid the body of toxins.

      I don’t need to tell you, but I want to, so you know that I respect what you are saying and what you believe, we all need to do what we feel is right for our own bodies. As I told B, studies are done on other people and are for general consumption. We need to pay attention to our own bodies (as you know)!

      When I do Nia I have to wear a headband otherwise I get blinded by sweat. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. XOXOX


  3. suzicate said

    I seldom sweat, so I’ve always wondered if I ever truly got a good workout. I also believed you released toxins that way. When we hiked in the rain we wore raincoats, and my backpack pulled it tightly across my torso. When I took it off, I was completey sopped which I thought maybe that factor alone gave me abetter wrokout. It made me consider wearing heavier clothes when working out insted of loose fitting or wicking clothing. Now, I wonder.


    • Your body sweats because it is hot. To me it makes sense that if you are working harder you are going to sweat more and if you are wearing more clothes and you are warmer you are going to sweat more. But wearing more (warmer) clothes does not mean you got a better workout. It COULD make a difference on your scale though because you would have lost more fluid.

      Now, if you believe that toxins are release in sweat then I would think wearing more (warmer) clothes while you worked out would release more toxins if you were sweating more.

      It is very interesting because so many people believe you sweat toxins out and so many don’t — the research is not there (I couldnt’ find it) to prove that we do but that is just where we are now. In 10 years when we can all test our sweat, blood, urine, and whatever as we pass through a beam (talking sci-fi kinda stuff here), we might learn that some of us do and some of us don’t. But thus far since our perspiration system isn’t really set up to do so, they are saying we don’t.

      IF you do wear more clothes, (excuse me while I play Mom), please drink more water!!


  4. GG said

    Sweating is good, but excessive sweating is the problem. Especially sweaty armpits, the one that leaves mark on your shirt and can cause you body odor.


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