- Sweat is Odourless
Contrary to what you might believe, sweat is in fact odourless. This liquid, released when the body tries to cool itself down, doesn’t have a scent. It is only when bacteria on the skin transforms our sweat into acids that an unpleasant smell occurs; however this is the stench that is typically associated with sweat!
- There Are Two Types of Sweat Glands
To you, sweat is just sweat, right? So you probably didn’t know that there are two sweat glands: eccrine and approcrine. Eccrine sweat is colourless and acidic, whereas sweat produced by approcrine glands is turbid and alkaline.
Most of our sweat glands are eccrine. These are found almost all over the body and are found in larger numbers on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and forehead. Approcrine glands are present in the armpits, groin and other areas that are associated with hair follicles.
- We Have Between 2 Million and 5 Million Sweat Glands…
Who would have thought that the body has millions of sweat glands distributed all over the body? While men and women have the same number of sweat glands, the size and volume produced by each gland is approximately five times greater in men.
- … And Between 25,000 and 50,000 of These Are Present in Our Armpits
Roughly 1.5ml of sweat can be produced every ten minutes from the 25,000 to 50,000 glands in our armpits. While this is only a small amount of our glands, sweat is more noticeable under our arms due to sweat being more likely to get trapped here.
- Chromhidrosis is a Rare Condition That Causes Coloured Sweat
This rare condition causes some people to sweat red, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink and black. Lipofuscin pigment, often referred to as one of the “wear and tear” pigments, is responsible for coloured sweat.
- Sweat Can be Triggered by Spicy Foods
It’s a given that sweat is the body’s natural response to exercise, but did you know that sweat can result from consuming spicy foods?
When you eat something spicy, the brain is led to believe that your body’s temperature is rising. This is due to capsaicin, the spicy chemical in chili peppers. As a result, the body tries to cool itself down by sweating. So, the next time you find yourself mopping your forehead while you’re eating a curry, you’ll know why!
- The Fitter You Are, the More You Sweat
If you sweat a lot when you exercise, it’s not because you’re unfit. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Your body is so familiar with working out that it knows it needs to cool off– pretty clever, right? By regularly keeping fit, your body will have adapted to your training and will recognise when it needs to try and lower your temperature - so you can exercise for longer.
- Drinking Too Much Water Can Make You Sweat More
Like with most things, it’s important to drink water in moderation. While you don’t want to wind up being dehydrated, drinking too much water can cause you to sweat more.
The kidneys will need to work harder to get rid of the fluid, so the body will sweat more and produce more urine.
- Sweat is Mostly Water
While your sweat may taste salty, the majority of it is water. It does contain some salts and sugars, such as sodium, chloride and potassium, but about 99% of it is water.
So, now you know some weird facts about sweat, you’ll be able to understand how your body works a bit better. The question is: do you have your sweat under control?
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