Admit it: Sweat stinks… and not in the way some herbal musk-scented deodorant can fix.
Sweat ruins favorite pieces of clothing, betrays our nerves on a job interview or first date, and stings the eyes on late summer runs.
Because it’s also a necessary part of survival -- expelling this mixture of mostly water and salt is how we cool ourselves and prevent overheating -- most of us think of sweating as a necessary evil, or something to tolerate while chafing our way to a new training goal.
But for runners, a whole lot of… glisten, let’s say, should also be a badge of honor.
Turns out, the fitter you are, the more you’ll sweat. The reason is twofold -- one, those who exercise regularly have greater blood volume, which provides the fluid for sweating. And two, the bodies of fitter people are more adept at recognizing the need for cooling faster, meaning they’ll sweat sooner and, therefore, last longer on a run.
In other words: Sweating doesn’t just cool you off. It also makes you, ahem, cooler.
Of course, even the most perspiration efficient among us can stand to do it just a little bit better. Presenting: Trishmoves-approved methods for better sweating... and wearing those pit stains with pride.
Turn in early: Sleep deprivation screws with the autonomic nervous system, which controls sweating. This means people who stay up binging Netflix have 27 percent more trouble perspiring than their well-rested peers, according to one study. Translation: Turn off the new season of Ozark and go to bed.
Let it flow: Skip the antiperspirant, which clogs the body’s sweat glands with aluminum. Instead, opt for deodorant -- it masks the smell of BO without inhibiting your ability to sweat.
Hydrate: If you don’t drink enough, you can’t sweat enough. While proper fluid amount varies from person to person (and workout to workout), the American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming 14 to 20 ounces (approximately two to three glasses) two to three hours before exercise. Then, during a run, shoot for eight to 10 ounces of water every 15 minutes. (If it’s been more than an hour, switch to something with sodium and electrolytes.) Also, be wary of shedding any more than two percent of body weight during a workout, which increases dehydration risk.
Be climate savvy: On extremely swampy days -- say, 90 percent humidity or more -- consider running on a treadmill. If the sweat on your skin can’t evaporate because of moisture in the air, it won’t be able to cool you off -- in fact, it will work against you, experts say, putting you at even greater risk for overheating.
Be proud: Revel in the knowledge that you’ve earned every last salty, smelly droplet of sweat. (Just don’t revel too long… you’re going to want to hit the shower within 30 minutes of a workout ending, to avoid bacteria build-up on the skin).