17 Mind-blowing facts about sweat.
1. You have 2 to 5 million sweat glands spread across your body. 2 main ones that are recognised are, eccrine and apocrine.
Eccrine glands cover the majority of your body and produce most of your sweat; mainly concentrated on your palms, soles, forehead and armpits.
Apocrine glands are larger and are in your armpits, groin and breast areas. They produce your ‘stress sweat’ and are associated with BO; they’re near your hair follicles and combine with bacteria which causes the smell.
2. There are differences between ‘stress sweat’ and ‘regular sweat’. Regular sweat is made of water, salt and potassium and it helps to cool your body down as it evaporates.
Stress sweat is comprised of fatty acids and proteins and it doesn’t evaporate as quickly. It doesn’t control your temperature but it helps you to get ready for your fight-or-flight response.
3. Sweat is mainly water.
4. Your sweat glands don’t change from birth.
5. Your sweat is unique to you, like your fingerprints.
6. The amount of sweat you produce is approximately 278 gallons in a year.
7. Women have more sweat glands than men but men’s produces more sweat.
8. You sweat less as you get older. This is because your sweat glands shrink and become less sensitive over time.
9. Your fingertips have the highest concentration of sweat glands on your body. They sweat frequently whether you exert yourself or not. You don’t notice it because it evaporates almost immediately.
10. The fitter you are the sooner you could start sweating during exercise. Your body quickly recognises the need to cool you down faster so you can exercise longer.
11. Athletes can sweat off 2 to 6% of their body weight during intense exercise in the heat.
12. The jury’s out whether antiperspirants can cause cancer.
13. Some people can sweat blood!
14. There is a condition called ‘Trimethylaminuria’ where a person’s sweat smells like fish or rotting eggs.
15. Your sweat contains an antibiotic peptide that regulates bacterial growth on your skin and even fights certain infections.
16. You can produce a smell of happiness. This was discovered by researchers in 2015. This happiness smell can be detected by others and could even stimulate feelings of happiness in them.
17. Researchers are looking at harvesting energy from human sweat. Researchers from the University of California have developed a device that you can wrap around your fingertips which can generate 300 millijoules of energy per square centimetre while you’re sleeping. This energy could power a wristwatch for the day!
Foods and drink that can make you sweat.
• Any food allergies/intolerances that you may have.
• If you eat too much meat, your metabolism spends so much energy breaking it down that your body temperature rises.
• Too much alcohol can increase your heart rate and dilate your blood vessels; similar to when you exercise. So your body thinks it needs to cool itself down by sweating.
• Now, I’m afraid ice cream makes you sweat. Sorry, but the digestive processes needed to break down the nutrients in it, generates heat.
• Any calorie-rich foods leads to an increase in body temperature when being digested.
• Caffeine. This can stimulate your central nervous system; activating your fight-or-flight response.
Foods and drinks to help you cool down.
• Coconut water.
• Peppermint tea. I drink this every day and it’s incredibly refreshing!
• This may sound counterintuitive but warm drinks causes receptors in your mouth and throat to trigger a sweat response which cools you down.
• Spicy foods. The same process happens as drinking warm drinks.
So, what helps to cool you down? Feel free to tell me in the comments section.
P.s. If you’re hot at night, wear wet socks. Yes, I’ve done that and it works fine!
Sources: Piedmont.org, healthline.com, hyperhidrosiscum.com, livescience.com, independent.co.uk, onhealth.com