4 Reasons Why Sweating Is Actually Great for You (Besides Cooling You Down)
We get it—sweating may not be your favorite thing to do, but it's necessary. Sweating, also called perspiration, is a natural bodily function that helps regulate your body temperature, according to dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, MD, founder and medical director of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Without it, your risk for overheating increases.
Eccrine sweat, the sweat we're talking about here, is the salty kind sourced from the watery parts of blood and is released from the 2- to 5-million eccrine sweat glands across your skin's surface. "This is the stuff that floods out when our body temperature rises to help cool us down," explained Sarah Everts, a science journalist, journalism professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and author of the new book, The Joy of Sweat: The Strange Science of Perspiration. (Everts mentioned that the other kind of sweat is produced in the armpits from sweat glands that become active at puberty, and is responsible for turning armpits into stink zones from the teenage years onward.)
While the ability to keep your body temp in check is impressive, it isn't the only natural and healthy benefit of eccrine sweat. Here are four other research-backed ways that this salt-based fluid can benefit you.