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Why do you sweat more than everyone else?

Your fitness regime could be to blame.

JACINTA BOWLER
24 DEC 2015
 

Humans are preconditioned to sweat. When it gets hot we sweat to cool ourselves down. Simple. Well, not quite - there are many reasons why you might sweat more or less than your friend at the gym, but there are things you can do to dry yourself out a little. 

Firstly, your gender plays a role. Women have more sweat glands, but sweat less than men. Secondly, this is probably not surprising to many of you, but fitness also determines how much you sweat. And it's not the unfit people who are sweating more - multiple studies have shown that fitter people on average sweat more than unfit people. 

 

But this isn't the whole story. An unfit person doing the same workload as a fit person might reach their maximum oxygen uptake earlier, and so begin to sweat sooner, but a fit person will sweat more efficiently overall. 

Another factor that can affects our sweat levels is how we consume our favourite drinks: coffee and alcohol. Coffee actually causes to you sweat less due to its diuretic effect, but sweating less and being dehydrated isn't exactly ideal either, so make sure to drink plenty of water if you're going to be sweating it out at the gym or spending time outside a hot day. 

Alcohol can also make you sweat more after you've had a few cocktails. That red face some of us get when we're drinking is caused by the alcohol increasing your heart rate and dilating the blood vessels in your skin. This leads to an increase in body temperature and then an increase in sweat. 

Even if none of these things apply, some people are just sweaty. If the sweat is excessive though, it could be a sign of an underlying illness. The collective term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis, and there are two types - primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalised hyperhidrosis

Secondary generalised hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating caused by a medical condition, or a side effect from certain medications. Some people sweat on a generalised level, which means in large areas or all over their body. 

Primary focal hyperhidrosis, on the other hand, is excessive sweating not caused by any external factors. When it comes to these patients, some areas on the body are affected more than others. Common sweaty areas for people affected by primary focal hyperhidrosis are the hands, feet, underarms, and head. Patients will often have more than one excessively sweaty area - people dealing with crazy sweaty hands almost always having crazy sweaty feet. 

But no matter why we sweat, it helps keep our bodies cool, so although it might be slightly unpleasant, your body will thank you for suffering through it. Just remember to always pack an extra shirt - just in case.

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