Benefits of Sweating Every Day

Sweating has been considered as an official token of hard work for physical activity. Have you ever wondered why we sweat when doing any physical activity? Let's deliberate the topic of sweating and its uses in health maintenance.

Sweating occurs in a hot environment or due to physical activity for thermoregulation. Sweating is directly correlated to heat, exercise intensity and oxygen consumption. Maximum sweating can go up to 1.5-3 litres per hour. One of the highest sweat rates ever observed was by Alberto Salazar during the 1984 Olympic Marathon. Weight loss can be observed when the sweat rate is 3.71 litres per hour. Prior to heading forward, one should understand the contribution of sweating to the body. Sweating helps in the following aspects:

  • Maintaining the temperature
  • Maintenance of skin health
  • Maintaining the water balance
  • Removal of metabolic waste
  • Removal of toxicants
  • Removal of ethanol¹

Let's have a brief review of sweat in the following paragraphs.

Why do we sweat?

When a machine is continuously running, due to friction, it will get heated, for which coolant is added and serves the purpose of cooling and increasing the durability of the machine. 

On a similar note, when our body temperatures are increased, due to vigorous exercise,  heat in summer or due to a fever, thermoregulators in the body get activated and release sweat from sweat glands which are situated all over the body and cool the system.Sweat is the body’s mechanism to regulate the temperature and thus help in normal functioning of the system.

The other main function of sweat is to remove the waste products from the body, occurring  through routes like urine and stools. Sweat also plays a vital role in this process.²

What is in sweat?

Sweat is secreted by different glands situated in the skin, being located in various specific locations. Their secretions differ from each as described below. It is secreted by three main types of glands:

Eccrine glands

  • Works mostly in infants from 2-3 years up to puberty
  • Mainly located in palms and soles
  • Secretes mostly water and sodium chloride

Apocrine glands

  • Starts working from puberty
  • They are larger and open into hair follicles and are mostly located in the axilla, breast, face and scal.
  • Secrets sweat with water mixed with lipids, proteins, sugar and ammonia

Apoeccrine glands

  • Mostly develop from eccrine glands
  • Located mostly in the axilla¹

Is sweat a good thing? 

Of course it is - sweating occurs only when the muscles and heart are under strenuous stress, generating heatresulting in an overall rise of body temperature. It is scientifically proven that physical activity in combination with sweating in the long run helps in the overall health of human beings.

But one should be cautious to replace the lost fluid in excess sweating.³

Benefits of sweating every day

List of benefits

Sweating daily helps in overall health in many ways: 

  • Sweat flushes out the toxins and heavy metals
  • Sweating increases heart rate and improves health
  • Sweat helps in flushing out lactic acid from muscles, resulting in healthy muscles
  • Sweat contains dermcidin, a natural protein that fights the germs of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Tuberculosis
  • Sweat increases tone, clarity and texture of skin
  • Sweat releases endorphins that help in elevation of mood
  • Sweating open the pores of the skin, preventing the retention of clogs of bacteria in them, and instead helping in  resolving acne
  • Sweating contributes in the expulsion of toxins from the body, thus reducing the stress on kidneys and promoting their health⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷

How to counteract fluid loss when sweating

Water  is the main constituent of sweat. Thus in excess sweating, care should be taken to balance fluid loss and other electrolyte balance that can lead to dizziness, dehydration and fatigue.

More intake of water during exercise and hot weather can help in refilling lost fluids.

Sweating too much

The condition where one sweats more than normal irrespective of heat or exercise is called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is seen mostly in the axilla, palms, soles and face. Sweating occurs in emotional, social, psychological and occupational disturbances.

Hyperhidrosis can be primary due to local factors, and secondary due to any medications or genetic conditions. In addition, some disease conditions like tuberculosis and chronic alcoholic consumption can also result in excessive sweating.

Diagnostic Criteria of hyperhidrosis are:

  • Excessive sweating lasting for 6 or more months
  • Including areas like axilla, palms, soles and face
  • Sweating is present on both sides of the body
  • Decreased or no sweating during night time
  • Sweating episode lasting for 7 days
  • Age of affected is 25 years or below
  • Any family history of a similar condition

Sweating impairs daily activity and reduces the quality of life of those affected. Prior to treatment, one has to identify whether the condition is primary or secondary. A starch-iodine test is done to identify disease patterns.

Hyperhidrosis causes social embarrassment, emotional and psychological distress and work-related disability.

Though it can be treated, more chances of recurrence of the disease affect the sufferer a lot.

One can sweat excessively without any exercise with the help of sauna bathing. In this procedure,one has to get exposed to dry heat, which helps in raising temperature to much higher degrees thus resulting in profuse sweating. It can be done by the following ways:

  • Wood burning
  • Electrical heated
  • Infrared room
  • Steam room

Sauna bathing proves to increase the health of the heart and skin, increasing circulation thereby reducing pain. Pregnant women and heart patients are contraindicated for sauna procedures as it may cause rapid dehydration.⁸

Sweating too little

Condition in which people sweat too little is called anhidrosis. It is seen in some of the conditions like:

  • Some drugs like antihypertensives Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia 
  • Tumours
  • Radiation therapy
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Burns
  • Sjogren's syndrome

People with anhidrosis are heat intolerant, fatigued, drowsy and unable to focus in tropical climates. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are some of the complications. This condition causes not only health issues, but affects one’s psychological condition as it reduces the quality of life to a larger extent. Treatment involves mental health and maintenance of dry skin. They have to maintain a cool environment and be able to identify heat intolerance at an earlier stage to avoid health hazards.

Why does sweat smell?

Did you ever observe that sweat from varied parts of the body smell differently? Yes, the smell varies in different parts. Actually, sweat is odourless, but sweat secreted from the skin combines with bacteria on the skin producing some products which have a specific pungent smell of each kind.

This is the explanation for why sweat from different areas of the body smells differently. Bacteria in the axilla differ from that on the face or palms.

Bad odour from sweat can also be affected by food intake, certain medications and certain diseased conditions like Diabetes.

Bad odour can be minimised by maintaining proper hygiene, having regular baths and having a healthy lifestyle with more green leafy vegetables and fruits.⁹


Sweating is a natural phenomenon designed to reduce the temperature of the body and flush out toxins that result in the health of skin, heart and muscles. Anything that is over the limit becomes hazardous and can be proven to be fatal. Sweating is good, but over sweating can cause dehydration that has to be taken proper care of to compensate for fluid loss.


  1. Baker LB. Physiology of sweat gland function: The roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health. Temperature (Austin) 2019;6:211–59.
  2. Mahlouji M, Alizadeh Vaghasloo M, Dadmehr M, Rezaeizadeh H, Nazem E, Tajadini H. Sweating as a Preventive Care and Treatment Strategy in Traditional Persian Medicine. GMJ 2020;9:e2003.
  3. Ruegsegger GN, Booth FW. Health Benefits of Exercise. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2018;8:a029694.
  4. Sears ME, Kerr KJ, Bray RI. Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:184745.doi:10.1155/2012
  5. Rieg S, Saborowski V, Kern WV, Jonas D, Bruckner-tuderman L, Hofmann SC. Expression of the Sweat-Derived Innate Defence Antimicrobial Peptide Dermcidin Is Not Impaired in Staphylococcus Aureus Colonization or Recurrent Skin Infections. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2014;39(2):209-12.
  6. Balchin R, Linde J, Blackhurst D, Rauch HL, Schönbächler G. Sweating Away Depression? The Impact of Intensive Exercise on Depression. J Affect Disord. 2016;200:218-21.doi:10.1016/j.jad.2016.04.030
  7. Sakhaee K, Nigam S, Snell P, Hsu MC, Pak CY. Assessment of the pathogenetic role of physical exercise in renal stone formation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1987;65(5):974-979.
  8. Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:1857413.doi:10.1155/2018/1857413
  9. Lam TH, Verzotto D, Brahma P, Ng AHQ, Hu P, Schnell D, et al. Understanding the microbial basis of body odor in pre-pubescent children and teenagers. Microbiome 2018;6:213.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Swathi Gadadasu

I am Dr Swathi G, from India, with experience as a dental clinician for 8 years, oral physician and Oral Maxillofacial Radiologist for 4 years, an academician for 3.5 years, an academic writer for 3 years and a medical writer for 1 year. With sound knowledge of clinical, non-clinical, scientific and academic and medical writing, working as a Freelancer Writer at Work foster. Due to my passion for writing, completed many national and international Publications in various indexed and well-known journals.

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