10 Things That Make You Sweat

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Sweating (also called perspiration) is that damp feeling on our skin when it’s hot outside, or when we have been working hard. We’ve all felt it many times.

If you’re sweating, it means your body is likely burning more calories than you would burn if you weren’t sweating — which is beneficial when you’re trying to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. Exercise, a common cause of sweating, helps boost your body’s energy expenditure. Sweating due to being in hot temperatures, such as sitting in a sauna, means your body expends more calories pumping blood to your skin.

1. Heat

When the temperature rises, your sweat glands spring into action, making perspiration. Sweating is your body’s natural way of keeping you cool. Some sweat evaporates from your skin, taking heat with it. The rest runs down your face and body. You feel hotter when it’s humid because the wetter air leaves less room for the sweat to evaporate off your body.

2. Getting Mad

When you get really, intensely, fuming mad, the last thing on your mind is probably sweat. But it’s there for everyone to see. Anger triggers your stress response, also known as “fight or flight.” Hormones are released, causing your heart rate to quicken, your breathing to deepen, and you begin to drip with perspiration.

Everyone gets angry sometimes. But for some, anger is an ongoing problem. There are some treatments you can use to help better manage your anger. One treatment involves realizing what makes you angry. Pay attention to what it feels like when you’re angry.

3. Exercise

Breaking a sweat is one way to tell that you’re getting a good workout. Because you lose fluid when you sweat — especially when it’s hot — you need to stay hydrated. Remember to drink water before you exercise, during your activity, and after you’re done. This will help your body temperature and performance, too.

People tend to get sweaty when they work out hard. To avoid dehydration, be sure that you are replenishing your body with plenty of water.

4. Stress and Anxiety

Anyone who’s missed a big work deadline or choked in front of an audience knows how stress, anxiety, and embarrassment can make you sweat. Emotional stress targets the sweat glands in the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, which is why it can be uncomfortable to shake hands when you’re nervous.

5. Fever and Other Disease

Sometimes sweating is a symptom of a larger health problem. People with fevers often begin excessive sweating as the fever breaks and their bodies begin to cool. Sweating can be a symptom of several other diseases as well, including angina (chest pain related to the heart), heart attacks, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, and infections.

6. Coffee and Other Caffeine Sources

Caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates your central nervous system—essentially the brain and spinal cord. It does this by triggering the release of adrenaline. Coffee is one of the greatest sources of caffeine and plenty of people enjoy it every day.

As you know by now, when the body is excited be it by anger, stress, or in this case caffeine excessive sweating is likely to follow. If this is becoming a problem for you, consider cutting back on your morning cup.

7. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods fool your body into thinking it’s hot by setting off the same nerve receptors that respond to heat. That’s why a plate of hot wings or bowl of spicy soup can make your tongue sizzle and your face bead up with sweat.

8. Drinking Too Much

When you drink, whatever extra alcohol that can’t be processed by your kidneys accumulates in the bloodstream. Alcohol enlarges the blood vessels near the surface of your skin, and this leads to sweating. When you experience excessive sweating after drinking just a little alcohol, you may have an intolerance. Withdrawing from alcohol addiction can also lead to sweating.

9. Medicine Side Effect

Though they’re meant to make us feel better, some medications can cause their own symptoms. Sweating may be a side effect of many drugs, including some antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs blood pressure medications, cancer treatments, and diabetes medicines. If your medication is making you too sweaty, talk to your doctor about changing your dose or switching to another drug.

10. Being Pregnant

Hormones surging through your body and a faster metabolic rate can make you hotter than usual and make your sweat glands more active. Be sure to drink enough water during those 9 months to keep you and your baby hydrated. After the little one arrives, you’ll keep sweating for a few weeks as your body sheds the extra fluid it hung onto while you were pregnant.

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