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Is it a waste if I don’t sweat during a workout?

Does a sweat-soaked shirt mean you had a better workout than those who don’t sweat?


First of all, let’s find out what is sweat.

Sweat is our body’s special mechanism to prevent overheating. Our body starts to sweat to control its temperature. Generally, our body has an average of three million sweat glands. We all have two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine sweat glands.

Eccrine sweat glands are all over your body and produce odourless sweat while apocrine sweat glands are found mostly in your armpits, groin and scalp. When sweats break down with the bacteria on our skin, it produces a distinct odour or simply known as body odour.

What factors influence how much you sweat?

Physical activity

When we’re doing any high-intensity workout or activity, our body tends to produce heat and to prevent overheating, we sweat.


Overweight individuals may sweat more and feel hotter than a leaner person because fat acts as an insulator. Leaner people handle heat better than people with weight problem.


Feeling stress, angry and anxious can cause you to sweat more.


Spicy foods, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages can provoke your sweat glands.


Certain medications treating cancer can make you sweat.

It’s not a waste if you don’t sweat during a workout. If it’s true that the more you sweat, the more calories you burn, then it would be easier and more convenient for all of us to just sit in a hot room to build up sweat.

However, if you’ve been doing high-intensity workouts in a hot room and yet still didn’t break a sweat, you might want to go see a doctor as you might have an underlying medical condition.

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