Have you been hearing claims about detoxing your body by sweating heavily inside a sauna or with hot yoga? Before you don your yoga pants in a rush, let’s explore this belief a little bit and see if sweating really releases toxins from our body. And before we talk about anything else, it would help to take a quick look at our body’s sweating process.
Why Do We Sweat?
Our body actually has two types of sweat glands and the majority of them are eccrine glands. These eccrine glands are located throughout the body with their primary function being regulating the body’s temperature. There’s a region of the brain, known as the hypothalamus, which happens to be like a thermostat, and is responsible for regulating the body temperature. It does this by triggering the eccrine glands to produce moisture on the surface of the skin the moment the core body temperature rises. If the outside temperature rises, you begin exercising, or enter a hot yoga studio, the body sends a signal to the hypothalamus, which in turn triggers your pores on the skin to open up and your skin gets lubricated.
Do We Really Sweat Out Toxins?
The answer to that question is yes. We really do sweat out toxins. Research suggests that our sweat contains toxic chemicals like heavy metals and BPAs, found in plastic. But the amount of these chemicals found in sweat is low and 99 percent of our sweat is made up of water. Which brings us to the question – is sweating really a good way to detox? The simple answer is – no. There’s no evidence that sweating out these toxins in trace amounts improves health in any way. In fact, our liver and kidneys are the organs that are really responsible for helping us detox. That’s their primary function.
What’s Good About Sweating Then?
Sweating may not be helping us detox, the way some people may have us believe, but sweating is an important function of the body. Sweating helps keep our body cool. It works constantly to help regulate the body’s core temperature. Whenever there is an increase in heat and blood flow during a vigorous activity or exercise, the body increases sweating and releases that extra heat and cools our body down.
When Is Sweating Bad?
At the end of the day, if you love hot yoga or visiting saunas and sweating it out, and if they make you feel stronger and healthier, go right ahead. Just keep your facts straight!