Does Sweating Mean Calories Are Burning?

Most of us think that the amount of sweat we work up during exercise is proportional to the amount of calories we burn. Does more sweat mean more calories burned? Experts say, ‘Not so much’.

When the environment gets a little too hot, our bodies release sweat to help us cool down.  Sweat is indicative the body’s core temperature; the higher the temperature, the more sweat we release. The amount of sweat is also influenced by factors such as gender, genetics, environment, physical fitness level, clothing and diet.


Men’s sweat glands are built to be more active than that of women’s which makes them sweat more during a workout or in general. We also tend to produce more sweat when subjected to warm temperatures – such as a hot yoga studio or running on a sunny day.

Your physical fitness level also affects the way you perspire. Others may sweat profusely after only 10 minutes of brisk walking, while some may not even break a sweat after running 5 kilometers. If you’re physically fit, you will need to increase your exercise intensity level to be able to break a sweat.

Non-absorbent workout gear doesn’t give the body much room to breathe which increases perspiration; whereas sportswear allows you to work out as much as you want without soaking up your sweat.

Also, as you may know, sweat is mostly made up of water so any weight you think you might lose after a workout is just that – water weight.  Unfortunately, you will gain that right back when you rehydrate. Frustrating, we know.

So how can you be sure you’re doing enough to burn calories?


The answer is oxygen. You see, oxygen is needed by the body to burn calories. The more oxygen your body needs, the more calories it needs to burn. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to be hooked up to a fancy machine to know if you’re burning calories – the rate and duration of an increased heart rate can pretty much give you a good idea.


A high intensity workout increases your heart rate and your oxygen consumption. This makes it possible for 30 minute high intensity work out to burn more calories than a 2 hour light jog.

In conclusion, sweating does not mean calories are burning. If this is so, overweight individuals can just move to warmer clients to lose weight. Chose a workout routine that keeps your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes, hydrate regularly and have fun on your next sweat sesh.

Image: Workout Buddy X ; Newswise

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