Is a Sweaty Workout Better Than a Not-So-Sweaty Workout?

by Lexi Petronis

Kyle Ericksen
Kyle Ericksen

Exercising means sweating. But can you tell how good your workout is, based on how much you sweat? (This is post-workout Madonna, by the way, as means of perspiration-tinged illustration.)

The answer: not always! According to The New York Times, there aren't many extra health benefits associated with sweating more during a workout (other than helping keep you cooler and avoid overheating). But during vigorous exercise, your core temp rises as you fire up your internal heat, which can translate to more sweat.

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Still, sweating more doesn't necessarily mean you're burning more fat. You could be sweatier because of the hot temperature or humidity, for example (think about what it's like to sit in a sauna--you sweat, which could help clear your body of a small amount of toxins, but you're probably not burning a huge amount of excess calories while doing so). FitSugar reports that the process of sweating doesn't require more calorie-burning; that it's the combination of heart rate and effort that counts as a better indicator of how much energy you're expending during a workout.

Sweating a lot also means that you're losing more water from your body overall--so it is an indicator that you should keep drinking H2O in order to stay nice and hydrated.

Well--what do you think? To you, does sweaty = extra-good workout?

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