When we think of sweating, words like hot and sticky come to mind. But beyond that first impression, there are a number of health benefits of sweating, such as:

  • physical exertion benefits from exercise
  • detox of heavy metals
  • elimination of chemicals
  • bacterial cleansing

Sweat often accompanies physical exertion. In many cases, exercise translates into a number of health benefits including:

  • boosting energy
  • maintaining healthy weight
  • defending against many diseases and health conditions
  • improving mood
  • promoting good sleep

Although there are differing opinions on detoxification through sweat, a 2016 study in China indicated that the levels of most heavy metals were lower in those people who exercised regularly.

Heavy metals were found in the sweat and urine with a higher concentration in the sweat, leading to the conclusion that, along with urinating, sweating is a potential method for the elimination of heavy metals.

BPA elimination

BPA, or bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of certain resins and plastics. According to the Mayo Clinic, exposure to BPA may have possible health effects on the brain and behavior along with a possible link to increased blood pressure.

According to a 2011 study, sweat is an effective removal route for BPAs as well as a tool for BPA bio-monitoring.

PCB elimination

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are man-made organic chemicals that have been demonstrated to cause a number of adverse health effects. A 2013 article in ISRN Toxicology indicated that sweat could have a role in eliminating certain PCBs from the body.

The article also indicated that sweating didn’t appear to help clear the most common perfluorinated compounds (PCBs) found in the human body:

  • perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS)
  • perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

A 2015 review suggests that the glycoproteins in sweat bind to bacteria, helping removal from the body. The article calls for more research into microbial adhesion in sweat and its impact on skin infections.

Sweat or perspiration, is primarily water with tiny amounts of chemicals, such as:

  • ammonia
  • urea
  • salts
  • sugar

You sweat when you exercise, have a fever, or are anxious.

Sweating is how your body cools itself. When your internal temperature rises, your sweat glands release water to the surface of your skin. As the sweat evaporates, it cools your skin and your blood beneath your skin.

Sweating too much

If you sweat more than you need for heat regulation, it’s called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis can be caused by a number of conditions including low blood sugar and nervous system or thyroid disorders.

Sweating too little

If you sweat too little, it’s called anhidrosis. Anhidrosis can result in life-threatening overheating. Anhidrosis can be caused by a number of issues including burns, dehydration, and some nerve and skin disorders.

Why does sweat smell?

Actually, sweat doesn’t smell. The smell is from what the sweat mixes with, such as bacteria that live on your skin or hormone secretions from areas such as your armpits.

Sweating is a natural function of your body when you exercise or have a fever. Although we associate sweat with temperature control, sweat also has numerous other benefits such as helping clear your body of heavy metals, PCBs and BPAs.