A woman standing and wiping the sweat off her forehead

Sweating it out: Does perspiration help you lose weight?

January 13. 2023

There is nothing like an intense sweat day at the gym. You worked hard burning those calories and body fat to achieve weight loss. Now you feel accomplished and proud of yourself- and you should. The only not-so-great thing is that you ended up swimming in your own sweat. But sweating means you are losing more weight – or does it? Sweating and weight loss have been put together in the same sentence for a long time. The truth is there is a lot of misconception regarding this matter. Today, we break down the myth: does sweating help you lose weight?

When most people start a weight loss journey, they commit to trying everything: exercise, adopt healthy eating habits, diet, meal plans, and supplements such as phentermine for weight loss. Most people also search the internet to find all the tricks and secret ways to achieve fat loss quickly and easily. While some of those tricks work and can promote weight loss, others are scams or old wives’ tales that have been discredited by science a long time ago. If you are one of those people who read about sweating helping to cut down calories and lose weight, we bet you are already signing up for a sauna day. While sweating can indicate that you are burning fat, it does not help you lose weight by burning calories. But do you weigh less after a big sweat? Yes, that is correct. After sweating, you lose weight, but that is most likely water weight.

Are you still confused? Let’s break this topic down from the basics so you can be better informed and ready to lose some weight – the right way – before your next workout session.

The science behind perspiration: Why do we sweat?

We all know we tend to sweat more in the summer, after an intense workout at the gym, or if we stand too long close to a heater. But what is sweat? Have you ever stopped to think about why it happens? And what is its purpose? Our weight loss clinic in Chicago health experts will inform you further about this topic.

Sweat is a natural reaction through which your body cools down itself. While sweat is mostly water, it usually contains salt, proteins, ammonia, and urea. It is produced by sweat glands located all over your body. These sweat glands increase in number on your forehead, armpits, palms, and the soles of your feet – that is why you sweat more on those body areas. Regardless of the reason you are sweating – running a marathon or sunbathing – the process is the same. When your core body temperature increases above the safe range – 96.6 to 100.6 degrees F – your body signals your brain to turn on its cooling process (sweating). As the moisture in the sweat evaporates, it takes some heat with it, helping to lower your body temperature back to normal.

Our bodies have two types of sweat glands called apocrine and eccrine. Most of our sweat comes from the eccrine glands. Yet, you might notice the sweat coming from the apocrine glands more since they are located in the areas such as the armpits, breasts, and groin.

5 ways our your body benefits from sweating

Sweating can be uncomfortable for some people, especially on hot days when all you want to do after a workout session is take a cold and refreshing shower. And we better not start talking about sweat stains on our favorite sports clothes. However, sweating is still our friend and comes with many great benefits for our bodies:

  • Temperature control: As we already mentioned, sweat’s primary purpose is to regain a safe body temperature. But we did not talk about what would happen if our body does not restore its safe temperature. Dizziness, heat strokes, and skin infections would be some of the most severe consequences.
  • Glowing skin: A good sweat leaves your skin glimmering. But what is even more important, a proper workout promotes blood circulation. When blood starts circulating throughout your entire body, it provides your skin with a healthier look from the inside out. That happens because when your blood circulates, it carries oxygen and nutrients that nourish your skin cells. Add exercise and sweating to your skincare routine to get glowing and happy skin. 
  • Immunity system boost: Our skin is a vital part of our immune system. After all, our skin is the first barrier of defense against everything we come in contact with daily. Our sweat fluids are part of our bodies defense system; they serve as a germ deterrent. Besides, studies have shown that obesity and inactivity can lower our immune system function. Engaging in healthy physical activity that leads to a good sweat can help boost it again.
  • Better sleep: 1 out of 4 Americans develop insomnia each year. Sweat can naturally calm your nervous system, balance stress hormones, and promotes relaxation. You will not only stop having problem sleeping, but you will also wake up less through the night. 
  • Uplifted mood: like most workouts, sweating releases endorphins – hormones responsible for triggering positive feelings in our bodies. Performing regular healthy exercise is enough to sweat a bit and enjoy the effects of the endorphins. That can do wonders for your mood and overall well-being.

Does sweating help you lose weight?

Let’s cut this matter to the chase. Does sweating actually help to lose weight? The short answer is no. Sweating does not promote actual weight loss. After a high-sweat session, you will probably lose some weight, but do not be misled; that is likely only water weight. As soon as you rehydrate again – which you should definitely do – you will regain that water weight.

You may notice that sometimes fit people at the gym sweat more than not-fit ones. That happens because as you get fitter, you can go further on your exercises and workout harder, which produces more heat. But there is no correlation between calories/fat burn and sweating. For instance, if you are overweight, you will sweat more because there is more body mass to cool down. 

Have you ever wondered: “why am I not losing weight if I shed tons of sweat during my training?” This question looks a lot like another one we often get asked: “why am I not losing weight on Ozempic?” Both answers resemble a lot. Different bodies do not function the same way; that is why you should only focus on your personal weight loss journey—shedding a lot of sweat while at the gym is not the most trustworthy indicator that you worked hard. You are likely to sweat more the harder you work out, yes. But fluid loss does not show the whole picture. Each individual has their own sweat rate, and that tends to change over time due to different factors like:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Environment factors
  • Weight
  • Fitness level

Are you working out regularly, eating healthy, and committing to your weight loss plan, and still no results? There is another factor that could be affecting your journey and leading to weight gain. Talk with your doctor if you think you might have a weight gain hormone imbalance; a healthcare professional can check it with a simple body fluids test.

Is excessive sweating dangerous?

Excessive or lack of sweat can be dangerous to your health. After all, sweating is a fundamental body process. If you notice you sweat in excess or not enough, contacting your doctor is the right move. Here are some risks related to sweating disbalance:


When you sweat, you are essentially losing water. 60% of our bodies are water; we need it to function correctly. If you do not replenish fluids during a vigorous workout, you are at risk of dehydration. Always take a bottle of water with you to the gym or when you go out for a run. Be aware of pre-workout vs. energy drinks. Taking energy drinks in excess can also lead to dehydration. These are some of the symptoms of dehydration:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Not urinating in 8 hours
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Weak or rapid pulse


If you notice you sweat excessively, you could have a condition known as hyperhidrosis. This condition is distinguished by abnormally high body temperature – overheating. Do you sweat so much that it disrupts your daily routine, have night sweats for no apparent reason, and suddenly start sweating excessively? Then you should call your doctor to have a check-up.

Final thoughts

Sweating is how our bodies naturally cool themselves during a workout or on hot days. Does sweating help you lose weight? While it is not the most honest indicator of how much fat you are burning or how good your workout was, a good sweat at the gym tends to mean you gave all you got.

Do you want to learn more effective and quick ways to lose weight? Schedule a call with us.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *