What Does Sweating Do?

Sweating is one of the most important functions of your body. When you sweat, it helps break down fat in the skin and release toxins from your body. Sweating also keeps your skin dry so that bacteria can’t grow underneath or around it.

How does sweating work?

When you’re hot, there’s a rise in the levels of chemicals called catecholamines in your blood (epinephrine/adrenaline). These chemicals then signal nerves to tell them to produce heat. One way this happens is by activating brown adipose tissue (BAT), which produces heat through burning energy (calories) instead of oxygen like other tissues do when they burn calories. The brown color comes about because part of BAT has white fat cells embedded in its fibers; these white fat cells act as mitochondria for metabolizing glucose into energy.[1] Extra amounts of epinephrine are released when activity causes more muscle contraction than usual–for instance exercising at high speeds during exercise causes more contracting than normal.[2] This causes extra sweating because the areas where muscles attach to bones contract making them larger and causing increases pressure on existing capillaries that transport blood to those areas causing increased flow outwards towards the surface resulting in evaporative cooling[3].

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