Sweat is magical and mystical: it contains over 5000 chemicals and gives each of us our specific beautiful fragrance.
Scientific studies of sweat show that in reality most of us lose little salt, potassium, or other minerals when we sweat.
Sweating is to regulate our heat.
How much we sweat during yoga is not just the room temp! There are signaling pathways called thermoreceptors from muscles and from the abdomen signal how much to sweat. So when us teachers tell you to contract in a specific way: that is helping flush that sweat through!
We generally have all the sweat glands we are going to have when we are children, so as we get older the glands spread out with our adult girth. But other factors, rather than just density, appears to control just how much we sweat. And men are bigger so women do have a greater concentration of sweat glands!
Poor hydration at the start of hot yoga can impair the proper sweating pathways.
With heavy sweaters, they are just pumping out more water per gland than others!
Older yogis will sweat and temperature control in hot classes as well as young adults.
Heavy clothing that prohibits heat elimination from our sweating can lead to core temperature to get higher than it should with heavy exercise.
We have three types of sweat glands. The types on hands and feet can respond to emotions as well as exercise.
We have mostly the small sweat glands that sweat some salt (sodium chloride) and water, they are the eccrine glands. But the sweat gland is set up in a very intelligent way and actually resorbs most of the sodium and calcium before the water is secreted to the surface. However, sweating very profusely can affect how efficient that resorption is and lead to a bit more salt loss.
The larger glands, the apocrine, are sweat glands that don’t drain into the surface, but into hair follicles, such as in the arm pits. These produce quite complex sweat containing proteins, sugars, and even some lipids (fats)!
We also have glands that are responsible for most of the ‘odors’ which are sebaceous glands. These glands do also drain through the hair follicles, and produce some lipids and waxes. They are in the scalp and face, and yes (the privates), and they have important anti-fungal and anti-bacterial functions.
Circulation of vital nutrition like sugars and oxygen to the glands is important for healthy sweat. The movement we do in yoga classes help this function.
Our sweat glands do not mimic the function of kidneys! They do not really have a role in eliminating toxins, or waste from our metabolism.
We all have a bit of uniqueness in our sweat salt and nutrient content, but still, overwhelmingly sweat is water.
Thus hydration after hot yoga really means drinking water!
So join in at Hatha Yoga and Fitness and enjoy!