What sweating says about your workout (tips to sweat less)

Sweating during workout

Sweating is a process whereby the body tries to cool itself down. Sweat expelled through glands is evaporated into the air, which has the effect of cooling down your skin and hence the body. Exercising causes the body to heat up, triggering your sweat response. However, every single person is different and has a different sweat response. It’s why you may sweat heavily during a workout but your friend, doing the exact same amount of exercise as you in identical conditions, doesn’t.

Contrary to what you may think, it’s actually no indication of the amount of calories burned. Take you and your friend: one of you may finish the workout in a pool of sweat, while the other still has her blowdry intact; however it doesn’t mean the sweatier one of you has worked any harder. It just means you have different genes (duh!) with a different ability to cool your body down. Or, the less sweaty person may be more dehydrated (your body will do what it can to prevent water loss in this case) or be fitter, to begin with.

In fact, the fitter you become, the better your body’s ability becomes to cool itself down. As your body becomes more efficient at cooling down, you’ll notice you sweat less even though you’ve probably advanced in your fitness levels. It will then require a more intense workout to bring on the beads.

Perhaps that’s when it’s time to change up your routine by targeting those less-used muscles or incrementally increasing the intensity of your existing workout as your body adapts.

Also, if you’re exercising in a heated environment, whether that’s outside on a hot day or Bikram yoga for example, you’ll inevitably sweat more due to the conditions, rather than due to how hard you’re working. You may notice weight loss after these sessions but that’s because of water loss, not calories burned. As soon as you replenish your fluids, you’ll replace the lost water weight.

Basically, don’t measure your results by sweat. Measure it by how you feel.

Here are a few tips to sweat less after your workout, feel cooler (faster) and avoid the dreaded post-workout sweats


Water intake affects how much you sweat; more water equals more sweat. Although this advice might sound counterintuitive when trying to sweat less, drinking water (and sweating) during your workout will help you better control body temperature and cool down faster post-workout.

Drink around 5-10 ounces of water every 15 minutes or so of your workout, and down another glass afterward to help regulate your body temperature before showering. It’s also important to note that if you suffer from hyperhidrosis, water intake won’t affect how much you sweat.


Guzzling a glass of warm water after a brutal workout might not seem like an effective or desirable cool-down method. But for some, it actually does the trick.

Your mouth is filled with TRPV1 receptors that respond to heat, making you feel warm when drinking warm water and vice versa. But there's another competing factor at play. When you eat or drink something hot, these heat receptors tell the brain you're hot, which triggers sweating and helps you cool down faster.

The right drinking water temperature ultimately boils down to the individual. If drinking cold water isn’t working for you, try drinking lukewarm water before, during, and after your workout.


If you go for an intense run, your body needs time to cool down before immersing your sweaty self in a hot shower — and generally more than a few minutes. While everyone is different, start by waiting 30 minutes post-workout before showering or until your skin completely dries.

If you still can't cool down, try waiting gradually longer before showering until you find the right balance. To make this schedule work, you may need to adjust your morning routine and use this lag time to do other necessary tasks to prepare for the day.


In theory, a cold shower should help your body cool off faster. But if you’ve sat in freezing water after an intense workout, you know it doesn’t always subdue the sweating aftereffects.

Extreme hot and cold temperatures could mess with your body’s heat signals. Showering in very hot water makes your body even hotter. But standing in cold water makes your body think it’s cold and doesn’t need to activate its cooling mechanism — sweat. When you enter back into a warm room, your body wants to cool down to compensate for the extreme temperature change, and the sweating begins.

If both warm and cold water makes you sweat after showering, try a lukewarm or room temperature shower.


If you’re not a morning person, this may be a tough pill to swallow. But if you want to avoid the rushed, sweaty feeling after your relaxing morning workout & shower, you need to allow plenty of time to cool down. Having more time to prepare for the day will also reduce your stress and the inevitable stress sweat that follows.


Synthetic fabrics such as moisture-wicking shirts can help wick away sweat from your body and keep you feeling cool while exercising. But if you suffer from axillary hyperhidrosis or sweat heavily in your armpits, you need a shirt that can absorb and release your sweat so it doesn't weigh you down while working out.

Finding the right cooling method for your body will take some trial and error, but there are steps you can take to start the day off feeling dry and confident.
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