Does sweating make you lose weight? | What You Always Wanted To Know

Does sweating make you lose weight? | What You Always Wanted To Know

By the healthiergang writer , student in Physiotherapy.

Does sweating make you lose weight?

Does sweating make you lose weight? We will find out with this article. It is quite common to evaluate the intensity of one's training session based on how much we sweat and in some respects to be proud of one's effort based on how drenched our clothes are in sweat.

This is a myth that dies hard in fitness and is based on unfounded considerations.

Let us therefore analyze the matter from a more scientific point of view to understand whether this belief is founded or not.


Sweating makes you lose weight is such a widespread concept that it is very often taken as true. Let's see in detail why this concept does not Sweat is a mechanism that our body puts in place in order to have an adequate homeostasis.

By homeostasis we mean the maintenance of physiological parameters, therefore temperature, acidity, quantity of oxygen in the blood, etc.

The body has numerous metabolic pathways whose purpose is to regulate these parameters, in response to external or internal stimuli, in order to keep these values ​​as identical as possible to the ideal ones (ie the physiological ones).

Sweat is a response to a rise in temperature. When we train and carry out any type of effort, our body puts in place metabolic pathways whose purpose is the production of energy. The substrate used, frequently glucose, is degraded for energy.

Energy substrate

Like other products there is also water and other waste substances. In the process of energy production, chemical energy (energy substrate) is used to transform it into other forms of energy that can be spent by the muscle fibers to carry out the necessary work.

However, the transition between these energy transformations does not allow to degrade the substrate and produce energy which is completely transformed into work. Some of this initial energy is dissipated in the form of heat.

This energy "waste" is even more marked in the terminal metabolism or in the electron transport chain. This uses oxygen and reduced organic compounds (which have acquired electrons) and through an electron transport chain a flow is generated between the outside and inside of the mitochondrial membrane.

This flow of electrons is stored in the form of ATP but not completely. In fact, this process represents an aerobic metabolic pathway that allows to produce the maximum amount of energy starting from the substrate. It is also true, however, that a large part of this energy is dissipated in the form of heat.

It is for this reason that during aerobic exercises you tend to sweat a lot. The dissipated heat increases the body temperature and in order to preserve homeostasis the body produces sweat. Sweat is basically water.

The expelled water absorbs part of the thermal energy (heat) of the body and carries out a change of state transforming itself into water vapor.

This change of state implies that the bonds between the water molecules are broken and to do this you need energy. This energy is provided by the heat that the body dissipates. In conclusion, the transformation of water into water vapor allows excess heat to be dissipated in the body.

Slimming effect?

From what has just been described it is clear that sweat makes you lose weight is just a myth. In fact, sweat is only a homeostatic response and not a phenomenon in response to lipid oxidation. For example, during anaerobic exercises the dissipation of heat is less but this does not mean that it does not have a thermogenic effect.

On the contrary, anaerobic exercise proved superior to aerobic exercise in body recomposition. A study shows how two groups of subjects were subjected to the same diet but to different physical exercise.

One aerobic exercise group and one anaerobic exercise group.

After weeks it was found that the aerobic group had lost more weight than the anaerobic group.

However, analyzing the quality of the lost tissue, it was noted that they had lost both fat and lean mass. Conversely, the anaerobic group had lost a similar amount of fat mass but had increased their own lean mass.

This results in an increased metabolism and better body composition.

When Can Sweating Be Useful?

Now that we have seen that sweating makes you lose weight is just a saying, let's see if sweating has other beneficial effects however. There are certain cases in which some people are prone to have subcutaneous water retention in certain parts of the body. in this case a greater local sweating allows to expel subcutaneous fluids more easily and therefore have a better aesthetic result.

However, this does not mean that more fat is being burned, it just means that water has been expelled from the pores.


As we have seen with this article, sweat makes you lose weight is just a myth and has no truthful background. Training and following a correct diet are the key to losing weight. However, it is also true that good sweating improves water retention.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you are concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or making major changes to your diet.

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