Your sweat can tell you more than how hot it is outside or the intensity of your workout.
In fact, you should probably be paying a little more attention to not only how you sweat, but also the consistency of your sweat. Sounds weird, we know but bare with us. According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the
Sounds weird, we know but bare with us. According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Camilo Jose Cela University (UCJC) the consistency of your sweat can tell you a lot about how hydrated you are and what you should be consuming to rehydrate.
What the research team found was that there is a lack of education about hydration. While professional athletes are regularly are encouraged to stay hydrated, often fitness enthusiast or runnings are less educated on just how important their sweat consistency is.
Ironically, while it is true that professional athletes often sweat a lot and lose a lot of electrolytes due to the intensity of their game or training, their electrolyte levels are often monitored by a team of sports scientists and experts. Amateurs athletes and enthusiasts however, have to be more aware of their bodies because there is less of an outside influence.
That being said, many people think that if their sweat has a salty taste to it and that it is good thing–it means that they are hydrated. While this is true, salty sweat also indicates that you are losing electrolytes, and if they are not properly replenished there is a health risk.But how exactly do we rehydrate properly? If your answer
But how exactly do we rehydrate properly? If your answer is drink enough water, that alone may not be enough.
“We do not only lose fluids when we sweat -which can be replaced with beverages- but the levels of several electrolytes that are essential to fluid balance and neuromuscular functioning also decrease -especially sodium,” Beatriz Lara, the main author of the study and a researcher at UCJC says in the release.
When electrolytes are not recovered through proper food and beverage consumption, your body will be depleted of proper nutrients. A scenario that according to the study could lead to hyponatraemia (a sodium concentration in the blood of less than 135 mmol/L which, in severe cases, can cause decreased consciousness, hallucinations or coma, brain herniation and even death).
So, next time you are at the gym and feel yourself working up a sweat make sure you notice the consistency of your sweat and ask yourself, what is my sweat telling me? If you feel like your sweat tastes extra salty, or that it is so salty it is leaving stains on your skin, you may want to consider taking salt tablets to ensure that your electrolyte levels do not drop significantly.
The better you know your body, and what you are comfortable with, the more in shape and in tune you will become.