T Nation

Sweating Part 2

Thought I’d post this again . … I’m a horrendous sweater when working out - within 10 minutes I’m drenched. I’ve always been this way despite being in top shape with great stamina . . . Any ideas why this may be?

Did you send this question into T-mag as well? Someone did and I answered it in detail in this coming Friday’s Reader Mail section.

Yeah - thanks for the info, I’m looking forward to this!

I’ll go ahead and post what I wrote for Reader Mail here:

If you can soak through a shirt in a matter of minutes (while training is an air-conditioned environment) you could have a condition known as axillary hyperhidrosis, which is basically just excessive sweating.

There are several ways to treat this. The simplest way is to pick up some Xerac AC or Certain Dri. These are prescription strength antiperspirants you usually have to get from a pharmacy. You have to be careful, though. These products contain aluminum chloride which could negatively affect magnesium levels in the body.

Another option is surgical removal of the sweat glands in the armpits. The main problem here is that this can lead to another condition called compensatory hyperhidrosis, which is increased sweating elsewhere in the body. Doesn't sound too pleasant.

The latest treatment involves receiving injections of botulinum, a toxin derived from bacteria and marketed under the name Botox. The toxin blocks the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which stimulates the
sweat glands. (Acetylcholine also helps control muscle movement so the toxin can also be used to treat uncontrolled muscle twitches.)

You have to get shots in the armpits, but supposedly patients report sweating less in matter of two days and the effects last for five months. You'll need to see a dermatologist about getting this treatment and can expect to pay at least $700 per visit. Ouch.

Hope this gives you some ideas/options, Jim.

Now that I think about it, I enjoy sweating buckets! Besides, nobody wants to “work in” with me on a machine/bench/etc!

I’ve always noticed that my clients who adhered to a good training program and kept hydrated, were the ones who sweated more easily. I can also say from a personal perspective, that I don’t sweat as much, when I am not drinking enough water or my training takes a back seat to my clients. Personal opinion: If your not sweating, you’re not training hard enough, often enough or you need to drink more water. I would say the only way it is a problem is if your sweat smells bad. Then I think your body is telling your something and everybody else will too.

With all due respect to Chris, I wouldn’t treat the sweating as a bad thing. One of the fundamental adaptations to regular training is increased plasma volume and increased sweat rate. So, some individuals will sweat more than others, but if properly hydrated this is a good condition. Allows you to more effectively dissipate heat. It sounded as if Chris would just have you treat the axillary region, which would probably be alright, but your body has set all of its thermoregulatory mechanisms to account for your own personal sweat rate. By altering your sweat capacity artificially on a systemic level you may have problems effectively cooling during workouts. The take home message is that you are probably well trained and well hydrated. No problem.

I agree with Steve. Sweating is basic thermoregulation. By an earlier onset of sweating, your body establishes homeostasis earlier on your workout and is less stressed. Homeostasis is the state at your metabolic processes such as heart rate level off and reach a steady state. Ever notice that when you get on a T’mill your heart rate jumps up very quickly, then drops a bit and stays relativley constant? That’s your body reacting to the sudden stress and then adjusting to deal with it efficiently on a constant basis (homeostasis). The general idea out there is that people who sweat more or earlier in the workout are in worse shape. Not always the case. Look at marathon runners. These sick folk are sweating buckets withing the first leg of the first lap. This allows their bodies to maintain a lower core temp and places less stress on the body, allowing them to run absurd distances. Key is to monitor your weight loss. Weigh yourself before and after you workout. Have a 1/2 litre of water for every pound lost.

One product you might want to try is called maxim(no prescription needed, search the net for it), it works very well. I have hyperhydrosis (underarm only) and found this product to be great; you can notice the effects in one or two days. I am a heavy sweater(i could be standing at the north pole in only a t-shirt and have sweat marks within 10 minutes, just to give you an idea of how heavy) and I only use it 4-5 times a week. If you sweat less then you would probably only need to use it 2-3 times a week.