Are Calories Burned While Crying?

Crying is a physical reaction to emotional stimulus. The scientific name for crying is lacrimation. During crying, elevated heart rates have been observed. Tears are released through the tear ducts, coating the eyes and overflowing from them.

A young woman cries on a park bench.
Credit: Feverpitched/iStock/Getty Images

Energy Required

Crying requires little physical exertion and has minimal effect on your metabolic rate. The physical act of crying burns a small amount of calories.

Emotional State

During emotionally stressful moments, it is not uncommon for a person's heart rate to elevate. When at rest, a pound of cardiac muscle burns about 8 1/2 calories an hour. When the heart rate elevates during emotional stress, the number of calories burned by the heart tissue may elevate slightly.

Warning signs

Increased instances of crying may be a sign of depression. Another symptom of depression is the reduction of appetite. A person who cries often may be suffering from depression and their weight loss may be due to a loss of appetite as opposed to calories burned during sobbing. If you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, consult a physician.

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