What Does it Mean When I Sweat a Lot During Exercise?

Exercise can trigger excessive sweating.
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Exercise increases your body temperature. As a result, you sweat as your body releases salty liquid from your sweat glands, an essential function that helps you stay cool. How many sweat glands you possess will determine how much you sweat, and exercise can increase this amount.

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If you feel you sweat more than normal, you may have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. Talk to your health care provider if you are concerned about your perspiration.


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Some sweating is normal during exercise. However, too much can be caused by a condition called hyperhidrosis.

What Is Normal Sweating?

People are born with 2 million to 4 million sweat glands, and while women tend to have more than men, men's glands are often more active. Exercise raises your body's internal temperature, causing you to sweat more profusely to keep cool. Being physically active in a warm room or while it is hot outside can make you perspire more as well. Other factors can contribute to excessive sweating, such as drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, certain medications, stress, fever, infections, low blood sugar, thyroid problems and menopause.


How Much Is Too Much?

According to a July 2017 study published by Experimental Dermatology, a person can secrete up to four liters of sweat per hour when the body is attempting to cool itself. However, if you are sweating excessively or uncontrollably, you may have hyperhidrosis. This condition can be localized and occur only on your palms, feet, armpits or face, or you may perspire all over your body.

The causes are unknown, but certain activities such as exercise can trigger hyperhidrosis. This condition typically appears when you are a child or a teen, and it can either continue throughout your life or get better as you age. While nothing can cure it, you can take steps to make it less unpleasant.


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Lifestyle Remedies for Hyperhidrosis

To help control excess sweat, shower daily and dry yourself completely when you finish. Apply a talcum powder to your entire body, concentrating especially on the areas where you sweat the most. Throughout the day, but especially when you exercise, wear loose-fitting clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton, which allows your skin to breathe more readily. Put on your antiperspirant both at night and in the morning to increase its efficacy. Also consider asking your physician about making changes to your diet — caffeinated drinks and spicy foods can make sweating worse.


See a Doctor

If you experience a sudden increase in the amount you sweat, see a doctor; this could be symptomatic of an underlying medical condition. Also ask them about prescription-strength antiperspirants if you feel that over-the-counter products are not effective. They may prescribe you aluminum chloride to apply at night, but note that this is a strong product that can cause irritation and itching. If it does, wash it off each morning.