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Sweating is the body’s natural effort to remove heat from the body due to metabolic activity. When we exercise, there is an increase in activity and therefore an increase in heat generated and the result is more sweat to remove the heat. The most important point to remember is that the evaporation of the sweat provides the cooling effect. Less evaporation means less heat being removed from the body.

In an ideal world, we would always be able to train safely and effectively outdoors. But as we know, over the last year, there has been a global crisis which has forced a lot of athletes to change where and how they train. I will add, that a lot of the regular gym goers and team sport players have also found the joy of outdoor exercise and participating in a different form of exercise. So how does environmental and training factors affect your sweat rate? Keep in mind that evaporation is a key aspect of cooling the body down.
  1. Humidity. Higher humidity means less evaporation of sweat. This is the reason why you generally find yourself sweating more at a race in Durban versus a race in Pretoria.
  2. Temperature. A higher atmospheric temperature means you internal temperature will be higher and more sweating occurs.
  3. Intensity. Higher intensity generates more heat internally as there is an increase in metabolic processes. The body will sweat more to remove this heat.
  4. Wind. More wind can make a workout more difficult but the benefit is an increase in air flowing over the body which results in more heat been removed through sweating. One aspect of windy rides to consider, is the sensation that you are not sweating due to the increase in sweat being evaporated and then not hydrating as the athlete will not realise the amount they have been sweating.
  5. Speed of movement. eg: running vs cycling. When cycling you generally move faster so there is a greater volume of air flowing over the body. Is this the reason why cyclists always look so cool???
  6. Men sweat more than woman!
So how does all the above relate to the puddle that forms around the indoor trainer and treadmill?
The 3 factors primarily responsible are humidity, temperature, and airflow. Humidity and temperature in your “Pain Cave” will most likely be higher compared to your outdoor conditions. This is especially true if you train in the early morning and evening. Airflow! THE big reason why there is an elaborate attempt to place your fan(s) in the perfect spot. Without a fan or a breeze from an open window, you will have reduced airflow and evaporation of sweat. This will mean a higher temperature in the body and more sweat being produced to remove the heat. All this leads to droplets of sweat forming and a bit of housecleaning when you have completed your exercise session.

How can Hammer help?

While we can’t help you with the fan situation, the first 2 Hammer Secrets of Success can. Generally, in more challenging environmental conditions you should always switch your focus to hydration and electrolyte replenishment and reduce your caloric intake. The reason for this is to reduce the load on the digestive system to avoid GI problems that can occur. The body has finite resources and continuing to consume the same amount of calories can mean the body is overloaded and digestive issues can then occur! If you know you are going to be training more indoors, here are a few guidelines for your hydration:

Daily hydration should be 33-39ml/kg per day. Lighter athletes will be closer to 33 and heavier athletes will be closer to 39. All fluids can be included except for alcohol!

During exercise you should consume 7-10ml/kg per hour, up to a maximum of 830ml! Once again the heavier athletes will be higher in volume consumed.

On the electrolyte front you must remember that when sweating more you lose more electrolytes. Focus on hydration, but add an Endurolytes FIZZ to your water bottle for a tasty electrolyte option.
For more info and advice, email Neil at fuelingexpert@hammernutrition.co.za