When the summers in Houston get intensely hot, it doesn’t take much effort to work up a sweat. Has anyone else experienced unfortunate pit stains just from walking from the grocery store to your car? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Fortunately for us hot Houstonians, our bodies have a built-in cooling system to help keep us from over-heating. That’s right, we’re talking sweat today! Though you may be familiar with what sweat is and why we do it, I’m going to share some facts that you may not have heard before. You may know that we sweat to cool our body down through evaporation of the sweat, but did you know…
• Humans have 2 to 5 million sweat glands on their body. Sweat glands are located on most parts of the body, and are most concentrated on the bottoms of the feet.
• There are two types of sweat glands: Eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands are found all over the body and produce the common watery sweat. Apocrine sweat glands produce small amounts of thicker fluid, and are found in the armpits and genital area. These are the sweat glands that make those embarrassing pit stains!
• Exercise, hot weather, anxiety and stress all cause sweat.
• Women have more sweat glands than men, but men tend to produce more sweat.
• Primates and horses have armpits that sweat like human armpits.
• The Gatorade Sports Science Institute has found that in conditions of 85 degrees and 40% humidity, the average runner will lose 2 to 4 points of sweat an hour. Just imagine how much we must lose on a hot summer day in Houston!
• Sweat itself is odorless. It’s the bacteria on the skin that mingles with it and produces body odor.
• According to a study in the Czech Republic, vegetarians’ sweat was found to be “significantly more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense” than sweat from red meat eaters.
Hope you enjoyed these fun and slightly strange facts about sweat! Now you’ll have something to ponder each time you wipe your brow on a hot day.