Gurl, We're Gonna Make You Sweat
Men Are More Effective Than Women at Sweating
In order to start sweating, women need to get hotter than men do...literally. As revealed in a new study out of Japan, men are more efficient sweaters than women.
While we're glad that men can beat us in the sweat ‘stash race, not sweating enough is actually a bad thing (something we can tell ourselves whenever we have to make dramatic gestures whilst wearing heather grey). Sweat plays an important role in the body, because as it evaporates, it cools the body temperature. Without enough sweat, you run the risk of overheating or potentially suffering from heat stroke. So it's important to be able to work up a sweat... even if that sweat leads to awkward body friction noises during sexy time (what's with that?).
The recent study shows that exercising improves sweating response for both males and females; in other words, you can condition your body to start sweating more and at lower temperatures by exercising. But the degree of improvement in sweat response is greater for guys than it is for the ladies (previous studies have shown that men sweat more because testosterone aids in the process). And this difference in men's improved ability to sweat compared to women only increases as the level of exercise intensity increases. (Anyone else wondering where that puts female bodybuilders and Jamie Lee Curtis on the sweat staircase?)
To come to these conclusions, researchers looked at four groups of participants: females trained at exercise and those untrained, as well as males trained at exercise and those untrained. They asked participants to cycle continuously for one hour with increasing intensity intervals and examined the differences in their sweating responses due to these intensity changes.
The worst sweating response came from the untrained females, who required the highest body temperature/amount of work to begin sweating.
The reason women are less efficient sweaters than men may lie in evolutionary biology. According to Yoshimitsu Inoue, the study's coordinator, "Women generally have less body fluid than men and may become dehydrated more easily. Therefore the lower sweat loss in women may be an adaptation strategy that attaches importance to survival in a hot environment, while the higher sweat rate in men may be a strategy for greater efficiency of action or labour." You know, all that labor that men do nowadays like hunting for dinner at the market and having to carry it home in an SUV--it's sweaty business.
But the study has interesting, and actionable, implications: If a heat wave is coming, you can acclimate yourself better to the high temp beforehand through exercise. Or, you can exercise to help accomplish some of your other goals on that "impending heat wave to-do list."
Wiley-Blackwell (2010, October 8). Men perspire, women glow: Men are more efficient at sweating, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/10/101007210546.htm