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Can someone explain sweat?

Answered on May 13, 2014
Created May 09, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Can someone please explain the biology of sweat in humans with exercise to me?

I know we sweat so that we don't overheat and die but I would like to know where the sweat comes from. Does it come from individual cells? What cellular function(s) is sweat a marker of? Are the cells overheating? What is actually producing this heat? Ramped up mitochondria due to increased energy demands?

I'm talking specifically about sweat from exercise, not from saunas or fevers.

I will +1 all informative answers.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on May 12, 2014
at 12:44 AM

Okay, +1 as promised for feedback.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on May 12, 2014
at 12:43 AM

Thanks for your feedback Matt.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 11, 2014
at 02:10 AM

different mechanisms that necessitate sweat -- but essentially the same response. bigger difference in where you sweat (eccrine vs apocrine) than how.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on May 11, 2014
at 01:13 AM

Sounds like you're saying that sweat from a sauna and sweat from exercise are both the same thing. But it seems like sweat from exercise would be caused by heat byproducts from mitochondrial cellular respiration and that sweat from exercise would be an indicator of mitochondrial respiration whereas sweat from a sauna would likely be the result of a different cause other than cellular respiration byproducts (I could be wrong though, hence why I'm asking for details).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on May 11, 2014
at 01:08 AM

"During exercise your muscle activities start increasing which increases rate of cellular respiration releasing heat as a by product. For balancing this sweating is released from the body." If you can provide scientific literature saying this I'll pick yours as best answer.

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4 Answers

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on May 10, 2014
at 06:31 AM

Sweating is homoeostatic mechanism that is used to keep core body temperature constant. Sweating is one of the responses for lowering the body temperature. Sweat is released onto the surface of the skin when body becomes too hot. The water from the sweat then takes some of the excess heat energy from the body and uses it to evaporate. Water has comparatively high specific heat capacity and lot of heat is carried away by this method.During exercise your muscle activities start increasing which increases rate of cellular respiration releasing heat as a by product. For balancing this sweating is released from the body.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on May 11, 2014
at 01:08 AM

"During exercise your muscle activities start increasing which increases rate of cellular respiration releasing heat as a by product. For balancing this sweating is released from the body." If you can provide scientific literature saying this I'll pick yours as best answer.

0
9435fe3d9f514e8f60840e81c66756b3

(10)

on May 13, 2014
at 10:53 AM

Exercise uses energy which heats up the body. Sweat is produced which cools the surface temperature of the body, which in turn cools the whole body. This cooling is done with the evaporation of the sweat. Going from fluid to gas extracts heat of the surface.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 10, 2014
at 03:31 AM

Not specifically about sweat, but maybe worth looking through: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endotherm

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on May 12, 2014
at 12:43 AM

Thanks for your feedback Matt.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 10, 2014
at 12:48 AM

Not sure exactly what your question is. But no mater what causes you to sweat (exercise, sauna, fever, etc) the process is essentially the same. We have glands that sit beneath the skin. Eccrine glands are on the mostly hairless portions (i.e. cheat, arms, etc) and apocrine glands on the mostly hair areas (head, arm pits, pubis). The glands are connected to pores in between our skin and they react to a change to our core temperature (again, so it doesn't matter why it has risen -- just that it has).

The only other thing I know is that sweat glands are like fat cells -- some people just have more than others -- thus some people sweat more than others just like some people get fatter than others. Ultimately I think that excess fat cells and excess sweat glands are good from an evolutionary stand point -- but we've just created an eviornment where it's not advantagous.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10979)

on May 11, 2014
at 01:13 AM

Sounds like you're saying that sweat from a sauna and sweat from exercise are both the same thing. But it seems like sweat from exercise would be caused by heat byproducts from mitochondrial cellular respiration and that sweat from exercise would be an indicator of mitochondrial respiration whereas sweat from a sauna would likely be the result of a different cause other than cellular respiration byproducts (I could be wrong though, hence why I'm asking for details).

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