You're halfway through hot yoga, and you can barely see because of the aggressive, blinding stream of sweat pouring down your face.
Meanwhile, your friend next to you is almost completely dry and sweat-free.
But what's up with the people (such as myself) who tend to feel like they just bathed in their own salty sweat when they exercise?
Elite Daily spoke with Dr. Anthony Balduzzi, founder of the Fit Father Project, to get a better understanding of the science behind your sweat.
During exercise, our core body temperature increases from activity. A little extra body heat from exercise isn't harmful; yet, our bodies don't want to get too hot, or many of our key organs, cells, and enzymes can't function properly. That's where sweat comes in. Our skin produces sweat as an evaporative cooler to keep our core temperature stable and safe during exercise.
OK, simple enough -- sweat is not only natural, but necessary when it comes to working out.
But still, why do I always look like Ryan Gosling in that torrential downpour scene from The Notebook after I step off the StairMaster?
Here are five possible reasons why you feel like you're sweating a ton when you exercise.
1. Your Overall Body Size
Dr. Balduzzi tells Elite Daily,
Larger bodies generate more heat (and sweat) during exercise than smaller bodies. If two twins (say, a brother and sister) do the same cardio workout together, and Twin B (the brother) is 40 pounds heavier than his sister, he will sweat a lot more than his sister.
Bottom line: If you have a smaller frame, you will sweat less than your larger gym partners -- even if you're both doing the same workout.
2. The Room Temperature
This might seem obvious, but hot yoga is going to make you sweat a lot more than, say, figure skating.
Dr. Balduzzi says it's important to remember that sweat is your body's main evaporative cooling system -- kind of like an internal fan.
If you're exercising in cold air, your body doesn't need to produce as much sweat to keep you cool. If you're hiking in the Colorado Rockies, your body won't need to sweat nearly as much to stay cool -- even if summiting a 10,000-foot peak.
Alight I'm taking my next workout to the Rockies -- who's with me?
3. The Climate You Were Raised In
Dr. Balduzzi tells Elite Daily every human is born with a virtually identical number of sweat glands.
Yet, not all of these sweat glands are actually able to produce sweat:
When you're born, the vast majority of your sweat glands are immature. Over the first two years of life, your sweat glands begin to mature -- enabling them to produce sweat for you.
And the activity of your sweat glands is largely determined by the climate in which you were raised as a child.
People who grew up in very warm climates typically have a higher percentage of mature, active sweat glands, whereas if those who grew up in a colder climate had less of a need to produce lots of sweat in early childhood to stay cool.
Dr. Balduzzi adds,
As adults, we carry on our sweat glands' 'childhood training' everywhere we go, no matter what climate we choose to live in.
Dope. Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad.
4. You May Have A Condition Called Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by excessive sweating, and it affects an estimated 7.8 million Americans.
The condition can be due to an underlying health condition, or it can simply have no cause at all.
If you're not sure about your symptoms, contact your doctor to try to rule out any underlying conditions.
Also, keep in mind that the symptoms of excessive sweating can be effectively treated with proper medical care.
So don't sweat it. Ha. Ha. Ha. OK, bye.
5. TBH, You Might Just Be In Really Good Shape
Studies say sweating a lot may simply be a sign that you're in amazing shape.
I like the sound of that (maybe not the smell, though).
Plus, research suggests that endurance athletes sweat sooner and perspire more in comparison to those who don't train quite as hard on a regular basis.
Basically, the more fit you are, the easier it is for your body to sweat.
When it comes down to it, Dr. Balduzzi says, if you're the type of person who sweats a lot, it's really nothing to fret about:
In many ways, it's actually a good thing to be a heavier sweater. There is actually new research showing that sweat actually plays a vital role in keeping our skin young and healing skin wounds.
Sweat on, baby, sweat on.