Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why some people sweat more than others?

  1. Jun 28, 2007 #1

    When I play football/soccer at school, I sweat a lot, as everybody does. However, when we return to our class, my classmates stop sweating in around half an hour, whereas I keep on dripping for an hour ( or more, sometimes). Due to this, I feel acute shortage of water in my body and thus, I still have to carry a big 2 litre bottle to school on these days (none of my friends need that much water), otherwise there is always danger of dehydration, during summers (Here, temperatures can be as high as 43 degrees centigrade).
    I want to know why some people like me sweat like hell, whereas there are people who look like they don't sweat at all even after heavy exertion?

    Eagerly waiting your answers.

    Mr V
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2007 #2
    The autonomic nervous system is made up of two components: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems. It is the sympathetic nervous system that controls the sweating throughout our bodies. Yours may simply a bit more over active, but sweating up a hour after activity is still considered with in the normal range.
  4. Jun 28, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Does it also have to do with the level of cardio fitness and recovery time? Ie, the better shape you are in, the sooner your heart returns to normal rythm.
  5. Jun 28, 2007 #4

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    russ -

    You are correct. Phsyically fit people recover faster from exertion.
  6. Jun 28, 2007 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, but I still sweat a lot. :blushing:
  7. Jun 28, 2007 #6
    You can continue to sweat long after your heart returns to a normal beat. It actually has more to do with genitics, odds are, others in your family sweat the same way as you.
  8. Jun 28, 2007 #7

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Taking a more elementary approach:
    1. Your body will sweat for various reasons related to illnesses, we are just dealing with exertion induced sweating, in normally hydrated people. Poorly hydrated humans tend to overheat rather than sweat effectively.

    2. In the case of #1, the root cause is elevated core body temperature.
    Your body responds to the elevation by sweating. It does this in part by:
    Dilating blood peripheral blood vessels - ones near the skin.

    3. If you have more subcutaneous fat than the next person, then you have a more effective insulation layer that slows heat exchange somewhat. In fact, any factor that reduces heat loss from you, extends the "sweat duration".

    So, hypatia is pretty close. Clothing, depth of subcutaneous fat layers, pale vs dark skin tone, ambient conditions (relative humidity & temperature), sitting in the sun vs sitting in the shade -- all of these are examples of factors. Some are genetic, some are what your personal habits engender, some are just chance. Some have small effects, some bigger.

    Is is "The good ol' Heredity - Environment Interaction Model" at work with you as the guinea pig.
  9. Jun 28, 2007 #8
    Yeah, I also think so. My heartbeat returns to normal in a short time, but I keep sweating for a long time. I don't know the exact duration, but I know that I keep on sweating even when all my classmates have become perfectly normal. It may be a genetic reason as you say, because my mother also sweats a lot like me.

    Mr V
  10. Jun 28, 2007 #9
    The main problem which arises due to this profuse sweating is that I need to drink water frequently while playing. My water level (or whatever it is called) decreases quite rapidly.

    Mr V
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook