Addicted To Sweat?

9 Jul

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start. Today is the start of two weeks of insanity for me. Full explanation on all of that to come.

Let’s back-track to the weekend. JWD and I spent the weekend at his parent’s house. It was a good weekend full of family time and old friends (JWD and I grew up in the same town and have the same childhood friends, making trips “back home” a lot of fun). We went out with friends to see a band on Friday night. JWD was up bright and early on Saturday morning for a 7:30am tee time and my intention was to get up when he left at 6:30am… the next thing I knew, I woke up at 9:30 to an empty house and this weather report:

I haven’t slept that late in ages. I sat on the back porch sipping coffee for a good 20 minutes contemplating a workout in the heat. Hot yoga has made it easier for me to tolerate the heat and I was in the mood to sweat, so I downed some water and half a banana and hit the pavement. Since I was racing the rising thermometer, I went for a timed workout.

5 minute warm-up run

4 sets of 5 minute intervals: I gradually picked up the pace during each 5 minute interval until I hit a full sprint for the last 30 seconds, then returned to a slow jog to start the next interval.

5 minute slow jog to cool down

Total: 30 minutes

I was drenched when I returned, but felt much better.

Post-run overnight oats to cool me down. Loaded with blueberries, blackberries, and banana.

The increasing number of sweaty workouts in my life, my recent need for electrolyte replacement nutrition, and the countless loads of laundry we do each week to keep up with the piles of soaked workout gear brings me to this question: Are we addicted to sweat?

There is nothing more satisfying than wringing the sweat out of my yogitoes after my Vinyasa practices. Sometimes JWD and I will go for runs where “getting a sweat” is our only goal. I honestly feel like my day is not complete without breaking a sweat.

Awhile back, I read an article in the NY Times on this very subject. Hot workouts are all the rage from Bikram Yoga to heated spinning classes, but is all that sweating really a good thing?

Here’s what experts have to say about the claimed benefits of hot and sweaty workouts.

Is a “hot workout” a better workout?

Yes- to a point. Your body has to work harder at higher temps, but anything past 100* is entering the danger zone. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious consequences of of a workout that’s a little too hot.

Does all that sweating detoxify the body?

Not really. Although sweat does contain trace amounts of toxins, heavy sweating is not a reliable method of ridding toxins from the body. The primary purpose of sweat is to cool the body, not detoxify it. Leave detoxification to your liver and kidneys.

Are hot workouts for everyone?

No. Exercising in the heat requires a certain level of fitness and slow acclimatization to higher temperatures. Exercising in heat could be very dangerous for someone with a low fitness level or who isn’t used to it.

The bottom line:

Extra sweaty workouts are best suited for those with a higher fitness level and should be eased in to. Hot workouts should not make you feel dizzy, light-headed, clammy, or nauseous!

If you’re going to amp up the sweat, it’s crucial to replace what you lose. Two easy ways to monitor hydration: 1. Check out your urine color- it should look like pale lemonade. Apple juice-colored urine is an indicator of dehydration. 2. Weigh yourself before and after a workout and replace 150% of what you lost (24oz. of fluid per pound lost). Include sodium and potassium-rich foods in the 24 hours post-workout, especially if you are a “salty sweater”.

For me, sweaty workouts are a way to turn up the intensity. I always compensate my sweat sessions with tons of water, coconut water, electrolyte powder, and foods high in sodium and potassium. I am a really salty sweater (my skin gets coated with a white, gritty residue when I sweat a lot), so that last part is important for me.

Between the sweaty workouts, the hot temps outside, and few nights of cocktails ;), the weekend left me feeling dehydrated. I had a headache most of Sunday, so I skipped my Vinyasa class and opted for plenty of water and rest.

On the drive back to STL, I picked up a Lemonade Vitamin Water Zero at a gas station. It has some electrolytes in it and it’s sweetened with stevia, so I gave it a try.

It was pretty good! I was disappointed when I checked the label more closely in the car and found out it doesn’t have any sodium or potassium (the electrolyte biggies). Case-in-point for why it’s important to investigate those front-of-the-package claims! Flavor-wise, definitely something I’ll try again. My state of dehydration was also a great excuse to partake in some salty Mexican food at one of our favorite spots back in St. Louis, Tortillaria.

I had one fish taco and my fare share of chips and salsa. The rest of the day was spent packing and doing some work. Today I am a prisoner of my desk and my lonnng “To Do” list. Lunch:

Almond butter and half a banana on Ezekiel bread and a peach on the side. It’s rare that my lunch is veggie-less. I foresee a giant green salad for dinner!

See you later in the week for an iced coffee post.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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3 Responses to “Addicted To Sweat?”

  1. Katie@perfectlypoppedkernel.com July 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    This is really interesting. I feel more accomplished after a “sweaty” workout. But, it doesn’t always mean I put out the most effort. Btw – fish tacos look amazing 🙂

  2. em July 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    I usually don’t feel complete without a workout in a day either. I’m not a great hot weather exerciser, so I’m not sure how much more beneficial hot weather exercise is for me-usually my running is much slower and my endurance less throughout the whole summer.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. French Press Iced Coffee « Running on Sunshine - July 14, 2012

    […] If you come over, wear as few clothes as possible. It’s hot in here- sometimes even hotter than it is outside. Good thing I like to sweat. […]

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