Why does the body perspire??


Perspiration is a normal phenomenon enabling the body to maintain our body temperature at 37 °. We perspire, on average, half to one litre of water per day when not participating in sports

Three million sweat glands are distributed across the entire body, mainly across the arm pits, the base of feet and the palms of hands. The glands secrete water droplets known as sweat which is watery and which has a slightly acidic PH and which sometimes can smell bad.

When it is too hot outside, you are taking part in sport or your temperature increases owing to a virus or illness, the body protects you against hypothermia by sweating excessively, the pores of the skin enable the sweat to escape in order to cool down and lower the temperature.

This water produced by the body must be compensated by an equivalent intake, therefore water must be consumed to avoid dehydration

Did you know: dehydration is the enemy of performance

The word dehydration denotes situations where the body has a water deficiency following inadequate water consumption and/or significant losses. This water loss could be presented as weight loss.

Water is essential for both cells and muscles.

When completing exercise, water requirements increase for many mechanisms to function, the main one being muscle contraction and relative functioning, they require correct hydration. Dehydration is a source of fatigue and muscular injury.

How does your body temperature increase when not unwell?

The physiology phenomenon is complex in terms of cells however all physical effort involves an increase in body temperature as your body is transforming calories into muscle power, just like your car engine consumes petrol to operate and it is the perspiration which allows you to release this heat produced, with the correct hydration.

Physical effort, the sun, strong emotions and illness may warm up the body internally and therefore increase body temperature. Sweat glands release sweat. This sweat evaporates to cool the skin and lower the temperature.

Where this phenomenon is not controlled and you do not drink enough or continue with exercise, you may experience, what is known as exercise-induced hypothermia which could place the body in a come and even cause a heart attack. For more details, see www.irbms.com

Chronic dehydration

Water intake deficiency resulting in constant and continual dehydration.

. The first consequence is chronic fatigue, the second is wrinkling of the skin and the third is a loss of weight alongside a change of blood markers. You must drink before feeling thirsty as by this point, it is too late.

You should drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day and more if you are participating in sports or completing physical work.

Pure and natural water is suitable for rehydrating; it is also possible to drink natural juices and energy drinks but not energising drinks which do not offer any benefits and, on the contrary, may be harmful to your health


Remember to always take a bottle of water or flask containing your drink when exercising and to drink regularly to avoid feeling thirsty!

Docteur Patrick Bacquaert

Médecin chef de l'IRBMS


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