Sweating can be very annoying — bacteria can stick to it and make you smell bad, and if you don’t clean your face after sweating, you might get pimples. You also need to wash your hair often if you sweat a lot, even though frequent hair washing isn’t necessarily good for you. So it’s easy to assume that all of these troubles would go away if you just didn’t sweat anymore. But there are pros and cons to your body stopping this important process.
Bright Side breaks down things that could happen to you if you suddenly stopped perspiring.
1. Your skin would suffer.
Sweating moisturizes the skin, so without it, the skin would become dry and need extra care to keep it moisturized. Normal sweat production is said to have anti-bacterial effects, as it helps to open up the pores and clean what has been stuck inside them. So if you stopped sweating, the bacteria on your skin’s surface could remain there since sweat helps kill harmful bacteria.
2. There’d be a higher risk of getting kidney stones.
Some research found that sweat from regular exercise takes out sodium that would otherwise go into the kidneys and urine where stones form. This, in turn, would help increase blood volume, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, if you stopped sweating, you’d have a higher risk of getting kidney stones and cardiovascular disease. Your body would also have a harder time getting rid of toxins, such as heavy metals.
3. In excessively hot climates, it’d be harder to cool down.
The main function of sweat is to cool your body off, so if you don’t sweat, it can lead to dizziness, cramps, nausea, and overheating. The symptoms of heat cramps include muscle pain and spasms. You may also suffer from heatstroke, a life-threatening condition that occurs when your body temperature reaches 103ºF. If left untreated, it can cause a loss of consciousness.
4. You could release fewer hormones that attract people.
Sweat brings out chemicals called pheromones, which act like hormones outside the body to influence the behavior of other people. Women are found to be more attracted to men when exposed to a component released by men’s sweat. Another study discovered that smelling your partner’s sweaty shirt may lower stress. So if you stopped sweating, not only would you be deprived of these perks, but other people would be too.
5. Your body wouldn’t be able to tell you and others how it was feeling.
Your body sweats to prepare you for fight-or-flight situations if you feel nervous or afraid, and it cools you down if you eat something spicy or hot. Sweating is one way your body communicates with you to tell you what’s going on inside of you. And it also communicates with other people about your feelings by giving out scents. One experiment found that women exposed to men’s sweat obtained from fear showed fearful expressions, and those exposed to sweat from disgust showed disgusted expressions.
6. You’d be more likely to spend less time making decisions.
A study discovered that people take a longer time to make a choice, then make more risky choices when exposed to sweat caused by anxiety. This means that if you don’t perspire anymore, you’re more likely to take a shorter time deciding on things, making less risky choices, even if you feel anxious. In other words, you may make safer decisions quicker if you don’t sweat.
How much do you sweat in a day? Would you prefer to stop sweating?