4 Reasons to Break a Sweat
Your body has a natural, powerful, built-in system for detoxification that doesn’t require trendy juice cleanses or expensive protocols. All you have to do is sweat!
Doctors, health experts, and fitness gurus tell us that we should break a sweat every day – and for good reason. While sweating has a host of benefits simply because it’s a result of health-boosting exercise, the act of sweating itself heals the body as well. Whether you’re sitting in a sauna, walking on a warm day, or working out, sweating is a necessary bodily function with powerful healing effects.
Specifically, more studies are emerging lauding the detoxifying abilities of sweat. By clearing out a range of toxins, from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to heavy metals, sweat plays an essential role in your body’s natural detox function. Let’s look at some of the toxins that are cleared from your body when you sweat:
1. Persistent organic pollutants (solvents, fumigants, and insecticides): A clinical study with 20 participants found that sweat samples contained a range of toxins, including pesticides DDT/DDE, endosulfan, methoxychlor, and endrin. In fact, nearly all parent compounds of pesticides were found in the samples studied, which shows that sweating is an effective way of diminishing your body’s toxic burden.
Additionally, the sweat sample contained some pesticides – including DDT, methoxychlor, and endrin – that were not present in the blood or urine samples collected from the same participant, suggesting that some pesticides are only mobilized and excreted through sweating.
2. Phthalate (plasticizer): Phthalate, found in plastic products, is another toxic chemical that is removed through sweat. In one study, researchers evaluated blood, sweat, and urine samples from 20 individuals, and discovered that all subjects had mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), a common phthalate, in each of the samples. The concentrations of this compound in sweat were more than twice as high as urine levels, showing that sweating may be the most effective way of ridding your body of this endocrine-disrupting compound.
3. Heavy metals: One study with 20 patients reported that when compared to urine, sweat contained about 24 times more cadmium, 19 times more nickel, 16 times more lead, and almost three times more aluminum. Overall, sweat proved more effective than urine at removing 14 out of the 18 heavy metals studied. It also contained larger quantities of 16 out of the 18 metals than the blood samples did.
Of all the metals, aluminum was found at the highest concentrations in sweat, with zinc, copper, and nickel also occurring at relatively high amounts in the studied samples.
4. Bisphenol A (BPA): Researchers examined the blood, urine, and sweat of 20 participants for BPA, an endocrine-disrupting toxin found in canned foods and plastic water bottles, among other things. Of the 20 sweat samples collected, 16 contained BPA, while only 14 urine and 2 blood samples tested positive for the toxin.
Not only does this reveal that sweat is the most effective way of removing BPA build-up in the body, it also shows that testing blood or urine for toxicity levels may not present the whole picture.