We live in a world where none of us are free of toxin exposure. Luckily, our body has its own way to get rid of them – through the liver and kidneys. However, if the load is too large, these organs will not be able to perform this function properly. Therefore, the body uses the secondary system for toxin removal, which is sweat. But, what is the best way to sweat out toxins?
Ever since the Roman baths, Scandinavian saunas, Aboriginal sweat lodges, and Turkish baths; sweat has been considered a therapy. But, before we reveal the best way to sweat out toxins, here are a few important things you need to know about sweat and toxins.
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Sweat & Toxins
Sweating, also known as perspiration, is a bodily function that helps our body regulate its temperature. During this process, your sweat glands release salt-based fluid, mostly in areas like armpits, soles of the feet, palms of the hands, and face.
According to Healthline, sweating can be caused by factors such as the outside temperature, changes in your body’s temperature, menopause, certain medications, and even your emotional state.
It’s an essential bodily process that can’t cause problems if increased or decreased. The absence of sweat, on the other hand, can raise the risk of overheating which is dangerous.
Our body has around 3 million sweat glands, either eccrine or apocrine glands.
The first type of sweat glands produces a sweat that’s lightweight and odorless, located all over the body. The latter type releases a heavier sweat high in fat with a distinct odor. In fact, when sweat breaks down and blends with your skin’s bacteria it forms your characteristic body odor. Concentrated amounts of the apocrine sweat glands can be found in the hair follicles of your armpits, scalp, and groin.
Your body’s sweating function is controlled by your autonomic nervous system without your conscious control. You begin sweating when the weather is hot or when the temperature of your body increases due to fever or exercise. Sweat moistens your body’s surface and cools it down as it evaporates, being mostly consisted of water.
Along with water, sweat also contains salt, fat, and certain toxic materials. For example, you can find traces of the endocrine disruptor BPA (bisphenol A), heavy metals, and other toxins.
Many studies suggest that sweat can contain heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic, all of which are suspected or proven carcinogenic. They can harm the brain, heart, kidney, and the immunological system. Researchers also discovered that sweat contains some fat-soluble toxins.
According to one research conducted on twenty people in Canada, sweat contains twice the concentration of the chemicals known as phthalates than the concentration found in urine. Phthalates are used in paints, cosmetics, nail polish, cooking utensils, and plastic toys.
Another research found BPA, a chemical used to make clear plastics, in the sweat of 80% of the participants. The most interesting part was that researchers couldn’t find traces of the chemical in the urine and blood of these people, which indicates that sweating is the best way to get rid of BPA.
How to Sweat Out Toxins
The primary organs for getting rid of toxins are the liver and kidneys. But, when the toxic load becomes too much for them to handle, your pores come to assist. That’s when your body starts to sweat toxins out.
Healthy ways to achieve that is through exercise and saunas. However, there’s one important thing to remember when sweating things out – don’t let sweat stay long on your skin because that can lead to your toxin-laden sweat reabsorbing through your skin. This, in turn, will mean you have done all that work for nothing, at least when it comes to reducing the level of toxicity in your body.
Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins?
Although there are many studies that confirm the presence of toxic materials in sweat, some researchers believe that the purpose of sweating is to cool the body down through evaporation, and not to purge it of toxins.
Being consisted mostly of water, sweat is not considered as one of the best means to remove toxins from the body. However, sweat contains fat besides water, and fats contain traces of fat-soluble toxins, and that’s a fact no one can deny. It turns out, we can really sweat out toxins, even if in small amounts.
So, What is the Best Way to Sweat Out Toxins?
We’re exposed to all sorts of toxins on a daily basis, being found in the food we eat and the air we breathe. That’s why it’s good to support our natural detox pathways through sweating.
Sauna is one of the best ways to sweat out toxins. You can choose both, infrared and traditional saunas for this purpose, but there are a few reasons why the first one might be a slightly better option. Infrared saunas allow infrared light to penetrate and heat the tissue directly, as opposed to traditional ones that only heat the air around you.
Moreover, the temperature of infrared saunas is around 130 to 150 degrees, so you can stay in for longer. On the other hand, traditional saunas have a temperature of around 180 to 200 degrees, so you quickly start to feel like you are about to pass out at any moment.
One should not forget to drink lots of water and take plenty of Himalayan salt when sweating in a sauna as sweating pulls trace minerals and electrolytes from your body.
Exercise helps you get rid of toxins through sweat, but it also improves circulation and provides more oxygen to your kidneys and liver so they can flush toxins better than before.
Choose whatever physical activity you want, as long as it sweats you a lot. And, don’t forget to take off your sweaty clothes right after exercise, and take a shower with water and soap which will help carry away the fat-soluble toxins.
Yes, but not to a degree where it becomes an effective strategy to improve liver health.
It does not work anywhere near effectively to sit in a sauna more than you normally would just to detox.
There is some research that suggests that it is possible, but other research suggests that there is no validity to this theory.