Let’s get straight to the point – YES! Swimmers do sweat in the pool while swimming. When you’re in the water, you don’t always feel how much you’re sweating. But trust us: You DO sweat when you swim! 

But do you sweat more or less than when you’re working out on land? How does this impact your hydration?

Today we’re breaking down just how much you sweat when you swim, and how to hydrate properly to maintain consistent performance. 

Why Your Body Sweats

According to research, your body has 2 to 5 million sweat glands, which are hard at work regulating your body temperature. But just how much sweat does that produce?

Whether you’re on land or in the water– athletes can sweat off 2% to 6% of their body weight while exercising in the heat. That can look like 100 Kg of sweat!

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There Are Two Types of Sweat:

1. Regular Sweat

  • When the body is hot, sweat is released by the eccrine sweat glands, which open onto the surface of the skin and cover most of the body. 
  • This sweat is made up of water, salt and potassium, and sits on the top of the skin. When this moisture evaporates, the body cools down. 

2. Stress Sweat

  • When the body is reacting to an emotion, like anxiety, stress or excitement, sweat is released from the apocrine glands. 
  • These glands produce a milkier sweat comprised of fatty acids and proteins. The apocrine glands are found near dense pockets of hair follicles under the arms, around the groin and on the scalp. 
  • While this type of sweat is initially odorless, it doesn’t evaporate as quickly and can develop an odor when it combines with bacteria on the skin.

Related: How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?

How To Calculate How Much You Sweat

  1. Weigh yourself in the nude just before swimming – don’t forget to use the bathroom first!
  2. Swim for exactly one hour without eating or drinking anything. The point is for the strain and intensity of the exercise to mimic a typical workout or activity you’re trying to do.
  3. Weigh yourself in the nude again – make sure you’re completely dried off!
  4. Calculate your weight difference and convert it to kilograms. Subtract your weight after the workout from your weight before. 
  5. Multiply that number by 1,000 to find your sweat rate in milliliters per hour.
    1. Example: If your weight loss was 0.5 kg, multiplying that by 1,000 makes your sweat rate 500 mL per hour.

How Much Do You Sweat While Swimming?

According to research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the average sweat recorded in a 33C (91.4 F) pool was 1.07 L/h and 0.445 L/h in a cooler 29C (84.2F) pool.

Another study found that swimmer’s sweat rates were even lower in a traditional pool temperature with averages between .315-.365L/h.

Another study saw a range from .5-2.5L/h.

There are definitely variables to consider which make it different for each swimmer, such as your body size, fitness level, stress level, and water temperature.

Related: 30-Minute Swim Workout to Burn Max Calories

How Does Sweat Affect Hydration?

A typical sweat rate for a healthy, average-sized person hovers around the 500 mL per hour range. That number tells you what rate you should be hydrating at.

So if your sweat rate is 500 mL per hour, you should ideally be drinking that much water per hour; not much more, not much less.

With all this talk of hydration, check out our other video where we talk about how much pee is in a typical swimming pool!

Related: How Much Pee Is In Your Swimming Pool?

How Does This Impact Swim Training?

According to a research study, if you sweat more than 2% of your body weight, it is proven that it will decrease your performance.

That makes it even more important to hydrate every 15 minutes at every level that you’re sweating!

You’re also not a camel, where drinking just water is not enough. So be sure to replenish with electrolytes.

Looking For Swim Workouts?

If you’re ready to commit to swimming faster, download the MySwimPro app. Start a personalized Training Plan and we’ll have you swimming faster in just four weeks!

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