On average we sweat about one litre per day, but most of it evaporates so we don’t notice it. We can sweat up to 10 litres a day if we’re really hot or exercising hard.
Where do we sweat?
Most people are concerned about armpit sweat, but this accounts for only 1% of our body’s perspiration.
We sweat from two types of glands:
Eccrine glands: These appear all over the body and are mainly for cooling. They cause sweat on our face and head, and are responsible for sweaty hands and sweaty feet.
Apocrine glands: These larger glands appear mainly under the armpits and are mostly active when we’re exercising or experiencing strong emotions like stress.
Women have more eccrine sweat glands than men, but men’s eccrine glands are more active, so men actually sweat and have more hot flushes overall.
Sweating can also occur on areas of the body such as the back, groin, chest or even feet. Excessive sweating in these areas can be very uncomfortable.
How much should I sweat?
Really, there are no guidelines that state what a “normal” amount of sweat is. Some people sweat more than others for a wide range of reasons.
Factors like hot flushes, eating spicy food, wearing clothes made out of synthetic materials, and carrying excess body weight can cause us to sweat more. In general, our bodies adapt to produce sweat when we really need it.