Did you know your body has its own air conditioning system when it becomes too hot? It’s called sweating. Your body releases water on your skin, which then evaporates in order to cool down to the normal temperature of 98.6 degrees.
Sweat is 99% water combined with a small amount of salt, proteins, carbohydrates and urea, says UAMS family medicine physician Dr. Charles Smith. Therefore, sweat is not made up of toxins from your body, and the belief that sweat can cleanse the body is a myth.
“You cannot sweat toxins out of the body,” Dr. Smith says. “Toxins such as mercury, alcohol and most drugs are eliminated by your liver, intestines or kidneys.”
Some people have even participated in something called a “sweat lodge.” Some Native American cultures still use the lodge as a very important purification ceremony. However, Dr. Smith warns that these can become dangerous and sometimes result in injury or, in severe cases, death.
“By forcing your body to perspire through heat exposure or heavy exercise, you can cause your kidneys to save water and actually hang on to any toxins that may be circulating in your system,” he says.