Scientific

On Sweat, Ladies, and the Myth of Misting

The Journal of Experimental Physiology publishes a new Japanese study on the pressing physiological question of sweat, which The Times' Gretchen Reynold's notes has received "surprisingly little scientific scrutiny" — all those anti-perspirant ads notwithstanding. Apparently, what's long been known is that fitter people, male and female, sweat more than unfit people; but the new study gets at the specific differences between men and women. Here's the short take:

  • Fit men sweat the most. They start sweating early, and dump buckets. This allows them to maintain high levels of exertion without overheating. 
  • Fit women activate just as many sweat glands as fit men, BUT they generate less sweat from each gland.
  • Unfit men are (seemingly) of no interest. Ha ha ha!
  • Unfit WOMEN, however, "by a wide margin, perspired the least." Thus, they "became physiologically hotter — their core temperatures rising notably — before they began to sweat at full capacity." 

What's it all mean, and why did evolution leave the ladies drier and hotter? “Prehistoric men followed the herds, whatever the temperature, while the women, cleverly, sought out the shade," says one of expert to The Times. “It’s not a bad survival strategy."

Sweaty! (Via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mangpages/4006422995/">mangpages</a>.)

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