Sweat is Sweet

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Yes, you read it right. Sweat is indeed sweet. Not in taste but in sweet results you get for your body after sweating due to hard physical activity.

Recently I came across a very interesting caption. It read: SWEAT IS NOTHING BUT FAT CRYING.  Is not it a beautiful comment? Any fitness freak will vouch for it. Just think about it: Fat crying and running away.  Lovely.

In the initial days of my training for Marathon running, I would be surprised by the quantity of sweat my mentor would shed after his long runs. He would actually squeeze his shorts and the sweat will drip like water from a tap. I used to wonder whether it is advisable to sweat so much. His response would be to keep hydrating sufficiently after each run. I wondered whether I would sweat like this at any time. Later on, I saw a Bollywood biopic on the greatest athlete India has ever produced, Milkha Singh. In the movie, during his practice he would squeeze his tee shirt of his sweat and fill up a full bucket. Amazing.

As I grew as a marathon runner and being in a very humid city like Chennai, I too started sweating a lot during and after long runs. I was very happy when I saw sweat dripping from my tees and shorts. At that moment, I felt as if I have attained a higher level of running. That is when I realized that Sweat was indeed Sweet.

I am the first endurance athlete in my non-athletic, sedentary, business family and one of my cousin calls me ‘Mahajan Milkha’.  (Mahajan is our family name). I am nowhere near the great Milkha’s level or achievements but whenever I sweat like Milkha, I feel my cousin was right at least in one aspect!

Many non-runners ask me whether so much sweating is not harmful. It is not harmful as long as you hydrate properly before, during and after a long run. During very long runs, we take pieces of lemon dipped in salt.  Our hydration drinks other than water are energy drinks, which substitute the lost salts and minerals. It replaces not only Sodium but also Potassium and Magnesium.

However, one thing, which we lose, is not immediately replaced. That is FAT.  Fat, as such, is not bad for your body. Fat is energy and we need fat to sustain certain requirements of our body. What is bad is EXCESS FAT. As we all know, it starts accumulating around our waistline to begin with and then spread all around our body.

The first warning sign of excess fat is around your midriff. The day you start feeling that your waistline is thickening and it is increasing in circumference is the day you should start precautionary measures. Any good physical activity where you should perspire a lot is a good precautionary measure.

And what better physical activity than running. When you do your physical workout in an air-conditioned gym, the amount of perspiration is less. But when you work out in an open environment with cool breeze hitting you in the face either in the company of jovial friends or running solo while hearing early morning bird songs, you will not realize when your fat starts crying and it starts leaving your body. It is a wonderful feeling. Try it once. I am sure you would love it.

As I mentioned before, fat is energy and it is required for normal bodily functions. When we run, the body needs extra energy and where does it look for it? It calls upon excess fat to provide that energy and burns excess fat.  That is how and why you lose fat. It is as simple as that.

Now I am sure you will agree that SWEAT IS SWEET. When you enjoy the benefits of sweating profusely, you feel a sweet sense of healthy and active body. Enjoy the sweetness of a perfectly toned body compared to a rotund body of your friend. Savor the sweetness of an achievement which most can only dream of. Imagine the sweetness a person with a perfect physique, like some celebrity or supermodel, must be feeling when thousands of women of all ages get attracted to him. Moreover, imagine the sweetness of being able to eat sweets of your liking.

In running community, sweat is your ornament. The glitter of sweat in early morning soft sunshine is indeed like a jewel. The sparkle on your face gives your personality a boost. Your body glows as your sweat glands open up.  And the best part is, it does not cost you anything.

So friends, let us begin now. Let us turn our sweat into sweet. Let us build a healthier and sweeter community.  Run, it is fun and at the same time it is good for you.

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Jayendra Soni
Jayendra Soni
A late entrant to long distant running at 56, it has become my biggest passion. I love running and while enjoying the fruits of running, I want my friends to enjoy the benefits of fitness too.