Why do we perspire?

: Sweating is a natural phenomenon that occurs so that our body temperature remains constant. When the heat is on and we perspire, we might feel that all that sweat hardly does any good to us. On the contrary, it does help in reducing our body temperature to a great extent.


The hypothalamus (a small cone-shaped structure in the brain) regulates homeostasis, that is, it regulates the areas for thirst, hunger, body temperature, water balance and blood pressure.

Our bodies use approximately 2,500 calories of our daily intake to generate energy through a process called oxidation, commonly termed as burning of food. The process generates a considerable amount of heat, which the body cannot tolerate. The hypothalamus initiates the dilation of the blood vessels (vasodilatation) in the skin to release the excess heat. This prompts the release of sweat from the pores on the skin. There are approximately two million sweat glands in our body. Sweat itself is made up of different elements, the most common of them being water and sodium, otherwise known as salt.

Perspiration emerges on the surface of the skin in the form of tiny, microscopic droplets, which quickly evaporate and cool the body to its normal temperature. Sweat evaporates at a slower rate in humid climate than otherwise. With less sweat evaporating from the body surface, it makes it difficult for us to bear the heat.

Hence, although at times embarrassing, sweating has an important role to play in our survival.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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