If you've ever thought a hot yoga class was the answer to reversing your alcohol-filled weekend, think again. One of the most common misconceptions is that sitting in a sauna or that working up a sweat will rid your body of toxins. And it makes complete sense to believe that claim — your body is expelling fluids, so you'd think that it'd be flushing out all the bad stuff in the process. But the truth is, we already have built-in detoxifying systems — aka our liver and kidneys — and sweating doesn't help in that sense at all.
So, why do we sweat then? Our sweat glands excrete mostly water and minerals as a natural response to heat and stress. Its main function is to regulate our body temperature so that we don't overheat. Our sweat does contain very small traces of toxic materials, including heavy metals and BPA from plastics, but the amounts found are so low that they aren't even enough to raise any health concerns. On top of that, peeing is a far more effective way of removing chemicals like BPA from your body than sweating.
However, sweating does have it benefits. It gives your skin a natural glow from the inside out by promoting healthy skin cell rejuvenation and cleansing the pores. You're also most likely sweating as a result of exercise, and that of course has plenty of health perks. It's important to keep in mind that your body loses fluids as you sweat, so be sure to replenish yourself to prevent dehydration!