The diagram above shows where sweat is produced in glands that lay coiled just beneath the surface. The sweat gland is a coiled, long and hollow tube of cells. The coiled part is where sweat is produced, and the long portion is the duct that connects the gland to the opening on the skin's outer surface. Nerve cells from the nervous system connect to the sweat glands.
When sweat evaporates from the surface of our skin, it removes excess heat and cools us down. In reality, all of the sweat we produce does not evaporate, but rather runs off our skin. In addition, not all heat energy produced by our body is lost through sweat. Some are directly radiated from the skin to the air and some are lost through respiratory surfaces of the lungs.
A major factor that influences the rate of evaporation of sweat is the humidity of the air around you. If the air is humid, then it already has water vapor in it and cannot take any more. Hence, sweat does not evaporate and cool our bodies as efficiently as when the air is dry.
Finally, when the water in the sweat evaporates, it leaves the salts (sodium, chloride, and potassium) behind on our skin, which is why our skin tastes salty. The loss of excessive amounts of salt and water from our body can quickly dehydrate us, which can lead to circulatory problems, kidney failure and at worse it can cause a heat stroke. So, it is important to drink plenty of fluids when we exercise or are outside in high temperatures. Sports drinks containing electrolytes contain salts to replace those lost in the sweat.
So now that you know what is sweat, how it is made and why it is important to hydrate - don't forget to sip your hydration and not gulp it cause you need to continuously need to cool down your body rather than have a lot of liquid at a single go.
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