Q:

What is sweat made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Sweat, also called perspiration, is a fluid produced by the sweat glands made up of water, minerals, lactate and urea. The minerals that make up sweat can vary from person to person depending on a number of factors. This fluid is used by the body to help cool it when heat builds up inside.

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What is sweat made of?
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Full Answer

A number of factors influence the types of minerals that are produced in sweat such as a person's acclimation to heat. The more a person is exposed to heat, the more their body adjusts to keep the minerals it needs and remove what it does not. Similarly, the amount of time needed to cool a person's body off can also affect what minerals are released. Minerals found in sweat include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium as well as a number of other trace elements such as zinc, copper and chromium.

In addition to humans, all other mammals sweat. However, unlike some species, human sweat is hypoosmatic, meaning it is less salty than plasma. Like horses, humans also produce more sweat than most species of mammals to regulate body temperature. Other species, such as dogs, reduce their body heat by panting and other means.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does sweat cool you down?

    A:

    Sweat uses evaporative cooling to maintain body temperature. As liquids evaporate, they shed molecules into the air. The liquid changes into a gas, drawing heat from the liquid. The process draws heat from the body. Evaporation also cools the remaining liquid because faster-moving hot molecules are more likely to escape into the air, according to HowStuffworks.

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  • Q:

    Why do people sweat?

    A:

    Humans have a fairly rare ability to sweat, which allows them to excrete a salty liquid in order to cool the skin. This is essential to sustain endurance activities without overheating.

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  • Q:

    How much does the average person sweat per day?

    A:

    MedlinePlus states that the average person produces approximately 1 quart of sweat per day. There is an immense number of eccrine sweat glands in the body; according to MedlinePlus, the number of eccrine sweat glands number is in excess of 2.5 million.

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  • Q:

    What are the two types of sweat glands?

    A:

    The two types of sweat glands are eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands are located all over the human body, and apocrine glands are mostly limited to the armpit area.

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