Sweat it out

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer

John 4: 6, NIV, shares,  “Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.” High noon on a hot summer day can be almost unbearable, from the elevated temperature to the beating rays of the sun. Many people avoid going outside at all during the summer, because they don’t want to sweat. However, did you know that sweat saves lives?

Without sweat, we would be susceptible to heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heatstroke, and even death. Sweat is God’s way of helping the body cool itself and stay alive. However, if we’re not taking in enough fluids, then sweating is ineffective, and so is the protection it provides.  

You may recall from the “Thirst Trap” article that when you lose 1-2 percent of your body weight in fluid, you begin to thirst. Even further, when you lose 3 percent or more of your body weight in fluid, you enter dangerous stages of dehydration, which can severely impact how your body functions. Every cell is at risk. 

To put this into perspective, football players in full equipment can lose 2 percent of their body weight in fluid in just 30 minutes, according to Wardlaw’s sixth edition of Perspectives in Nutrition. Now consider the 30-minute walk at the park, the 20-minute drive home, the hour-long wait during your child’s cheerleading practice, and even times when you’re inside, but your body temperature is still elevated. Just because you don’t see the sun, doesn’t mean it’s not affecting you. All of these situations and more can put your body at risk of heat-related diseases if you’re not supplying your body with the fluid to sweat. 

To best support healthy and hydrated cells, you’ll want to be intentional about the following:

Drink fluids 24 hours before any demanding activity, especially if the activity involves being exposed to high temperatures. 

If you’re planning to exercise, you should drink 1-½ to 2-½ cups of fluid two to three hours beforehand.

During exercise, drink half a cup to 1-½ cups of water every 20 minutes to help sustain fluids. 

After exercise, make sure to replenish yourself with at least three cups of fluid for every pound of bodyweight that you lost. 

Remember, just because you don’t “feel” thirsty, doesn’t mean your body isn’t in need of “living water.” And just because you don’t “feel” the sun, doesn’t mean you’re not being impacted. Sweating truly is designed to keep us safe. As good stewards of these physical temples, we must intentionally invest in this protection.  

Dr. Asha Fields Brewer is a creator of healthy conversations. As a national speaker and published author, she teaches the busy and overwhelmed how to live life abundantly. She is the owner of Temple Fit Co. wellness agency, which is home to 25-plus wellness speakers and fitness instructors. Tune in to “Temple Fit Devotions with Dr. Asha” on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. on Hallelujah 95.3 FM.