Gym Etiquette: Sweating and Hydrating

Sweat happens. An article published in the Huffington Post in August, 2013[1] said that each of us has two to four million sweat glands. That’s a lot of sweat! The article also said that an athlete who exercises intensely in the heat can sweat off 2 – 4% of their bodyweight.

Although we might not sweat that much, we all do sweat. In All about Sweat,[2] Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D., wrote, “When sweat evaporates from the skin, it removes excess heat and cools you…When the water in the sweat evaporates, it leaves the salts (sodium, chloride and potassium) behind on your skin, which is why your skin tastes salty. The loss of excessive amounts of salt and water from your body can quickly dehydrate you.”

So, sweating is important. You can’t stop it, but you must keep it to yourself and under control. It is impolite to sling your sweat on others. It is also disgusting.

  • Long hair should be tied back somehow.
  • Wear a headband, do-rag or ball cap if needed.
  • If you sweat so much while working out that it drips onto others or flies through the air at them, use a towel pppllleeaasse.
  • Light gray clothing shows sweat. It practically frames it.

Of course, your goal is to sweat out the toxins and impurities while cooling off your body from rigorous exercise. Just as sweating is important in the body’s cooling system, properly hydrating is crucial. What goes out must come back in. When you sweat you need to hydrate.

Drink your water before you are thirsty. Your body is made up of 60% water. As you exercise and sweat, you’ll lose some of that and you need it for energy and hydration. Muscles hold water and hopefully you’re building muscle. Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually thirsty. So, take your water bottle and refill as necessary.

Here’s a scenario…your gym friend gives you a nice cold bottle of water or a puddle of their sweat to clean off that piece of equipment you want to use…who stays your gym friend for long??

Gym Etiquette 101Read more at Buy a copy of the book online at Amazon, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble or Park Road Books.


[2] Freudenrich, Ph.D., Craig.  “All About Sweat” 13 September 2010.  01 February 2015.


Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer with more than ten years of personal training experience. Certified through NFPT, she is a Functional Training Specialist and holds a Master Trainer level certificate for resistance, endurance and sports nutrition. Kim has written two books including Gym Etiquette 101. She enjoys writing a variety of lifestyle articles and fitness blogs.
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