My client asked me the other day:
"I am running on the treadmill and I am sweating a little. You know that I am not a runner, but I am pushing pretty hard for my fitness level. I don't drink much water because I don't feel thirsty. But then about 20 minutes after my workout I start sweating like crazy! This can't be a hot flash right? What’s going on?"
As we go through Menopause our hormone levels fluctuate. The body stops producing as much estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone; all of which can trigger night sweats. Without estrogen the autonomic nervous system (ANS) - which is responsible for pumping out hormones - is going haywire. This increases blood pressure, heart rate, sweat production, and body temperature. As a result, menopausal women experience hot flashes and night sweats.
But why do I sweat 20 minutes after my workout?
Here is the Science behind sweating AFTER exercise in Menopause.
This hormonal roller coaster makes it hard for active women to exercise in the heat. We are quicker to heat up due to the hormone changes and less able to cool down.
The biological safeguards that protect us from overheating are slow to kick in, and our core temperature is not as regulated like when we were younger.
A recent study compared sweat rate, sweat volume, sodium content, and thirst level among three groups of women. Their subjects ranged from premenopausal to postmenopausal women. What they found was that the core temperature of the postmenopausal women was higher. This resulted in less sweat production and a lack of thirst.
As for my client, she retains body heat and does not hydrate enough. Her body overheated and had no way of cooling down until her heart rate dropped.
How can you prepare yourself for your next workout?
- Precool before your workout: drink cold, low-sugar electrolyte drinks
- Add a pinch of salt to your water (water alone does not hydrate)
- Hydrate all day and always have your water bottle with you
- Eat watery fruits and vegetables (watermelon, peaches, strawberries, cauliflowers, peppers, spinach)
- Exercise outside: layer your clothing and stay in the shade