Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sweat Is Dirty!

Today I saw my sweat, and it was dirty!

After a day of snowboarding and returning to my Japanese apartment which is probably three times as cold as outside, I decided to take a bath ... a really hot one. After about fifteen minutes of soaking, I had already begun sweating profusely. When I bowed my head a bit and opened my eyes, I watched my sweat drip from my head and into the water. However it was not what I expected. I guess I expected it to dissipate into the water as a clear liquid and I would not be able to see it, but I was very much wrong. What I saw was what looked like a drop of dirt hit the water, and slowly disperse, but keep a thick form; this was certainly different and much less clear than water!

I was truly amazed by this sight and began thinking over the many times I've heard of sweating be a spritual release of sorts. I imagined my impurities leaving my body through this dirty liquid, and perhaps returning to a sort of infancy or purity. I felt a catharsis happening that would make my body and spirit very happy.

Fluffy weird new age feelings babble aside, I investigated and very quickly found out some physical details about the nature of sweat from I have understood for a while that sweating is generally a cooling system for your body, but what I did not know was what is in our sweat exactly. Before this particular question was answered, I first learned that there are two different kinds of sweat produced by different parts of our body. There is eccrine, which are more numerous and all over your body, especially in the hands, feet and face. They are generally the smaller of the two kinds, are active from birth, and do not contain proteins and fatty acids. The other kind is apocrine, which are found in the armpits and pubic area. These are larger, active once puberty hits, and do contain proteins and fatty acids. That is why sweat stains will usually appear only around our armpits and genital areas after a workout. So maybe it was the proteins and fatty acids that came out a dirty looking brown?

However! I was watching the sweat from my face make this color, not my armpits. Mmmmm ...

Very interesting indeed.

It is certain there are physical things leaving your body in your sweat, and for the metaphysical out there, maybe some other stuff. I encourage you to try this experiment and investigate what you see and how you feel, and then WASH YOURSELF AFTER!

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