Whenever someone hears this word they usually immediately start thinking of green tea, or some kind of potion they can drink to flush out their system and make them run to the ‘oval office’ about five to ten times a day.
Well, detoxing the body is really not just about cleaning your inside every now and then. It’s really a natural process that takes place in the body if you eat correctly and stay active.
Sweating is a great detoxing tool
Whether it be induced by exercise, sport, just by being active or even sauna, sweat is one of the best detoxers there is.
Just about everyone on this planet is constantly being bombarded with chemicals which have endocrine disruptive properties, as well as negative neurological and reproductive effects… which in some cases can even lead to cancers and cardiovascular diseases. (1)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry defines detoxification as “the process of removing a poison or toxin or the effect of either from an area or individual.” (2)
There are quite a few ways to detox the body… however, for this article we’ll be looking at sweating, via exercise or sauna.
Why is sweating important?
- Sweating increases arsenic elimination up to seven fold. (Vitamin E, zinc, and other nutrients are required for methylation and detoxification of arsenic within the body)
- Lead excretion is not through the urine, but through sweating and bile.
- The excretion of cadmium is far greater through sweat than through the urine.
- Mercury elimination is primarily through sweat.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) is also eliminated through sweat and not through urine.
- Phthalates (chemical compounds that have an estrogenic effect) is found to be more than twice the amount in sweat than in urine.
It is shown that by increasing thermal load (increased environmental heat or exercise), it activates heat loss mechanisms such as increased circulation throughout the skin and by sweat (3).
And as there is a plus side to sweating, some will always just take it too far.
When sweating an immense amount for an extended period of time, it can become dangerous, as sweating also causes a loss of minerals and electrolytes (calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, sodium and magnesium).
For some it’s very easy to break out in a wet sweat… others have a bit more of a struggle trying to sweat, or even can’t sweat at all. If you’re one of those people who have a hard time getting a good sweat, here are a few steps you can take to help initiate a healthy sweat.
- brush the skin when taking a shower (to remove the dead skin and to unplug closed pores)
- supplement with vitamin B3 (niacin) to induce vasodilation
- exercise to get the blood flowing fast or go for a sauna to induce sweat and detoxification
- drink lots of water
Just by being persistent and being adequately hydrated will eventually lead to a wet sweat. Just make sure to replenish all the minerals and electrolytes you might have lost through sweat.
Being active is very important for one’s health, not only for detoxification, but for many other health promoting benefits as well.