The Chemistry of Sweat

Introduction

YouTube Video


Sweat is perspiration; your body’s natural cooling system. Everybody sweats. It is nothing to get grossed out about. They should make a “Everybody Sweats” children’s book. Sweating commonly occurs when your body is overheated, you are nervous or stressed, and many other factors. I chose research the chemistry of sweat, so I know what this water dripping from my face during soccer games is exactly.

Composition of ...

Components:

  • Water

  • Sodium

  • Chlorine

  • Potassium

Chemical Composition:

Sweat is 99% H2O, but it also has a high concentration of NaCl and a low concentration of Potassium.


Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

H2O:

How: Water releases from our pores.

What: The average rate of sweating is 1 liter/ hour.

When: We often sweat when we are overheated, exercising, nervous, and or scared.

Why: We sweat to release heat energy, and cool off the body.

Where: We sweat from our apocrine or eccrine sweat glands.


NaCl:

How: We sweat salt when the body is dehydrated and reabsorbs the water, causing us to sweat salt through the sweat glands just like the water.

What: The average rate while sweating is 500 mg/ lb.

When: We often sweat when we are overheated, exercising, nervous, and or scared.

Why: The salt in the water inside your body would spike up, and the amount of salt in the blood would rise to toxic levels, sodium helps keep the right amount of water inside and outside of the body.

Where: We sweat from our apocrine or eccrine sweat glands.


Chemistry's Role

Sweat is natural occurring through mammals’ body systems. As for humans, the water and sodium chloride dripping from our sweat glands are from inside of us and are therefore naturally occurring and present. Of course, you could mix up some H2O and NaCl and call it sweat.  But there is no magic number of how much of each component you need, or what other components could also be included.  Everyone sweats differently; even your own sweat differs from time to time.

Background Research

Sweat is your body’s cooling system, when your body gets hotter than about the average temperature of about 98.6 Degrees your brain gets uncomfortable and tells your sweat glands to produce sweat.  Sweat itself, is perspiration. Perspiration is the production of fluids secreted by sweat glands in the skin of mammals. There is no chemical formula of sweat.  Sweat is a mixture of mostly water, salt ions, and many other biological elements in small amounts.


Resources

http://kidshealth.org/kid/talk/yucky/sweat.html -- what it is, what it is made of, when it occurs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspiration -- what is is, comporsition, causes, mechanism

http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/LilburnES/PromoteGA/biochemistry/sweat_intro.html -- what is it, what it consists of

http://physrev.physiology.org/content/34/2/202 -- what its purpose is, composition, rate of sweating, chemical formoula information

http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemicalcomposition/f/What-Is-The-Chemical-Composition-Of-Human-Sweat-Or-Perspiration.htm -- general composition/mineral compostion, variations

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-chemical-formula-of-sweat -- chemical formula

http://classroom.synonym.com/sweating-endothermic-exothermic-8716.html  -- endothermic vs. exothermic, what it is, what its made of

https://www.quora.com/Why-does-the-human-body-sweat-salt -- why we sweat salt

http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/salt-and-athletes-shake-it-or-leave-it -- salt in sweat


About the Author
Paige Hatzenbihler is a junior at Billings Senior High School.  She is a part of the Varsity Girls Soccer team, Edge Soccer Academy, Senior High Girls Tennis, Senior Advocates, and Bronc Buddies.  She also enjoys working with kids at her job at the local Boys and Girls Club, and traveling (Especially to Maui).  She hopes to find herself going to school and pursuing a Radiology Technician degree while exploring some place new.
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