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How to handle the summer sweats

Use these tips to manage excessive sweating on summer runs

Now that summer is in full swing across Canada, temperatures are soaring. Summer running can be fun, but it can be tough to find the right time of day to get out without being drenched in sweat. There’s no need to feel self-conscious about how much you sweat–it’s your body’s way of preventing overheating–but here are some ways to manage your sweat glands for maximum freshness.

Dress for success

Before heading outdoors, check current weather conditions, forecast and humidity If conditions are hot and humid, choose a moisture-wicking fabric like polyester, polypropylene or nylon. The development of technical fabrics has been a boon to runners!

Socks made of merino wool or a polyester blend are more effective at absorbing sweat than other synthetic materials. 

To maximize comfort while running, always dress for 10 degrees warmer than the air temperature. 

Cut back on caffeine

While a majority of Canadians can’t live without their morning Tim Horton’s, caffeine may not be the best thing for your sweat glands. According to the Mayo Clinic Institute, “Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, which activates your sweat glands.” Caffeine elevates your heart rate, and sweating uncontrollably is not an uncommon side effect of overconsumption. If you are trying to sweat less, try cutting back on your daily coffee intake. (The recommended daily maximum for healthy adults is 400 mg per day–about four cups of coffee.) 

Use antiperspirant

If you’re only using deodorant to tame your pits while you work out, it won’t do much. All deodorant does is mask unpleasant smells; antiperspirant helps reduce sweating by plugging your sweat glands with aluminum salts. Some athletes will put on antiperspirant the night before their run to allow it to absorb into their sweat glands and prevent sweat the following day.

Stay cool

Some final tips for staying cool in summer:

  • place a small bag of ice on your head or neck before you run.
  • Stay well hydrated throughout the day.
  • Change up your usual route and head into the trails to find some shade.