Saturday, May 08, 2010

Does running make you sweat more easily especially when you eat spicy foods?

These days, if I eat spicy food, my body breaks into a sweat in less time than it takes Usain Bolt to run a 400m lap. No kidding. It's really strange but I think I know why, after all these years of trying to find the truth. Over the past decade since I started running I've noticed this change happen slowly but surely. Back then I could eat any spicy food, even raw green chillies, without breaking into a sweat. I still can, in the sense that I don't feel the need to reach for the nearest glass of water when eating anything spicy. My tongue doesn't feel as if it's on fire, my eyes do not turn red and watery, and there's no steam coming out of my ears like in the cartoons. However, my face becomes covered with sweat - almost instantaneously. It's bizarre and embarrassing especially when you have to explain it to your buddy or whoever is sitting across you at the table. So why does this happen?

Over the years, I've tried researching but haven't run into anything specific. Maybe there are studies but I just haven't seen them. What I've gathered from tidbits and anecdotes here and there and also from talking to a friend who happens to be a doctor is this: my running has resulted in a more efficient cooling system. The body sweats in response to a rise in the core temperature of the body. The more efficient this temperature sensing and subsequent cooling mechanism is, the earlier you sweat. For instance, if you watch the NBA basketball players on TV, they are covered in sweat after about a minute or two into the game. Same logic. Also, the sweat glands are probably more enlarged and possibly more in number as compared to a sedentary person.

The next time this happens to you, think of yourself as a lean, mean, sweating machine. :)

Have to go now, it's time for my afternoon snack - jalapeno Bhoot Jolokia poppers. But, if you have a similar experience to share, send me a few bytes.

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