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Ann Pizer

Sweating Out the Toxins: Myth or Reality?

By May 4, 2010

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Have your ever heard a friend say that they are going to a hot yoga class to "sweat out the toxins"? What does that even mean and is it even physiologically possible? Read on to find out if sweating out the toxins is a myth or a reality.

May 5, 2010 at 7:27 am
(1) elaine says:

Thank you! I love to practice various forms of yoga, but the pseudoscientific nonsense out there makes my head spin.

May 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm
(2) pati says:

Any time I hear people start talking about “toxins” in their body, I immediately tune out the rest of what they have to say. If they were as “toxic” as they think they are, they’d be dead.

May 10, 2010 at 10:41 am
(3) TJ says:

Excellent comment Pati… I agree… We would be walking corpses…

October 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm
(4) Toxinscauseaging says:

You are VERY toxic. Look at a meth addict. By the time they’re 40 years old, they appear to be in there mid 70′s. Why? Because of all the toxic substances they put in their body. Every time we get new cells, they are inferior to the cells that they are replacing. That leads to old age. Meth addicts age at a rate 2x that of other humans. Do you think that you don’t age based on how toxic YOUR body is? Well, you do! Toxins in the form of synthetic chemicals in meat and prepackaged foods cause toxin buildup and so does smoking, stress, and drinking “treated” (with fluoride and chlorine) municipal water. You had better sweat if you want to look and feel better. On top of sweating, you also must take care to not put junk in your body. You can be the 30 year old that looks 20 or the 30 year old that looks 50 and obese. It’s ALL about how many toxins you allow into your body. Clean people age very beautifully!

October 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm
(5) ToxicCrusaders says:

You are walking corpses and soon you’ll be corpses on canes and wheelchairs. Clean people don’t need ambulatory devices when they become senior citizens. That kind of stuff is for toxic people! Toxic people wrinkle faster, break more bones, get more diseases, become senile, violent and obese. Look at teenagers. Take 3 sixteen year olds and you’ll have 3 completely different body types. 1. Will be fat and probably have asthma and flatulence issues. Food addict. This is the one that takes most toxins in by eating synthetic vitamins and preservatives found in meat and junk food. They’re body odor is disgusting 2. The next one will be extremely skinny with some ADHD and OCD issues. They will soon be drug addicts because their ADHD “treatments” are just gateway drugs to alcohol, cocaine, meth, and marijuana. They will be dead very soon. 3. This one will have a firm and healthy body with no acne. They are smart and patient and can easily achieve higher test scores than their fat and agitated classmates. This student is likely to eat more raw fruits and vegetables. They get excercise and probably participate in sports. They avoid caffeine, meats, and all processed foods. Avoiding those things means they never know what it’s like to be addicted! This teenager has very little toxins in their body because they eat healthily and sweat often.

November 5, 2010 at 8:07 am
(6) bouche says:

I’m really glad you took the time to allay this myth :) . But I am a little disappointed you supported another myth, that the toxicity of cosmetic ingredient is related to the number of letters in that ingredient! That is simply superstition.

February 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm
(7) lovebikram says:

Yep I was also very skeptical about the ‘sweating of toxins’, since the whole point of kidneys and urine is for toxins. Also, the only part of sweat that evaporates is water, so you’d have be wiping it constantly if you didnt want the toxins to be absorbed back through your skin.

However, I really do feel that Bikram does help get rid of bad stuff in your body, since it makes your blood pump like crazy! Pushing more blood through your kidneys will definitely help get rid of more toxins.

Maybe when they say “sweat out your toxins”, they are just referring to the fact that the harder you work, the better your internal systems (immune, circulatory, etc.) will be benefited.

October 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm
(8) jim says:

This doesn’t supply any data to support its claims.

November 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm
(9) ej says:

Some of you are idiots. I go to hot yoga 5 times a week for 1.5 hours. I heard about the toxins also being sweated out. I am a chemist and operate a testing laboratory with GC, GCMS, LCMS, and ICPMS instrumentation. I too was very hesitant to believe this so I took it upon myself to take specimens of my sweat and some other people to test it; since we sweat out close a gallon every 1.5 hour session. Believe it or not, there is a very significant amount of Ketones, and Metals that pour out of us during Hot Yoga. I then took more samples of people sweating in a normal environment such as a hot office, or outside in the heat and also in a hot vehicle. The levels on the same people were 2 orders of magnitude lower than the original ones taken at hot yoga. This supports the claim of the toxins that come out during hot yoga.

December 16, 2012 at 2:03 am
(10) Nathan says:

I work in a very toxic environment. I have been forward deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan for the better part of 5 years. Sweat out toxins keeps me alive. After a 6 months stretch I get leave and book a sauna session everyday for all 2 weeks. Before leave I’m shaky, short tempered, and physically ill. After leave I’m back to me patient, steady, and healthy as a horse. I can think clearly again. I took leave once and skipped on the sauna treatments. BIG MISTAKE my symptoms got worse including high blood pressure and grinding my teeth at night. I don’t know the science but it is the BEST thing for my health I have discovered. During my sessions I drink tons of lightly salted water and take a few multi-vitmans. I use a sauna\shower facility so I can cool off and go right back in for another round. About 45 minutes total

January 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm
(11) Andrea says:

I found this interesting article that contradicts your claim. No matter how little you think that sweating does in detoxifying the body, when you re very stressed out and your body sweat starts to smell badly, a day at the spa with 3 heavy sweating sessions at 85-95 degrees celsius make my sweat again clean and totally odorless for days, next to the obvious things I believe, and feel. I think we never stop learning, do we? And It ‘s nice to know that maybe sweating does more than cooling off your body after all.

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