How to manage sweat while running

Let's be honest: sweating during running can be embarrassing. If you are on a treadmill and drenched in sweat or jogging into work and arrive at the office soaked, you might feel a little self-conscious. Sweat is of course normal, natural and, most importantly, stops you from overheating, so you don't want to stop it entirely. All the same, there are some things that you can do to manage it.

Let's look at how to manage sweat while running so you can finish your next workout feeling fresh and dry (or at least a little bit drier!).

Why do some people sweat more than others while running?

If you want to know how to not sweat when running it is important to understand what factors make some people more prone to perspiring. These factors include:

  • Genetics

Some people are naturally more prone to sweating than others. Unfortunately, there's very little you can do about this!

  • Gender and body type

Generally speaking men sweat more than women while overweight people perspire more than others too.

  • Caffeine and alcohol intake

Drugs like caffeine and alcohol will increase your heart rate and body temperature and can therefore make you sweat more.

  • Being fit

People who are physically fit are also likelier to sweat earlier in a workout than people who are less fit. This is because fit people’s bodies have become much more efficient at cooling down so they will start sweating right at the beginning of a training session.

  • Your environment

It will come as no surprise that you are going to sweat more if you are running on a hot day or in humid weather. Similarly, training in a poorly ventilated gym will mean your body is warmer and therefore more likely to sweat

If you are looking at how to sweat less when running you will want to counter some of these factors. For instance, if you are overweight, try to shed a few pounds. If you drink several coffees each day, try and cut down to just one or two.

How to sweat less while running

If you find sweat unsightly, the good news is that there are several things that you can do to reduce sweating during running. These include:

  • Using an antiperspirant

Antiperspirant is an effective way of managing sweat. They come in roll-ons, sprays or sticks and there are plenty of brands which are designed specifically for sport. Antiperspirants contain aluminium salts which block up some of your sweat pores, meaning that less water comes out. Many runners use antiperspirants on their bodies as well as on their feet to keep them dry.

  • Use talcum powder

Talcum powder is another good option for keeping you dry when running. You can apply talcum powder in some of the more private areas of your body to keep visible moisture under control.

  • Choose clothes that help control sweat
  • Your running clothes play a very important role in managing sweating during running. Avoid wearing cotton clothes which absorb and retain liquid. Instead opt for specialist running gear which wicks (draws away) moisture from your skin. These kinds of clothes allow moisture to evaporate more easily and will keep you feeling cooler too.  

  •  Try going sleeveless

If you notice a lot of sweat in your underarm area it might be worth trying sleeveless tops which allow your skin to breathe more easily and lets the moisture evaporate without any unsightly patches appearing.

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking

As noted above, drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and tobacco all make you more likely to sweat - so it's best just to cut them out, especially before running.

  • Use equipment that absorbs sweat

If you are looking at how to keep sweat out of your eyes when running, consider a running hat or headband which can absorb moisture and direct it away from your eyes. It may also be worth wearing sweat bands on your wrist - you can use these to wipe sweat from your forehead or neck while you are exercising

Things that you shouldn't do to control sweating during running

While it is common to feel a little self-conscious about sweating during running, do remember that everybody sweats and it's nothing to be ashamed of. As noted above, it is often a sign that you are getting fitter if you start to sweat sooner.

Since sweat is mainly made of water and salts, some people might think that drinking less water could reduce the amount they perspire. However, this could be really dangerous - you need to stay hydrated when running and sweating is crucial for keeping your body cool. Overheating can be really dangerous.

Staying on top of perspiration

Sweat is really useful for keeping your body cool and avoiding overheating while you work out. And while it can be a little embarrassing, knowing how to manage sweat while running means that you can make it less visible and uncomfortable. But, sometimes, it is just best to embrace it!