Here at RnR Hot Tubs and Spas, we love a good soak in the hot water. As we sweat, we start to feel really good, like our body has been cleansed. This is probably what led many people over hundreds of years to think that sweating had to be good for the body. Today, we usually hear this referred to as sweat detoxing. The idea is that when you sweat, your pores open up and your body can drive the toxins out through your sweat. But how much of this is just the really good feeling you get from a good sweat, and how much is actually true?
Liver & Kidneys are the main organs in your body responsible for what many would call detoxing. The liver is the heaviest organ, and plays an important role in your body. Blood coming directly both from the heart and from the gut moves through the liver to get filtered. The liver removes nutrients from the blood coming from our guts, and turns some of it into energy for immediate use and stores the excess for later. The other vital job of the liver is to filter out all of the yucky toxins or by-products the body can’t use. These are altered into a safe form or removed from the body via the kidneys and colon.
The kidneys are responsible for urine production. Basically, they filter out everything in the blood and decide what should be kept and what needs to be removed. What’s kept is sent back to the bloodstream, and what’s trash is turned into urine. And just like that, the liver and kidneys have successfully cleansed your body of toxins!
But what if there are too many toxins for the liver and kidneys to handle? Can these wonderful organs help remove toxins that shouldn’t be in our bodies in the first place, like heavy metals? And if it’s all about the liver and kidneys, why do people feel so refreshed after a good sweat? Three researchers from Ontario, Margaret E. Sears, Kathleen J. Kerr, and Riina I. Bray, wondered about these things too, so they did a systematic review of all of the studies that had ever been done on detoxing through sweat. Here’s what they found:
Sweating is actually a useful assistant to our liver and kidneys. The researchers found that, along with essential minerals and salts, sweat removes toxic metals from the body. Specifically, they found that sweat is a useful route for removing excess cadmium, lead, and mercury. As is the way with science, the researchers recommended that further study take place with robust trials to see how sweating compared to other interventions like dietary choices and drug treatment. But the results are promising, and more importantly, there’s little to no risk in sweating.
The researchers looked at sweating due to exercise and heat, and they found no significant differences between the two sweating methods. So whether you love just soaking in your hot tub until you feel the toxins sweat out of you, or exercising in the tub — we recommend trying yoga in your spa! — you may be making yourself a little healthier with every dip!