Sweat: A Natural Force Field?

Not everyone is proud of the fact they sweat during a workout and some people even modify their workout as to not sweat during their workout. How important is it to sweat during a workout? Not only does it show the intensity of your workout, it creates a force field barrier against germs! 

Phys.org wrote,

An international team of scientists has discovered how an important natural antibiotic called dermcidin, produced by our skin when we sweat, is a highly efficient tool to fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous bugs.

For some time, scientists have known about dermcidin and its salty, slightly acidic sweat.

Sweat spreads highly efficient antibiotics on to our skin, which protect us from dangerous bugs. If our skin becomes injured by a small cut, a scratch, or the sting of a mosquito, antibiotic agents secreted in sweat glands, such as dermcidin, rapidly and efficiently kill invaders.

These natural substances, known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), are more effective in the long term than traditional antibiotics, because germs are not capable of quickly developing resistance against them.  

The AMPs can attack the germs cell wall which cannot modify quickly to resist the attack.

The team also discovered that dermcidin can adapt to extremely variable types of membrane. Scientists say this could explain why active dermcidin is such an efficient broad-spectrum antibiotic, able to fend off bacteria and fungi at the same time.

Dr. Ulrich Zachariae of the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics, who took part in the study, said:

Antibiotics are not only available on prescription. Our own bodies produce efficient substances to fend off bacteria, fungi and viruses. Now that we know in detail how these natural antibiotics work, we can use this to help develop infection-fighting drugs that are more effective than conventional antibiotics.

Now that we understand how sweat helps your body fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses, I think I have an answer to my age old question,

“Why do we get sick more often in the winter vs. summer?”

In the winter, it is cold and dry, less than ideal conditions for germs. In the summer, it is warm/hot and humid, creating a Petri dish for growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Foodsafetysite.com writes that most bacteria are capable of growing between 60 and 110 degrees and slows growth below 45 degrees.  In the winter, unless you are working out, it is unlikely you will sweat.  In the summer, you don't even have to move and you are sweating.

Turns out, this sweating is ideal for killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses and creating a force field barrier.

So what are you to do? 

Get moving, get sweating, and push yourself during your workout and be proud of the sweat you’ve generated!  Having a powerful force field is the best defense you can have...especially during the winter months.

Written by Steven Zahn