What are Toxins?
“Sweating out the toxins” is a popular catchphrase. Let’s break this down, shall we, to what toxins really are and how they may, or may not, exit the body.
Our bodies are exposed to all sorts of chemicals each day through environmental pollution, pesticides and preservatives in the food we eat, household cleaners, and those ingredients in cosmetics with too many consonants, to name just a few sources. Are these things bad for your body? Undoubtedly… The best way to detox is to take steps to minimize your regular exposure to all these chemicals by eating organic food and using natural cleaners.
Your body is sophisticated. It has a system to get rid of things it can’t use or doesn’t need. After being broken down by your liver, toxins are excreted as either blood or bile, which are ultimately filtered by your kidneys and intestines, respectively, and leave the body in urine and feces, respectively. Sweat really isn’t part of this equation.
The function of sweat is to cool your body down when it is overheated. This can happen during a vigorous exercise session, such as hot yoga. When it comes to sweating out the toxins in an exercise class, it is possible people are talking about last night’s martinis. Small amounts of alcohol can be eliminated in perspiration, so if it feels good for you to sweat buckets with a hangover, go ahead.
So, toxins issue aside, if you do hot yoga or Bikram, you will sweat. If that makes you feel cleansed, great. After hot yoga, be sure to drink a lot of water, since that will help your body rehydrate and move blood through your organs so they can continue to do one of their most important jobs: detoxification.