Why do some people sweat more than others? Why is some sweat saltier? Is it even good to sweat? We accept as a fact of life that this secretion will come out of our bodies when we need to cool down, but what do we really know about it?
Journalism professor Sarah Everts answers these burning questions and many others in her debut book, The Joy of Sweat: The Strange Science of Perspiration. Sweat is actually an important bodily function that factors into a number of industries and is closely studied by scientists. Speaking with experts from disciplines such as forensics, chemistry, genetics and even fragrances, Everts takes readers on an entertaining journey into the world of perspiration, including the science behind it and the benefits of a good sweat.
Everts’ background in journalism comes in handy as she interviews scientists to find out the role of sweat gland density and the influence of environment on the amount of sweat a person produces. She also investigates sweat in relation to a wide range of occupations and interests, including miners who’ve experienced heatstroke, sensory analysts trained to sniff armpits and poopy diapers, the lucrative sauna and sports drink industries and even sweat dating. (Yes, that’s a thing. Find a partner through their sweat scent!)
As she tackles a subject that some people deem taboo or even gross, Everts incorporates interesting historical facts, market research and scientific discoveries, skillfully turning science into poetry. And her examples from real-life situations, including her own personal experiences, make The Joy of Sweat even more relatable. As she enthuses, “Let’s all just live and let sweat.”