Tattoos have become so popular among men and women of all walks of life, that hardly anyone ever bats an eyelid when someone is covered from head to toe in them.
With current technology and proper precautionary measures that professional tattoo artists follow, there are hardly any risks involved. However, if you’re thinking of getting a new one soon and you’re a bit of a fitness freak, you should at least read what a recent study has shown.
According to an extract from the Medicine And Science in Sports and Exercise Journal, 10 healthy young men with tattoos on one side of their body (with the direct opposite sides of their bodies bare) were studies. The researchers discovered that parts that were tattooed produced less sweat overall, and the sweat produced had a higher concentration of sodium than bare skin—about 1.73 times higher.
The results suggested that tattooed individuals have a higher risk of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion and cramps. Our body produces sweat as a mechanism to cool off and electrolytes such as sodium in our sweat is reabsorbed back into the skin. The findings indicated that tattoos messes with this process, thus making it harder for your body to cool down. This finding could be important for who are heavily tattooed and are into high intensity workouts.
According to the study’s co-author Marie Leutkemeier “the risk isn’t substantial if you have a small tattoo or two. But if your tattoos cover a large part of your body, especially a part that sweats a lot, it could be problematic."
While we are not trying to discourage you from getting tattoos or working out—we are lovers of body art and a good sweat sesh—do remember to drink plenty of fluids (avoid caffeine, alcohol or sugary beverages) during and after working out. Opt to work out early in the morning or indoors if it’s a hot day, and most importantly, listen to your body. You should rest if you are experiencing muscle cramps, heavy sweating, tiredness, dizziness and nausea.