Picture this: It’s a hot, sunny summer day, and I just finished an outdoor workout on top of a three-mile run. And I’m not sweating—at all. OK—now picture this: I’m at a hot yoga class filled with people literally dripping sweat everywhere, and I’m still not really sweating.
Even though I go as hard as the next gal (or at least I think I do), I just don’t sweat that much. On a sweat scale of one to 10, I’d say I’m about a three. I’m not that happy about it, either. I’ve always thought that if you sweat a lot during a workout it means you’re really torching those calories and flushing out those toxins—and I want that sign of a workout well-done. Hey, I’m working my butt off over here!
(I have to admit, there is one positive thing about never sweating that much: I can totally skip the shower after my lunch-break workout and jet back to my desk when I’m short on time. Don’t judge—you normal sweaters have probably done it yourself!)
Given my inability to perspire, a few of my co-workers recently approached me about a doing a sweat challenge (full disclosure: I work at The Vitamin Shoppe, which sells the product). They were buzzing about this stuff called Sweet Sweat, which apparently makes you sweat like crazy when you work out, and they wanted me to be the true test of its powers. I was intrigued, so I volunteered myself as tribute.
Sweet Sweat is a system of products (including a topical gel you can apply all over, a waistband, and arm bands) designed to help boost circulation to your working muscles, turn up your body’s production of heat, and make you sweat like you’ve never sweat before. But could Sweet Sweat actually make me sweat buckets? I was skeptical.
To make sure my experiment was scientifically sound, I needed a control to test the Sweet Sweat against. So I decided to repeat the same workout two days in a row—one day as normal and the other with the Sweet Sweat gel and waistband.
Fat-Burning HIIT Cardio Workout
What you do: Start with Circuit 1 and perform the first move for 20 seconds (as hard as possible.) Then rest for 10 seconds. Follow that pattern for each exercise and repeat the circuit three times total. Then do the same for Circuit 2.
Skater Jump Burst
Twist Jump Drops
Jumping Lunge + 2 Lifts
Plank Jack Spider Hops
2 Hooks + 2 Upper Cuts + 2 Jumping Jacks
Plank Taps + Lifts
Squat Jack + Kicks
3 Ducks + Side Kick
Up and Out Jacks
3 Squat Hops + Jump
Related: Should You Be Doing A HIIT Workout?
Workout #1: Without Sweet Sweat
I wanted my body to have all the fluids it needed to work up as much of a sweat as possible, so I drank tons of water in the morning before my first workout—and another glassful right before. I felt pretty exhausted throughout that HIIT session. My muscles were really feeling the burn! I know I worked really hard, but if we judged my workout based on sweatiness, it looked like I didn’t do too much. Sweat level: 3.
Workout #2: Bring On The Sweet Sweat
I made sure I drank just as much water before my Sweet Sweat workout as I’d guzzled before the workout without the stuff. (Gotta keep those results as accurate as possible!) Before I got to it, I applied the Sweet Sweat gel up and down my arms, on my calves, around my neck, and all over my stomach and lower back. (I was wearing a sleeveless, loose-fitting cotton top, sports bra, and high-waisted cropped leggings.)
My first thought was that the gel was a little greasy—but it smelled great (like fresh-outta-the-shower scent) and went on easily. It had a petroleum jelly-like consistency, and any initial glops melted into my skin. I immediately felt a warming sensation all over the parts of my body where I’d applied the gel.
I really wanted to sweat, so I also put on the waistband under my shirt, too. It fit well and was surprisingly comfortable—you couldn’t even tell I had it on!
As soon as I started the workout, I felt the sweat building up beneath the waistband. Everywhere else still felt warm, but I wasn’t quite dripping yet. (Honestly, I was a little distracted at first because I kept checking my arms for sweat.) I had some pretty noticeable sweat in my elbow creases, but that was it.
Something I really liked about wearing the product was the psychological element: I actually think I worked a bit harder knowing I had this sweat-enhancing product on my skin (win!).
When I finished the workout, I couldn’t wait to take off the waistband—I could feel the sweat building up in there. My arms and legs still weren’t too sweaty, except for in and around the creases around my joints. But beneath that waistband…Waterworks! Sweatfest! Glorious evidence of my hard work! Sweet, sweet SWEAT. Sweat level: 8.
Beads of sweat covered my stomach and lower back, and they were literally dripping onto the floor. I was feeling pretty satisfied with myself. Seeing my sweat all over the place was hugely motivating—I wanted to work out again with this stuff now!
The Final Verdict
After hearing so much hype about Sweet Sweat—and knowing a couple of people who love it—I came in with pretty high expectations. For me, it was the waistband that really made the sweat pour—but I imagine someone sweatier than myself would be waterfall-status with just the gel.
I know there are plenty of Instagrammers who consider their Sweet Sweat a vital part of their gym routine. Just search #sweetsweat and check out the sweat party for yourself.
Since my experiment was short, I can’t attest to whether it helped me sweat away any softness in my midsection, but I am definitely a fan and will continue to use it.
If you’re cool with being a bit of a shiny greaseball at the gym (hey, why not?)—and leaving major puddles behind—then you’ll probably love this product. Just make sure you’ve got a shower waiting for you afterward.