July 2, 2020
We all know that when we get hot we sweat. This is how our bodies cool themselves down. But what does that really mean and how does it work?
First off, Humans are one of a select few number of mammals that can sweat. Most mammals rely on panting to release excess body heat. This is one reason why your dog likes to run ahead and then stop and take a breather. Not to mention all the glorious smells from your neighbors garden, trashcan, or the previous dog that walked by.
Humans do release some heat through breathing, but due to COVID-19 and universal masking that heat is getting trapped in our mask's and this is why we frequently complain that our facemasks make us feel uncomfortable and hot.
Sweat cools us off through evaporation, the heat that was once in our body is being released as the water on our skin turns into a gas and floats away into the world. We all intuitively understand this but rarely do we think about how all that heat gets to the surface of the skin in the first place.
Muscles all over our body produce heat as they move. But a significant portion of our body heat comes from our core. Our core organs use up 70% of our energy and therefore produce the most heat. Unfortunately these organs are located in our abdomen which has a lot more volume and a lot less surface area than our arms and legs. This means that the heat generated there has a hard time escaping
Luckily our bodies use the circulatory system to get all that heat out of our body. Think of our circulatory system (blood flow) as the body's postal service. They swing on by dropping off oxygen for the organs and pick up all that excess heat and send it out to the arms and legs, where it is closer to the surface of the skin. To help with this, our blood vessels dilate letting more blood and more heat get to our extremities where it can be released. It's like we have awesome high tech roads that grow more lanes during rush hour.
It was this insight that led to the development of the UnderCool. Most other cooling vests use either ice or other cooling agents that freeze at a temperature that would restrict blood flow. While they may feel cooler in a specific spot on the body, they can actually reduce the body's overall ability to cool down. By using a higher temperature cooling pack, the UnderCool keeps blood flowing allowing your body to cool itself, while still providing the extra cooling power of the cooling packs.
If you want to learn more about perspiration, human evolution, the difference between horse sweat and human sweat, and why you should make sure your children get out of the air conditioning, here is a great (and short) podcast: https://www.sciencefriday.com/
From our humble origins we have been striving to help people live active, comfortable, and safe lives. In a time like this we all need more help and we hope this information on masks and the pitfalls of their use can help. Remember that if you are overheating you can also make sure to stay a safe distance from others to remove your mask and take water breaks and switch out your cooling packs.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy.
Julia, Kurtis, Brad
ThermApparel is a small business making big waves in the heat sensitivity world by designing the first lightweight, comfortable and invisible cooling vest, UnderCool. Check us out online, on our blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or ideas in the comments below, we will follow up. You can always reach us via:
Live Chat - www.thermapparel.com | Email - firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone - 855-232-7233 | Address: ThermApparel LLC. 125 Tech Park Dr. Rochester, NY 14620