Do You Burn More Calories Running In The Heat

Running in the heat has always been a topic of debate among runners. Some claim that running in the heat can help burn more calories, while others argue that it can actually be counterproductive. As an avid runner myself, I’ve often wondered about the truth behind these claims. So, I decided to delve deep into the topic and explore whether running in the heat really does result in burning more calories.

The Sweat Factor

One of the main reasons people believe that running in the heat leads to more calorie burn is because of the increased sweating. As the temperature rises, our bodies produce sweat as a way to cool down. This sweat is made up of water, salt, and other substances, including small amounts of urea and ammonia. The process of sweating requires energy, which in turn leads to burning more calories.

However, it’s important to note that the weight loss due to sweating is mostly water weight and can be easily regained by rehydrating. So, while running in the heat may make you sweat more, the actual calorie burn from sweating is minimal.

The Impact on Metabolism

Another argument for increased calorie burn during hot weather running lies in the impact it has on our metabolism. When we exercise, our bodies naturally speed up our metabolism to provide the energy needed for physical activity. This increase in metabolism helps burn calories more efficiently.

When running in the heat, our bodies work harder to regulate our internal temperature and cool us down. This extra effort can increase our metabolic rate, resulting in a higher calorie burn. However, it’s important to note that this increase in metabolism is typically not significant enough to make a drastic difference in calorie burn.

The Influence of Intensity

While the heat itself may not directly lead to a significant increase in calorie burn, the intensity of your run can have a greater impact. Running at a higher intensity, such as doing interval training or running up hills, will naturally burn more calories, regardless of the temperature.

In fact, intense workouts, regardless of the weather, create an “afterburn effect,” where your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after you’ve finished exercising. So, if you’re aiming to burn more calories during your run, focus on increasing the intensity rather than solely relying on the heat.

The Importance of Comfort

Perhaps the most crucial factor to consider when deciding whether to run in the heat is personal comfort. Running in hot weather can be physically and mentally challenging. It can increase the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related illnesses if proper precautions are not taken.

It’s important to listen to your body, stay hydrated, wear appropriate clothing, and adjust your running schedule to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Pushing yourself too hard in extreme heat can be dangerous, and the potential risks may outweigh any potential increase in calorie burn.


After diving deep into the topic, it’s clear that running in the heat may not have a significant impact on calorie burn. While the increased sweating and impact on metabolism can contribute to a slightly higher calorie burn, it’s important to balance the potential benefits with the potential risks.

Ultimately, the most effective way to burn more calories during running is to focus on intensity rather than solely relying on external factors like heat. By incorporating high-intensity workouts and maintaining a regular exercise routine, you can maximize your calorie burn and achieve your fitness goals, regardless of the temperature outside.