How Many Calories does Crying Burn?

Crying: A Natural Human Response

Crying is a natural human response to a variety of emotions, including sadness, joy, frustration, and even physical pain. It is a way for people to express their feelings and cope with difficult situations. While it is a common and normal part of life, many people wonder how many calories crying burns and whether it can be considered a form of exercise.

The Role of Tears in Crying

Tears are a complex mix of water, oils, and other substances that are produced by the lacrimal glands, located in the outer part of the upper eye socket. Tears serve several important functions, including keeping the eyes moist and lubricated, protecting the eyes from irritants and infection, and helping to maintain clear vision.

a Asian girl is crying. a sad Asian girl crying on the country road. CRYING stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

There are three types of tears: basal tears, reflex tears, and emotional tears. Basal tears are produced continuously to keep the eyes moist and protect them from drying out. Reflex tears are produced in response to irritants, such as smoke or onions, and help to flush out foreign particles. Emotional tears, also known as psychic tears, are produced in response to strong emotions, such as sadness or joy. These tears contain a higher concentration of certain hormones and proteins, such as leucine enkephalin, which is an endorphin that has pain-relieving properties.

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The Number of Calories Burned by Crying

So, how many calories does crying burn? Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that crying burns a significant number of calories. While some people may experience a temporary increase in heart rate and breathing rate while crying, these physiological changes are not likely to result in a significant calorie burn.

In fact, a study published in the journal Psychiatry Research found that crying had no effect on energy expenditure or heart rate. The study involved 40 participants who watched a sad movie and then cried for an average of 6.5 minutes. The researchers measured the participants’ heart rate, energy expenditure, and oxygen consumption before and after the movie, but they found no significant differences between the two measurements.

However, it is worth noting that crying can be physically and emotionally draining, and it may require some energy and effort. For example, crying can cause facial muscles to contract, which may result in a slight increase in muscle activity. Additionally, crying can lead to a feeling of fatigue or exhaustion, especially if it occurs for an extended period of time.

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Young Woman Crying Beautiful young woman sitting on the sofa in the living room and crying. CRYING stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The Relationship Between Crying and Weight Loss

While crying itself may not burn a significant number of calories, it is possible that it could be related to weight loss in some indirect ways. For example, crying can be a sign of stress or emotional distress, and high levels of stress have been linked to weight gain. In some cases, people may turn to unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating or binge eating, as a way to cope with their emotions. This could lead to weight gain over time.

On the other hand, crying can also be a form of emotional release, and it may help to reduce stress and improve mood. This, in turn, may lead to healthier behaviors, such as eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity, which could contribute to weight loss.

Crying and Exercise

Given the lack of evidence to support the notion that crying burns a significant number of calories, it is not accurate to consider it a form of exercise. Exercise is defined as physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive, and it is typically performed for the purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness. Exercise can include activities such as walking, running.

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It’s worth noting that the actual number of calories burned during crying may vary depending on the intensity of the crying episode. Crying can range from a few tears shed in response to a sentimental movie to full-blown sobbing and wailing. The more intense the crying, the more energy it may require, and therefore, the more calories it may burn. However, it is difficult to accurately measure the intensity of crying and its effect on calorie expenditure.

Portrait of stress young woman covering her face with hands and crying. Close-up portrait of alone, stressed young woman sitting in darkness and crying with covering her face with hands. CRYING stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Crying may also have some indirect effects on calorie expenditure. For example, if crying causes you to take a break from your usual routine or physical activity, you may end up burning fewer calories as a result. On the other hand, if crying leads you to engage in more physical activity, such as pacing or walking around, you may burn more calories.

In conclusion, crying is a normal and healthy emotional expression that can have therapeutic benefits. While it may burn a few calories, it is not a significant source of calorie expenditure. To burn more calories and maintain a healthy weight, it is important to engage in regular physical activity and adopt a balanced diet. If you are feeling overwhelmed or emotional, try finding healthy ways to cope and express your emotions, such as talking to a friend, writing in a journal, or participating in a calming activity like yoga or meditation.

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