We all sweat. Sometimes, your sweat has a horrific stench post-workout as compared to your sweat during normal hours. Have you ever experienced this and wondered why? Truth be told, your sweat has no smell. So where does the smell come from? Well, there is a scientific reason behind it!
The horrific stench after a workout comes from bacteria that live on your skin. These bacteria break down the components of sweat resulting in smell.
What is the Smell About?
Your sweat comprises of water in large amounts along with trace minerals, fatty acids and skin cells that your body sheds. Your bacteria break these down further causing odour.
There is an endorphin (This is a hormone which is produced during exercise to ease your pain and make you calm and happy!) rush when you exercise which leads to a lot of perspiration or sweating. When you work out, your body produces cortisol along with endorphins which are hormones that affect the sweat glands on our skin.
There are two types of sweat glands which are eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Sweat glands in the armpits, groin and other smelly areas are called apocrine glands which produces a pheromone-like substance that provides energy for skin bacteria and leads to the horrific stench. Whereas eccrine glands are all over the body and don’t cause extreme sweating as compared to apocrine glands.
Why Does Everybody Sweat Differently?
You might have noticed that sweating levels are different for everybody. Why does this happen?
Factors which affect the rate of sweating:
- Environment/Weather/Climate: Our body needs to maintain the normal temperature irrespective of climatic conditions. Body, has its own thermostat and how much you sweat completely depends on how your body is trying to cope with the weather change.
- Your Fitness Levels Matter: The more you workout, the more you sweat. Your body tries to cool your body temperature so that you are ready to make the workout more intense!
- Genes: Apart from the temperature regulation, some people tend to sweat more than others due to their genetics (somethings cannot be changed).
- Could be a Medical Condition: Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively. Body tends to work hard to maintain the usual thermostat
5 Ways to Deal with Smelly Sweat:
- Maintain Hygiene: It is important to wash the smelly areas frequently especially post-exercise. Washing these areas will help you in removing the dead cells from the skin, keep the skin healthy and reduce the smell eventually.
- Use deodorants and antiperspirants to keep underarms stench free!
- Wear Proper Clothes During Workout: Prefer sweat-absorbing workout clothes. Go for material which lets the body breathe rather than trapping the sweat instead leading to excessive sweat
- If the sweating is excessive, see a dermatologist.
- Work on your Diet: Certain food items are responsible for smelly sweat. Onions, garlic, cauliflower, alcohol, and coffee can lead to excessive sweating. Cutting back on these can help you with the reduced smell from the sweat
Home Remedies to Manage Smelly Sweat
- Wheatgrass Juice: It works as an excellent detoxifier. Try 1 tbsp of wheatgrass juice with water early in the morning on an empty stomach for 2 weeks and then once every alternate day for 3 months.
- Baking Soda: It works as a natural water-absorbing agent. Mix 2 tbsp of baking soda with water and apply it on the underarms for 30 minutes. Please do not keep it beyond 30 mins. It might act as an irritant for your skin. Wash it with ice cold water and apply 2 drops of glycerin as a natural toner.
- Potato/Potato Juice: It acts as a quick water-absorbing agent which works as an antiperspirant. Cut Potato into thin slices, keep it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and rub it on armpits. This will work as a quick antiperspirant.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It has astringent properties. If you suffer from excessive sweating, take 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar with mother culture early in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Lemon: Citrus fruits work as natural deodorants. You can apply fresh lemon juice on your armpits and wash it after 45 minutes. You can try doing this every day to get best results.
- Black Cohosh: Research has shown that supplementing your diet with 80mg of Black Cohosh helps in reducing overall excessive sweating and hot flashes.
Now that you know everything you need to about sweat and body odour, you can take the necessary measures and be odour-free!
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