Why Do We Sweat? The Hidden Causes of Body Odor
June 27, 2017 | Why does my sweat smellremove odors from workout clothes
Ice cream. Those two words are every little kid's favorite words. As a child, the excitement over ice cream was almost too much to take. We would hear the distant jingle of the local ice cream truck and instantly the pure joy would hit us like a brick wall. Waiting patiently for the jingle to get closer and closer to your home. Do you remember though, the daunting task of eating ice cream in the warm summer sunshine? Fighting the heat, quickly trying to beat the looming mess the sun was designed to make of your cold treat. You may be wondering, how exactly does ice cream correlate with sweat? Well ice cream, just like the human body, elicits a reaction in response to heat. When your body begins to warm up, whether that be in response to exercise, work, or outside temperatures, your brain responds by releasing sweat. Did you know that the average person has between 2 to 5 million sweat glands spread across their body? So maybe what you think is an abnormal amount of sweat isn't so obscene after all! Sweat can be caused by a number of different activities performed in day-to-day activities, and that sweat can also bring with it some unwanted body responses. So grab a rag, because the information in this post may make one of your 2 million sweat glands start to produce!
Why Do We Sweat When We Exercise?Walking into a gym the first thing that hits your nose is the distinct smell of perspiration. The culprits of this strong odor on the intense pursuit of burning fat and calories off their body. Have you ever thought about why we sweat when we exercise? Well, when we exercise our body temperature rises, triggering the eccrine sweat glands to start up to keep our body temperature stable. When sweat leaves the skin's pores, it dissipates into the air, carrying some heat with it. Ironically enough, more physically fit people sweat sooner because their body's thermoregulation system turns on faster, enabling the body to cool down faster which releases extra body heat and allows you to work out for longer. Did you know our bodies continue to sweat even after we are done working out? After you finish a workout, your heart starts to slow down, pumping less blood to the skin. The heat builds in your muscles, eliciting blood temperatures to spike higher, causing you to sweat more after your workout. So don't worry after your workout when the sweat is still expelling out of your body. Also, don't forget to treat your clothes after working out to remove lingering B.O. in your fabrics!
Benefits of SweatingDo you hate sweating just as much as I do? Sweating can make you feel icky and gross but in actuality, sweat has some amazing benefits to your overall health. Below are some of the health benefits from sweating:
Germ AssailantsSkin cancer researchers discovered a potent natural antibiotic called Dermcidin. They found that sweat glands constantly excrete this antibiotic, which helps to defend against germs. So although after working out you may want to rid yourself of all the lingering sweat and odors on your body, it may limit your defense against potential germs.
Healing PowersResearch has discovered that sweat glands play an important role in the wound healing process, including scrapes, burns, and ulcers. One study found that the eccrine glands store an important collection of adult stem cells that can quickly take action when a wound occurs. Overall, though, many doctors have found that sweat glands are understudied and that they may hold the secret to expediting wound repairs.
Boosts Happiness"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy." Elle Woods really wasn't lying when she made this claim in the Legally Blonde movie. Endorphins are related to increasing your overall mood and an enhanced sense of well-being. When you exercise, your body releases these chemicals that interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Kidney DefendersDo you suffer from kidney stones? Well if so, exercise might be the solution to ridding your body of unwanted formations of kidney stones. The release of sweat limits the accumulation of salt and calcium in the kidneys and urine, which can aid in minimizing the potential risk of kidney stones. Sweating also helps to increase consumption of water, which leads to a lesser likelihood of kidney stones forming in the body.
Sweating: Fact or Fiction?There are some common misconceptions in relation with sweating. Some have claimed sweating can help burn fat, help you lose weight and even help to remove toxins from your body. Here is the truth behind the claims:
- Does sweating help burn fat?Fiction: Sweat is water loss, not fat loss, unfortunately. Although, by increasing your heart rate you are burning calories stored as fat.
- Does sweating help you lose weight?Fiction: While many people think when you sweat you lose weight, that's not necessarily true. When you sweat, you lose some weight, but most of the weight loss is water weight that you gain back when you hydrate.
- Does sweating help to remove toxins from your body?Fiction: Although sweating does remove small traces of toxins, less than one percent of the body's total content, it's sole purpose is to prevent overheating.
Why Does My Sweat Smell?I'm sure we have all come into contact with someone whose stench just made you want to run for fresh air. That unpleasant smell that comes off of some people is the unwelcome stench of body odor. Body odor is a perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids. Bad odors can also happen on your feet creating the nasty shoe odor that you sometimes experience.Some say it's the smell of bacteria growing on the body but it really is the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids. You may be wondering, what exactly causes bad odor? There are several potential factors that could be making you have bad body odor, these factors include:
1.) StressDid you know there are different kinds of sweat we elicit? Stress sweat is much different than other kinds of sweat believe it or not. Stress sweat is released by a different gland and is compromised of fatty acids and proteins. This sweat also doesn't evaporate as quickly as regular sweat and can develop an odor when it mixes with bacteria on the skin.
2.) DietThinking twice about what you choose to eat can be critical in avoiding bad body odors. Smelly foods are broken down into smelly compounds that circulate in the breath, sweat, and urine. Foods such as garlic, onions, broccoli, and brussel sprouts can elicit bad body odor.
3.) TrimethylaminuriaA rare genetic disorder, Trimethylaminuria causes the body to be unable to break down the chemical compound Trimethylamine. Trimethylaminuria is the contributor to the fishy smell that fish have, and when it accumulates up in your body it can release that same fishy smell.
4.) AlcoholAs alcohol goes through your blood and around your body, some of the alcohol leaks out through your pores. This process can create some bad body odor through your sweat or even your breath.
5.) DiabetesBad body odor could be an indicator of untreated diabetes, called diabetic ketoacidosis. When the body doesn't receive enough insulin, the body breaks down fat for fuel. This creates a buildup of Ketones in the body, which can lead to body odor changes.
Tips for Reducing Body OdorThe struggle is real for many people who just can't combat the tough stench of bad body odors. Have you looked desperately for a solution to this stinky situation? Well, look no further. Here are some helpful tips to reducing putrid body odors.
1.) Keeping Clean is CriticalI know this might be a given, but showering is important to reducing bad body odors. Showering once a day reduces the number of bacteria on your skin, which helps to eliminate bad odors. Did you know that sweat itself is odorless? The bacteria that live on your skin mixed with the sweat is what creates the bad odor. Just by washing up every day you are significantly reducing your risk of bad body odor.
2.) Antibacterial Soap is Your FriendLavender. Ocean breeze. Strawberries. All the wonderful choices we can choose to smell like when selecting a body soap can be tempting. But what if I told you that the clean smell of antibacterial soap is the right choice for fighting bad body odors? Washing with antibacterial soap will reduce the bacteria count on your body, in return eliminating the potential odors.
3.) Deodorant Check Before Physical ActivitySay hello to my little friend, called deodorant. Deodorant is the best masking agent for body odors. If, however, regular deodorant doesn't mask all those strong odors you may want to look for a more effective antiperspirant. Antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride, a chemical that aids in reducing sweating for excessive sweaters. The key though is applying the deodorant or antiperspirant before physical activity.
4.) Drying Off Is KeyYou may not have ever thought about this after you get out of the shower, but drying off is important in expelling body odors. Drying off, especially in the areas where you produce a lot of sweat can make a huge difference for smelly odors. Dry skin makes it harder for bacteria to form on, so by keeping dry, you are reducing your risk of bad odors.
5.) Keep Clothes CleanWashing smelly clothes can be a very daunting task. Many name brand laundry detergents have a hard time removing all the lingering odors we leave behind from our sweat. The tough odors of our workout clothes also may carry to our gym bags, leaving bacteria to fester. One solution to removing all these tough hidden odors is by applying the OdorKlenz Sport Travel Laundry 3Pk. Unlike other laundry additives, the OdorKlenz Sport Travel Laundry 3Pk eliminates the odors completely and safely from your clothes. It is the answer to all your wishes of saying goodbye to smelly odors on your fabrics. Do you still think sweating is gross? Well, I hope you don't. In essence, sweating is alerting us to many benefits formulating in our bodies. But before you get self-conscious about the sweat you are producing just remember like ice cream, the human body is designed to respond to changing temperature conditions. So get out, move and embrace the sweat!
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