Breaking the Bond Between Sweating and Body Odor

We’ve discussed why sweating is an essential part of our lives. However, we have also pointed out that although we need to sweat, there are a number of annoying side effects that comes with it too such as damp clothing, slippery hands and the worst of them all – body odor. Most of us can deal with sweat by using proper exercise apparel and equipment. Body odor? That’s a whole other issue in itself!


Sweat or Perspiration is virtually odorless. When combined with the bacteria present in our skin, it produces an unpleasant smell. Bromhidrosis (Body Odor) kicks in when we hit puberty because of the increased activity of hormones called androgen during our teenage years.  The armpits, groin and feet are the most common sources of body order because they are often damp and covered. This is not much of a problem when you’re used to exercising alone at home or during the not so busy hours at the gym. However, it becomes a major nuisance when you’re in a class or have to meet people after you workout. Some people don’t even need to break out a sweat to have body odor. Even worse, this can also happen when under stressful situations like job interviews or a big date.

The most common remedy to body odor is to use deodorants and antiperspirants. Deodorants are made to eliminate unpleasant odor by making the skin acidic therefore less likely to grow bacteria. Antiperspirants work by momentarily blocking sweat pores. There are single or combination products available in stick, spray, aerosol, lotion and roll on form. You can also chose from scented and unscented variants depending on your taste.


Aside from using anti perspirants and deodorants, good personal hygiene also helps in eliminating or reducing body odor. Here are some tips:

  1. Take a bath regularly to keep the number of microorganisms in your body in check.
  2. Dry yourself thoroughly after washing or taking a bath. Bacteria love to prosper in dark, damp places!
  3. Chose breathable clothing and socks. Non synthetic materials such as cotton, wool, silk or leather allow air to circulate freely around the body. If you can afford to, change your socks and underwear everyday because bacteria may accumulate from prolonged wear.
  4. For rigorous physical activity, wear clothing and exercise accessories made from hi tech fabrics than can handle an excessive amount of sweat.
  5. Did you know that food with strong odors such as onions, garlic and curry can manifest themselves in your sweat? Fatty and oily foods are said to cause body odor as well. Try to avoid these if you can.


Image: Get the Lowdown UK; Food Matters

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