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Why Sweat Stinks...And 5 Ways to Prevent It

Why Sweat Stinks...And 5 Ways to Prevent It

What is Sweat?

That glistening, sexy look is something lots of us aim for when we're working out. Sweat can be a sign - some say a badge of honor - that our body is working hard. 

But what's up with that smell?

Believe it or not, sweat itself doesn't typically smell. It's only when bacteria feed on sweat that some nasty odors happen. 

"Sweat by itself is virtually odorless. But when microscopic bacteria that live naturally on your skin mix with sweat, they multiply quickly and raise quite a stink." WebMd

So even though most of us can get a little funky after working out, there are things you can do to avoid dirty looks from your workout partner for stinking up the gym.

Here's 5 ways to smell fresh even when you're working out hard. 

sweating

1. Trim Your Pits

If it looks like you've got George Clinton in a headlock then it may be time to break out the hedge-clippers. Excessive armpit hair can trap bacteria (and scent) onto your skin. Keeping your armpit hair trimmed - or shaved all the way - will allow your skin to stay cooler and help keep your sweating to a minimum. 

2. Eat Right

The foods you eat do a lot more than fuel your muscles for your workouts. Your diet affects the way you smell, too.

Certain foods are known to make your body odor stronger, so stay away from red meat, eggs, dairy, garlic, alcohol, caffeine, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, asparagus, fish, spicy foods and processed foods if you're concerned about the funkiness your sweat is giving off.

Bonus tip: add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or cardamom for a sweeter smell and more pleasant aroma. Men's Health

3. Choose the Right Clothing

Loose fit, breathable clothing can increase airflow to your skin so you'll be less likely to sweat excessively. Some artificial fibers can be too restrictive so make sure you're wearing natural, wicking fibers like cotton to stay cool and fresh. 

4. Stay Clean

Most people shower after a workout, but what about before? Washing away bacteria before you even start exercising can make it less likely you'll have the post-workout stank.

When you do shower, along with using anti-bacterial soap, make sure to towel off after you're done - it's harder for those pesky bacteria to breed on dry skin. And remember what your mother said...don't forget the deodorant!

5. Relax

We all have 2 types of sweat glands - Eccrine and Apocrine (you're welcome for the science lesson). The first type - Eccrine - are what secrete sweat during normal exercise. Apocrine, on the other hand, are more likely to produce sweat when we're nervous...so even though exercise can be relaxing and stress-relieving for most people, if it's getting your nerves cranked up, your Eccrine glands may be kicking up some extra funk. Medical News Today

So relax, do some deep breathing, and find your happy place. Exercise is supposed to fun, after all. 

So there you have it, you sweaty, sexy human. Use these tips to stay fresh, clean, and smelling great.

And remember - when you're done working out, the sweat you leave behind in your car can breed bacteria similar to the sweat on your workout clothes...so invest in a post-workout car-seat cover like Dry Rub® to keep your ride as fresh as you. Because smelling great during your workout doesn't really matter if your car smells like you ran over a skunk covered in turpentine.