Why Does My Sweat Smell So Bad? Understand The Odor Behind Sweat

why does my sweat smell so badSweating is a function of your body that helps you keep your temperature regulated. There are anywhere between 2-5 million sweat glands all over your body, which work tirelessly to maintain your body temperature. If sweating is important for your body, why does my sweat smell so bad? I will try to answer that question in this blog post.

If only sweat would smell as good as flowers and nature, which I posted in the picture, that would be great. Reality is that sweat stinks and nobody loves to be around people that smell sweaty.

When I forget to put my deodorant on, or when the deodorant is not very effective, I look for chance to change or quickly take a shower.  Your confidence is greatly affected by your sweating and the odors that come with it.

However, you might think that it is the sweat that smells so bad when it is not the sweat that stinks. Did you know that? If not, you are about to find out the truth behind armpit odor.

Understanding Sweating

As I said, there are millions of sweat glands all over our body that work for our health. However, these sweat glands are not all the same. We have 2 types of sweat glands which both have a completely different function.

First off, we have the apocrine sweat glands, which are located in our armpits, areola of breasts, between anus and genitals, palms, feet, among others.

These sweat glands are located deep down, hidden in the layers of our skin. Apocrine sweat glands are connected to our nervous system and do not regulate our body temperature. Hence, these sweat glands produce sweat when driven by adrenaline, and not necessarily by temperature. They act as a relief for your body, which is being stressed by all these situations.

Sexual stimulation, fear, anxiety, depression, excitement, nervousness, among others, all cause the apocrine glands to become active and produce sweat. The smell of the liquid secreted by the apocrine glands attracts the opposite sex, so the smell is distinctive.

Second, we have the eccrine sweat glands, which are all over the body, except in the places mentioned above.

These glands are located only superficially under our skin and are regulated by our temperature. The eccrine glands are the “air-condition” in our body. Whenever your body temperature rises, this system is “turned on” to cool off. Heat strokes and dehydration would be inevitable if it was not for our eccrine sweat glands.

These glands are not driven by adrenaline, but solely by our body temperature. There is not a distinctive smell to this watery liquid that is produced by the eccrine glands.

These 2 different types of sweat glands are busy keeping your body healthy; some to maintain your body temperature and others to bring relief from an outpour of stress hormones that are causing your body to be very active.

But Why Does My Sweat Smell So Bad?

The liquid that both mentioned types of sweat glands release is very different from one to the other.

Apocrine sweat glands produce a thick liquid that consists mainly of proteins and fats, while the eccrine sweat glands produce a watery liquid that is made up of salts and minerals, but mostly water. In fact, it is known that one intense workout can decrease your water weight by 2-6% through sweating only.

However, your apocrine sweat glands are located in mostly unaerated areas, like in your armpits, your feet, and your genitals. In these areas, you will find bacteria that feast on the sweat released by the apocrine glands. And the gases these bacteria release is the bad odor that comes from your armpits after a few hours of sweating.

It is not your sweat that smells so bad, but the gas produced by bacteria which eat the proteins and fats contained in your sweat.

Did you know that bad odor from armpits is like mouth odor? Millions of bacteria live in your mouth and they eat rests of foods that stay on your teeth. The gasses they release produces the bad mouth odor. Depending on the food you eat, the smell can be extremely strong.

The same thing happens with your apocrine sweat glands. Depending on the foods that you consume, how many liquids you take in, and other factors, your sweat will smell differently.

You might be interested: What can cause sweating?

What Can Be Done With The Bad Odors?

As I just stated, the foods and liquids you take in daily have a lot to say in the composition of your sweat. I have personally experienced that the more water I drink and the more vegetables and fruit I eat, less processed foods, the less strong my odor is.

If you are worried about your sweat because of abnormal odor, or it has recently changed, you can try if it comes from your foods. A few days of eating healthy should change your sweat odor. Also, add lots of water ! Avoid sweetened beverages. Drink mostly water and lots! That will possibly help.

Have you recently changed your deodorants from a synthetic deodorant to a 100% natural one? Then you armpits are detoxing from all the chemicals. This process involves strong and terrible smell for a few weeks until the natural deodorant takes over.

If nothing of that helps, I highly recommend seeing a doctor. Sweating tells a lot about your health in many cases, so if you notice a recent change in your sweat odor, consider what I just said, and if nothing helps, consider a checkup.

As said, bad odor from sweating can be helped by drinking more water, and changing your diets, but it is never enough. You also need to use a deodorant, which fights of bacteria that produce the odors, or you need to use an antiperspirant that will stop your sweating, so bacteria will not reproduce so quickly in the first place because no sweat will be produced.

More: Does Sweating have benefits?

Concluding, you now know what causes the bad odors in your sweat smell so bad and you also know what you can do to fight bad odors off.

If you found this information valuable, please share with friends and family or post a question or comment below.

Have a great day,

Oscar

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