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So it’s getting warmer, and we all know what that means — sweat! I can’t promise a way to reduce sweating, but I can help you reduce the odor that typically comes along with it.
Perspiration, or sweat, is over 99 percent water. The remaining 1 percent typically is made up of sodium and other trace minerals, proteins or fatty acids. It is believed that sweating also aids in ridding the body of toxins.
The actual liquid that you sweat out is practically odorless. So why does it seem to make you smell so bad, you ask? SCIENCE LESSON: The tiny microbes, or bacteria, that live on your skin breakdown the substances in your sweat; and this process creates an unpleasant smell. Letting the sweat remain on your skin and react with the bacteria is what causes the bad smell we all know and hate – body odor.
This means that the best way to reduce odor is to reduce the amount of bacteria on your skin when situations cause you to sweat. Beyond the obvious suggestion of wearing deodorant (here is a list of natural and organic deodorants), there are simple ways to keep the stink in control.
Bathe regularly. I use an antibacterial body wash. This gives your washing routine a little boost in regulating bacteria on your skin, especially after a workout.
Change your shirt after working out. You should shower after working out. But sometimes, it may be awhile before you can bathe after you exercise. Putting a fresh set of clothes on right after your workout will help reduce the amount of sweat soaked bacteria being trapped against your skin.
Wear natural fabrics. Cotton, leather, silk, wool, etc. allow your skin to breathe more so than synthetic fabrics. This of course doesn’t include specific types of clothing that are designed to pull sweat away from your body like Under Armour (which also sells UV protective clothing).
Give your feet special attention. When your feet are trapped inside socks and shoes, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure you wash your feet really well in the shower. Dry them off completely before you put your socks and shoes on. And go barefoot whenever you can to air them out. (Warning: This is not a free pass to take your shoes off at the office and go barefoot. Especially if you work at a nail factory or a restaurant!)
Lay off the smelly foods. Certain pungent foods have the tendency to make your body secrete more intense odors. This means garlic, onions, caffeinated beverages, etc.
Have a couple pairs of shoes. That’s right! An excuse to buy more shoes! Your shoes retain the moisture of a long day and often won’t be dry by the next day. Try to have a 2-3 pairs of shoes that you can switch out to limit the amount of bacteria and sweat that will buildup in your footwear.
And because it’s summer, drink plenty of extra water to replenish all the moisture your body loses from sweating.
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