We all have those busy days when we skip our shower or forget to put on deodorant. However, if you have noticed that the treadmill next to yours is always available and that people leave the gym locker room when you enter, you might want to ask yourself whether your smell makes it difficult for others to be around you. Of course, everyone sweats when working out, but contrary to what you may think, it’s not sweat that smells bad. Yes, you can sweat like a pig and still end up smelling like a rose. That bad smell comes from bacteria that live on your skin breaking down the sweat. Although you might not be able to completely eliminate the odors that creep out of your body, there are some things you can do rein in the stink a little.
Take a bath before you go to the gym
You probably take a shower when you get home from the gym, but if you have noticed that you smell really bad during your workouts, consider showering beforehand as well. This will slow down the bacterial growth and help you stay fresh. Pay special attention to cleansing hairy areas of the body since apocrine glands which are concentrated in these areas produce sweat that contains high levels of protein. Because bacteria love protein, this part of your body will become stinky very quickly. In addition, shave your underarms regularly, so you will prevent the accumulation of bacteria and thus reduce sweat and odor.
Change your eating habits
The food you eat can greatly impact your body odor. If you sweat a lot at the gym, avoid spices such as curry and cumin since they can wreak havoc on your body’s natural odor. Despite their health benefits, vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli contain high levels of sulfur which has a naturally unpleasant smell and will worsen your odor. Coffee and alcohol also create a universally unpleasant smell. On the other hand, drinking plenty of water helps the body flush out toxins that cause that stench, and foods such as yogurt, apples, lemons, herbal tea, oranges, cinnamon, white fish and fenugreek seeds will give you a fresh and pleasant long-lasting odor.
There are so many products available nowadays that mask smells, prevent sweating and help you smell fresh even when you are exercising. Deodorant masks the smell of sweat but doesn’t eliminate it. If regular ones bother your skin you might want to switch to organic ones. Believe it or not, there are natural deodorants that actually work like a charm! If you are tired of those sweat stains on your shirt and you want to feel dry during your workout, opt for antiperspirant. It will reduce the amount of sweat your body produces by blocking the sweat glands. If regular antiperspirant doesn’t get the job done, talk to your doctor about special formulations that contain extra aluminum chloride.
Buy quality sportswear
When buying new workout clothes, pay attention to the material they are made of. There are many breathable synthetic fabrics that allow the sweat to be evaporated from the skin so you are left feeling dry and comfortable. On the other hand, cotton clothes absorb sweat and feel heavy and wet as you exercise. If you sweat a lot you should definitely avoid fabrics that don’t breathe such as those made out of rubber-based or plastic-based materials. These materials keep sweat from evaporating and keep your body temperature too high which causes you to sweat even more.
Use hand towels often
Just pack it in your bag next time you plan to work out and carry it around the gym with you so you can easily dry off the sweaty areas and keep them from smelling bad. Although you can buy a regular cotton towel, keep in mind that there are better options out there, such as microfiber, bamboo, and linen towels. When it comes to the size of your towel, choose one that you can easily wrap around the back of your neck across your shoulders.
Keep in mind that some medical conditions can cause excessive sweating. If these tips do not help, visit your doctor for a check-up.