Sweat is actually the body’s (quite excellent) built-in cooling system. No one enjoys it when their face is too wet to apply makeup on hot mornings or when it seems like every white shirt they own is permanently stained. Your neurological system provides the go-ahead to your sweat glands when your body temperature rises, which causes moisture to squirt onto your skin and immediately (or ultimately) evaporate, bringing down your body temperature. (Are you not feeling well as you once did? With Prevention’s 12-day liver detox, discover how to restore your body and drop up to 13 pounds in just two weeks!
And yet, we fight with our sweat continuously, attempting to make it smell less, stop it totally during a crucial meeting, and then striving to lose plenty of it at the gym. However, if you take a moment to pause and pay attention, all that sweat might actually reveal a surprising amount about you and your health. Here are some of the messages it’s attempting to convey.
More sodium is required.
Your body is requesting extra sodium by making salty perspiration. Increase your sodium intake if your perspiration causes irritation to your eyes, burns in open wounds, leaves a gritty feeling on your skin, or leaves white streaks on your face or clothing. Runner’s World suggests adding salt to items like eggs, veggies, or meats and switching from ordinary water to a sports drink after you exercise.
You might have to stop drinking coffee.
The sweat circles you notice on your morning commute can be the result of consuming too much coffee. According to Liz Lyster, MD, of Holtorf Medical Group in Foster City, California, “coffee enhances perspiration in two ways.” “First, coffee stimulates the central nervous system, which in turn activates the sweat glands, causing you to perspire more the more you consume. Additionally, the heat of the drink itself may cause you to perspire because of how hot you feel inside. Choose cooled or decaf coffee if you can’t give up coffee entirely.
The timing of your antiperspirant application is incorrect.
According to David Pariser, MD, founding member and secretary of the International Hyperhidrosis Society, “antiperspirants are most effective when applied to very dry skin.” “You’ll probably already be sweating or have wet underarms if you apply them in the morning right before you head out or right after you get out of the shower. The chemical reaction that results from the aluminum [in the skin’s surface] when it is moist
The action of the [antiperspirant] will take place on the skin’s surface as opposed to within the pores, preventing the blockage of the sweat glands. Even if you shower in the morning, use antiperspirant before going to bed. The product can last a few days when used on completely dry skin. Apply a deodorant for fragrance after your shower, and you’re ready to go.
According to a U.S. military study, humans can actually smell dread. 20 inexperienced skydivers gave researchers sweat samples before and after their first tandem jump and again when they ran on a treadmill for a comparable amount of time for the study. Volunteers were invited to sniff each sample as they were being scanned in brains. When volunteers sniffed the skydiving sample as opposed to the treadmill sample, the fear-related brain regions were more active. From an evolutionary perspective, the findings make sense because a person’s fear pheromone would warn those nearby that danger is present.
You’re recovering from a disease.
Think your cubicle neighbor has a strange odor this week? They could simply be ill. According to a study published in Psychological Science, healthy people can tell whether someone is fighting an infection because of their heightened immune response. The findings imply that smell serves as a critical early warning system for infectious diseases. These are blatant indications that you are becoming ill.
Your fitness objectives are being met.
It’s not a sign that you’ve lost endurance if you start sweating earlier than usual during an exercise. In actuality, it ought to convey the complete opposite. In a 2010 study, scientists discovered that fitter persons not only start sweating sooner and at a higher volume. According to Craig Crandall, PhD, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, “a high fitness level allows you to exercise at a higher workload, which generates more heat, which in turn leads to more sweat.”
Environmental changes—things that make us afraid, agitated, happy, or nervous—have an effect on both the amount and smell of sweat in healthy people. However, a person’s responsiveness to stimuli decreases when they are depressed. According to a German-Swedish study, up to 97 percent of depressive individuals who eventually committed suicide had this diminished reaction. According to Lars-Hakan Thorell, one of the study’s authors, “It was probably the case that particular nerve cells in the hippocampus are destroyed by sadness and negative stress.” “A healthy individual continues to respond, whereas a sad person has a biological inability to care about the surroundings.”
You radiate positivity.
People around you will smile if you smile while you’re perspiring. At least, this is the conclusion of a Dutch study. 36 women participated in the experiment by smelling sweat samples from 12 men who had watched either happy or frightening videos. Women were more likely to display signs of dread when they inhaled the scent of a scared man’s samples. She was more inclined to grin when she smelled the joyful guy’s sweat.
Expectant mothers frequently lament very heavy perspiration during pregnancy. According to Mary L. Rosser, MD, PhD, it’s caused by a surge in hormones, blood flow, and metabolism, according to TheBump.com. In the first trimester of pregnancy, night sweats frequently happen. Similar hormonal abnormalities during menopause also cause hot flashes to happen.