7 Surprising Benefits Of Sweating + How To Reduce Sweat Odor

Medically reviewed by Jess Wharton, RN Jess Wharton Jess WhartonRN facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Experience: 6 years

Sweating is not appealing. The stench can make you conscious and lower your confidence. But, did you know that sweating is good for you?

Research shows that there are many benefits of sweating (1), (2), (3). And you can reduce the stench by following some simple tips. Read on to know what sweat is, why we sweat, the reason behind sweat odor and how to reduce it, and the benefits of sweating. Swipe up!

What Is Sweat? Why Do We Sweat?

Sweat is the “fluid that exits the body through pores in the skin, usually due to physical stress and/or high temperature for the purpose of regulating body temperature and removing certain compounds from the circulation” (4).

Sweating helps your body to cool down when the body temperature rises. A mix of salt, water, and toxins is excreted in the form of sweat from the sweat glands (5). Talking about sweat glands, there are two types – eccrine and apocrine.

The eccrine sweat glands are present all over the body and on the soles of the feet. The eccrine sweat glands produce about 500 mL – 750 mL of sweat per day (6). The apocrine sweat glands are present in the armpits, the nipples and areolar tissue of the breasts, ears, eyelids, and groin area.

Scroll down to find out the reason sweating causes body odor in some people.

Why Sweating Causes Body Odor?

Sweating may cause body odor due to the presence of the apocrine sweat glands – which is why they are also known as odoriferous sweat glands. The glands start to function when puberty hits.

Initially, the sweat the apocrine glands produce remains odorless, but it develops odor after it gets exposed to bacteria (7).

Hence, maintaining personal hygiene is necessary to reduce body odor associated with sweat. But before we get to the simple tips to reduce sweat odor, let’s first understand why sweating is good for your health. Scroll down.

7 Benefits Of Sweating

Image: Shutterstock

1. Helps In Detoxification

Sweating helps to get rid of toxins from the body, including heavy metals like cadmium and mercury, pollutants, and alcohol. Scientists have deduced that since sweating helps to eliminate various toxins in the body, sweat analysis, along with urine and blood analysis, should be done to get a complete picture of bioaccumulation of toxins (8).

2. Improves Kidney Function

Your kidneys are real-time filters that help filter toxins from the water and maintain a balance of nutrients in the blood. Scientists have found that hot bath or sauna sweating helps excrete urea, which helped uremic patients improve their kidney function (9).

Note: Sweating a lot and not keeping yourself hydrated may lead to kidney stone formation (10).

3. Regulates Temperature

Sweating is your body’s natural mechanism to stay cool due to physical exertion, stress, or tension. This prevents the body temperature from rising beyond 37o C (or the temperature that your body has adapted to depending on your environmental temperature) and hyperventilating.

4. Helps Heal Wounds

Sweating can also help heal wounds, scrapes, burns, and ulcers on your skin. “Skin ulcers — including those caused by diabetes or bed sores — and other non-healing wounds remain a tremendous burden on health services and communities around the world,” says lead author Laure Rittié, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

She also added, “It may be surprising that it’s taken until now to discover the sweat glands’ vital role in wound repair,” and “The regenerative potential of sweat glands has been one of our body’s best-kept secrets. Our findings certainly advance our understanding of the normal healing process and will hopefully pave the way for designing better, targeted therapies.”

5. Protects The Body From Germs

Researchers found that sweat contained a potent antibiotic called dermcidin (11). This antibiotic forms a protective layer and helps protect the body from germs. Dermcidin protects the skin from infections. Constant washing of the skin may erode this layer. So, do not overwash your body and/or face.

6. Improves Skin Health

Sweating helps open up the pores, which helps to get rid of the dirt, bacteria, and pollutants. People who workout regularly and sweat have shown significant improvement in their skin over a period. Acne and spots are reduced, and the skin has a healthy glow.

7. Enhances Mood

Sweating in the gym or while doing any physical exercise helps to secrete endorphins. And that helps to enhance the mood and makes you happy. This, in turn, lowers stress levels, makes you feel better, and strengthens your immunity.

Sweating is not actually that bad. But there are times when excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis can hamper your daily activities.

Here are the simple tips to reduce sweat odor.

Tips To Reduce Sweat Odor

Image: Shutterstock
  • Add a pinch of camphor to your bathing water.
  • You can also add lemon essential oil to your bathing water.
  • Wash your undergarments separately in lukewarm water.
  • Keep your armpits and pubic area clean. However, do not use vaginal wash regularly as it may cause a pH disbalance.
  • If you workout regularly, keep an extra t-shirt and a pair of leggings/shorts in your gym bag.
  • Keep a roll-on deodorant in your bag so that you can use it whenever you need to.
  • Use alcohol-free deodorants and perfumes.
  • Wear clean socks and clean your workout shoes every alternate week.

There you have it – 7 benefits of sweating and ways to reduce body odor due to sweating. So, get sweating and improve your skin, mood, and health. Cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sweating burn calories?

Traditionally, exercising helps burn calories. And when you exercise, you sweat. Sauna is a new and effective way to sweat and lose weight. You can learn how sauna helps you shed the inches here.

Will I sweat less if I lose weight?

No, the amount of sweat will not decrease magically because you lost weight.

Is it healthy to sweat a lot?

Sweating a lot is also known as hyperhidrosis. And no, it is not harmful, but it can be uncomfortable.

How much weight can you lose by sweating?

We do not recommend trying to lose weight just by sweating. Eating healthy, working out, and following a healthy lifestyle will help you lose weight and also maintain it.

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Jess Wharton

Jess WhartonAdvanced Dip Nutrition & HPN

Jess Wharton is Registered Nutritionist based in Auckland, New Zealand. She works with clients around the world to help them reach their health and wellness goals. She believes that food is medicine and proper nutrition is healing and essential for well-being and quality of life
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