Sweating is a natural bodily process that helps regulate body temperature and remove toxins from the body. But did you know that your sweat can also reveal important clues about your health? Here are nine things your sweat says about your health:
You need more sodium
Your body is requesting extra sodium by making salty perspiration. Increase your salt 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 workout.
You might need to kick the coffee habit
Too much java could be to blame for the sweat circles that appear on your morning commute. “Coffee increases perspiration in two ways,” Liz Lyster, MD, of Holtorf Medical Group in Foster City, California, told Huffington Post. “First, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, activating sweat glands so the more caffeine you have, the more you sweat. Secondly, the heat from the drink itself can make your body feel hot enough to sweat.” If you can’t kick your coffee habit completely, opt for iced or decaf.
You’re applying antiperspirant at the wrong time
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 immediately before you walk out or shortly after you get out of the shower. The chemical interaction between the aluminum [in the antiperspirant] and the skin's surface will occur if the skin is moist rather than in the pores, preventing the sweat glands from becoming clogged. Even if you shower in the morning, use antiperspirant before going to bed. The cream can last a few days when used on completely dry skin. Post-shower, apply a deodorant for fragrance and you’ll be good to go.
According to a U.S. military study, humans can really 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 subjects scented the skydiving sample as opposed to the treadmill sample, the fear-related brain areas were more active. From an evolutionary perspective, the findings make sense since a person's fear pheromone would warn those nearby that danger is present.
You’re overcoming an illness
Think your cubicle neighbor has a strange odor this week? They might simply be ill. According to a research published in Psychological Science, healthy people can tell whether someone is suffering an illness because of their heightened immune response. The findings imply that scent serves as a critical early warning system for infectious diseases. These are blatant indications that you are becoming ill.
Your fitness goals are on track
It's not a sign that you've lost endurance if you start sweating earlier than normal 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," Time.com.
Environmental changes—things that make us afraid, agitated, joyful, or nervous—have an effect on both the amount and smell of perspiration in healthy people. However, a person's responsiveness to stimuli decreases when they are sad. 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 certain nerve cells in the hippocampus are damaged by depression and negative stress." "A healthy person continues to respond, whereas a depressed person has a biological inability to care about the surroundings."
You’re giving off good vibes
If you smile while you sweat, those around you smile too. At least, that’s what one Dutch study suggests. For the experiment, 36 women smelled sweat samples from 12 men who had watched videos meant to either scare them or make them happy. When a woman took a whiff of a scared guy’s samples, she was more likely to make a facial expression resembling fear. When she smelled the happy dude’s sweat, she was more likely to smile.
Unusually intense sweating during pregnancy is a common complaint from expectant mamas. It’s a result of an increase in hormones, blood flow, and metabolism, Mary L. Rosser, MD, PhD, told TheBump.com. Night sweats tend to occur in the first trimester of pregnancy. Hot flashes also occur during menopause as a result of similar hormonal imbalances.