If you're prone to sweating, the last thing you want to do is unknowingly dupe your body into sweating even more. But if you commit certain sweat sins, your everyday routine may be doing just that.
Here are six sweat-inducing habits and how to make sure they don’t leave you in a puddle:
1. Drinking alcohol
This one probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Alcohol makes you sweat more. But if alcohol promotes sweating, does that mean you have to nix happy hours or your evening glass of wine altogether? Not exactly.
Alcohol causes vasodilation, or widening of the blood vessels in the skin, which can increase the temperature of the skin. In response, your brain signals your sweat glands to cool down the body, and the perspiration begins. But vasodilation occurs at intoxicating levels, so if you know your limit – and stick to it – you can safely indulge from time to time.
2. Smoking cigarettes
Can smoking cause sweating? Definitely. If you notice that you sweat when you smoke cigarettes, you can blame the nicotine.
Inhaling nicotine actually causes your body to release the chemical acetylcholine, which raises your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature and triggers your sweat glands. For excessive sweaters, smoking cigarettes may exacerbate your sweat troubles.
However, if you choose to quit, know that nicotine withdrawal also causes excessive sweating. But unlike regular smoking, this side effect will eventually disappear.
3. Drinking caffeine
Could your morning kick actually be a catalyst for your sweat glands? Unfortunately for many coffee drinkers, the answer is yes. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which triggers your sweat glands. And hot beverages only intensify this experience.
In fact, the heat from hot beverages like coffee or tea fools your body into thinking it’s hot – cuing your sweat glands. Hot caffeinated beverages are an especially dangerous combination for excessive sweaters, so stick to iced coffee or other cold caffeine drinks if you need that extra boost to get you through the day.
4. Eating hot or spicy foods
Do you eat a bit of wasabi or reach for the fire wing sauce and all sweaty hell breaks loose? That’s because – like hot beverages – spicy foods incite the nerve receptors that react to heat and trick your nervous system into believing you’re hot. Hot peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which tells your brain you’re in pain and hot, which can intensify this nervous system reaction – and your sweating sensation. If you’re concerned about sweating, you may want to pass on the hot peppers.
5. Getting angry or nervous
Strangely enough, the term “hot head” does have some truth behind it. When you get angry, your body releases stress hormones that raise your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, which all contribute to sweating.
Stress, anxiety and embarrassment can also release hormones that make you sweat. For instance, if you’re experiencing emotional stress before a big meeting, the palms of your hands, soles of your feet and underarms may begin to perspire because this type of stress activates these sweat glands.
Of course, stress and anger are natural emotions – you can’t avoid them completely. So before heading into the next board meeting, sales presentation or onstage performance, take some extra relaxation measures to help suppress the sweat. Or try arming yourself with the Thompson Tee to put your mind and emotions at ease.
6. Wearing synthetic fabrics
Could your favorite polyester shirt actually be signaling your body to sweat even more? Yes!
Synthetic fabrics like polyester or acrylic trap sweat so the moisture cannot evaporate. As a result, your body ramps up efforts to cool itself. If you're shopping for clothing that's advertised as 'sweat-wicking', double-check the label to see what you're actually buying. You'll want to opt for sweat absorbing materials — natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo.
So the next time you’re tempted to reach for that polyester shirt, think twice. Instead, try Thompson Tee’s sweat proof undershirts, made with 100% cotton and absorbent, patented Hydro-Shield technology to keep you cool and collected all day. Available in men's and women's styles.
What other measures do you take to offset unnecessary sweating?