Are These Causes of Body Odor Leaving You Needlessly Smelly?
There's nothing worse than knowing you smell — and having to endure the embarrassment. Noticeable body odor is a confidence-killer, but controlling your B.O. is another story. You try heavy-duty antiperspirants and colognes, but the undeniable stench won't let up.
Some unassuming causes of body odor could be to blame. And to finally rid yourself of embarrassing B.O., you need to understand what causes the stench we all know and definitely don't love.
Why We Produce Body Odor
Did you know your sweat doesn't actually smell? It's true: When you're pumping iron at the gym or stressing over a presentation, the sweat you produce is actually odorless. Body odor happens when the proteins and lipids in your sweat mix with bacteria on the skin.
The good news is there are steps you can take to stop the stench.
Controllable Causes of Body Odor
Eliminate these causes of body odor from your daily grind to help free yourself from embarrassing B.O.:
So this might seem obvious. And you might have a perfectly good excuse for skipping showers. Maybe you didn't do any activity that day, or you don't want to wash your hair. But regardless of your activity, bacteria still builds up on the skin.
To eliminate excess body odor, try showering once or twice a day to cleanse your skin of odor-causing bacteria.
When it comes to body odor, you are what you eat in a sense. What you eat gets passed through your digestive system and pores. Depending on how your body breaks down certain nutrients, you could give off a foul smell.
If you're concerned about smelling, avoid these foods:
- Spicy foods: Some spices like curry can nestle in your pores and emit a strong, strong scent.
- Snacks with refined sugar: Refined sugar can lead to yeast overgrowth, which converts these sugars to alcohol and leaves a nasty smell.
- Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower: These cruciferous vegetables are rich in sulfur, which creates a stinky aftermath once digested.
- No-carb or low-carb diet: For all the Atkins and Paleo fanatics out there, your carb-less diet actually encourages body odor. Without carbs, your body burns fat for energy, a process that can produce a particularly pungent smell.
High Stress Levels
Have you noticed your sweat smells much worse under pressure than at the gym? You're not imagining things. The smell of stress sweat is more pungent. That's because stress sweat comes from a different gland than exercise- and temperature-induced sweat.
When stressed, your apocrine glands secrete an odorless white, milky fluid consisting of water, proteins and fats. These mix with bacteria on your skin to produce a cringeworthy smell.
Try relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga to reduce your stress and unnecessary body odor.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Just a whiff is all you need to tell if someone's been drinking heavily.
If you imbibe frequently, try drinking at a slower pace or alternating glasses of water between drinks.
If caffeine is your crutch, the stimulant could also be causing an unpleasant odor. The adrenaline rush you get from caffeine also triggers stress sweat. And because many caffeinated drinks are served hot, the combination could cause you to sweat (and smell) even more.
Aluminum is the active ingredient found in antiperspirants. Although the chemical plugs sweat ducts to reduce sweat, one Belgian study found it actually kills off good-smelling bacteria and promotes the growth of odor-causing microbes.
Researchers monitored bacteria growth among people who swore off deodorant and antiperspirant and those who applied it daily. They found that antiperspirant increased the volume and diversity of odor-causing bacteria in the underarms.
To prevent body odor, switch to an aluminum-free or natural deodorant.
We hope avoiding these causes of body odor can help you live stink-free. What other tips do you have for preventing body odor?