Everybody sweats. It's a natural body function. But due to the creativity of the advertising and antiperspirant industry, everyone is convinced that sweating is a terrible thing. That it means that they are dirty, corrupted, or unholy somehow.
But is sweating good for you? Is sweating healthy? Does sweating a lot mean that you are degraded somehow? Or that you aren't hygienic enough?
Without sweat, your skin and your body as a whole wouldn't be able to perform one of the most basic and useful functions ever - thermoregulation.
Read on to see how sweating is an important activity conducted by your body and in fact, it isn't sweating that makes you smell bad! Intrigued?
How did the advertising industry convince the entire human population that something as natural as sweating could be a bad thing? Well, it all goes back to the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the role of men shifted drastically from being farmers and laborers to working in the office.
Now they were worried about smelling bad in the office, something they never had to worry about while working hard in the fields. They also worried that they were losing their masculinity because they had lost their farm jobs.
But what about women? Why were they so attracted to deodorants? The marketers exploited female insecurity and marketed deodorants as a way of increasing their charm so that they wouldn't drive away potential suitors with their odorous armpits. This was from 1910 onwards.
There's a lot more to the story, but let's leave it at this. Moving on to the real truth about sweat and smell!
You might not believe it, but it isn't your sweat that actually smells bad.
It's the bacteria that are always present on the skin that are the real culprits. These bacteria break down the acids that are present in your sweat and create waste products. These waste products are the ones that create your body odor.
Your sweat glands are located in three primary locations, in your armpits, your breasts, and your genital-anal area. And these are the areas that smell the most odorous, as you might have noticed.
Again, it's not your sweat that smells malefic, but the bacteria's waste products. That's why, you don't need to start berating yourself, or your body for performing a very useful function, i.e., sweating.
The answer to the question, is sweating good for you, is hopefully becoming clearer to you.
Evolution isn't a foolish taskmaster - there's a reason why sweating developed as a body function at all. Let's look at some sweating benefits.
Even though you might hate the idea of sweating when you are working out, because it makes you smell, there's actually a point to all that liquid gushing out of your armpits and temples.
Sweating is one of the most important ways your body regulates its body temperature. If you didn't have the capability of sweating, you wouldn't be able to go to very hot or very cold places, because your body wouldn't be able to adjust to those extreme temperatures fast enough.
The minute you step from an airconditioned room into the heat outside, or you start working out, your body starts making rapid adjustments. Like a thermostat works at ensuring your room stays at a certain temperature, your body does the same. It does everything it can to ensure your body's temperature stays within an appropriate range.
As soon as anything outside your body causes you to overheat or cooldown too much, your body goes into reparation mode. When it's hot outside, you sweat, so that the water evaporating off your skin cools you down, and helps with body temperature regulation.
When it's cold outside, your body closes off all the sweat ducts, and constricts the blood vessels so that it doesn't let go of too much precious body warmth.
Your body is so beautifully and intricately built, and it's aweing to see how it uses different techniques to keep itself at homeostasis. Sweating is an important tool that evolution has bestowed us with.
You might not have known this, but there's a very important reason why you sweat - to catch a potential mate. Got your attention now? Well, research has shown that male sweat has this one chemical that is known to boost women's arousal levels. Basically, male sweat contains pheromones, which is necessary to attract a mate, evolutionary speaking.
Scent is seductive. That's why you slather on perfume or cologne every time you go out to a date or to an important meeting. But it isn't only artificial scents that matter. Body odors are important in attracting the right mate.
In fact, if you are on birth control pills as a woman, it has been proven that your preference for the scent of males changes, which might cause you to choose males with the same MHC genes as you. This is a negative, because the more diverse the MHC genes, the more robust your child's immune system would be.
Your sweat contains powerful clues about you, and presents that to the world, and to potential partners. You might only be thinking negatively of your sweat, but it has a silent albeit important role to play in your propagating path.
In stressful situations, the two main modes of excreting waste products might not be enough. Normally, you rely upon your kidneys and liver to excrete out toxins and waste. And that usually works fine.
But if you are living under stressful or polluted conditions, it puts an extra strain on your body. At these times, your body turns to your skin (your body's largest organ) to pitch in. When you sweat, you won't be sweating out only water, and a few salts, but toxins as well.
When you have a tense argument with your spouse or partner, your sweat smells especially rank afterwards. It's because your body is trying to get rid of extra waste and toxins, and is using your armpits and sweat glands to do so.
In fact, your underarms will produce 30 times more sweat when you are stressed than when you are at rest. Wowza!
This is a great indicator for you. When you notice that your sweat is especially stinky, you can use it as a gauge for how stressful your life is, and amp up the self-care routines you perform to keep your mental sanity.
In conclusion, sweating isn't as bad as you imagined. Even if you like sweating or not, it's here to stay. Unless you are somehow able to transfer your memories into an AI robot. Still a lot of time before that happens!
Now if someone asks you, is sweating good for you, you can reply with a resounding yes.
Sweating is useful in maintaining tiptop body function, and it doesn't smell, unless the bacteria on our skin start doing their thing. That's why all those antiperspirants or deodorants that try to tell you otherwise are wrong.
All your deodorant needs to do is kill the bacteria, and your sweat won't smell anymore. In fact, it's dangerous to your body's thermoregulation systems to stop your armpits from sweating.