The Reasons Why Sweat Stinks!

Have you ever walked past a person in the gym, taken a deep breath, and had to stop yourself from gagging because the person stunk to high heaven? 

You can’t help it; it’s a natural reaction when you smell something terrible. Some people smell bad when they sweat, and other people don’t smell at all, weird, right? 

Technically, your sweat isn’t meant to smell at all, it’s only liquids after all, but the bacteria that decide to feast on all your workout liquids are what make you smell worse than a trash can. 

Don’t give up, because you do have some control over your stink. Here’s what you’re probably doing wrong: 

Nervous Sweating

Yes, it’s a thing, and it does happen. Imagine you’ve gotten all dressed up for a blind date, and then you get anxious with thoughts like “will s/he like me?” and that’s it, nervous sweating has been activated. Now you’re sweating and anxious; your anxiety gets cortisol in your body pumping. It’s not just sweating now, it’s by the buckets full, and here come the bacteria to make matters even worse. 

A word of advice, if you’re going on a date, try to wear something airy, and keep reminding yourself that meeting the person is like giving a stranger directions. 

Your Favorite Workout Shirt

Remember when people exercised in polyester? Did you ever wonder why gym clothes changed over time? That’s because scientists found out that polyester attracts the bacteria that make you smell, which is why gym clothing experts make their clothes out of blends of materials; repelling the bacteria. 

So, ditch that shirt that probably has been overpopulated by bacteria that stink, bad! 

The Deodorant You're Using

Not just the deodorant you’re using, but probably your body wash, too. We buy these things thinking that they’ll get rid of the stench but what we’re actually doing is giving bacteria more food to munch on. This is the reason why a lot of doctors suggest that their patients only wash water because sweat doesn’t smell, the bacteria smells, remember? 

Sorry Ladies: Your Pill 

Okay, it’s not only the pill, but plenty of medications have the tendency to make you sweat more, so read the fine print before you start taking anything. 

Something’s Missing

We know that certain food will make you stink the next day, like garlic. But, what not many of us know is that what you don’t eat can make you smell funky too. If you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, then be prepared to smell rancid! 

Diet Choices

If your diet isn’t balanced then be prepared to smell like whatever it is you eat. Ever wondered why you smell a little fishy after eating too much tuna? Yeah, it’s because you’ve eaten too much and haven’t balanced it with other nutrients your body needs. 

Your Candy Eating Habits

You’re not the only one with excellent sugar tastebuds; bacteria love sugar just as much as you do. Two problems with candy: your waistline suffers, and you’ll end up stinking bad. Sugar causes a yeast overgrowth, which turns the sugary goodness into alcohol, that smells far from sweet! 

Holding It In

Listen, when you need to go, please go, because holding in your number 1 or number 2 can actually make you smell like your bathroom. Trying to control your bathroom habits leads to the smells seeping out through your pores, so if you don’t want to smell like fresh poop, you really do need to use the toilet!

Food You Eat

When we cook, we add spices and herbs to our meals to give them flavor. Well, things like curry will make your sweat smell like a fresh Indian dish. It’s not just spices, it’s foods that have been fried, too. 

B.O isn’t pleasant; you need to look at your lifestyle to figure out what’s making you walk around like a Smelly Betty. 

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented on are for general informational purposes only, the writer may not necessarily have medical or scientific training. This information is not reviewed by a physician. Some of these articles may contain information about treatments or the use of a pharmaceutical product that has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment. Results on any service or treatment may vary from person-to-person.

This article should not be considered as medical advice. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional advice from a certified doctor or other qualified healthcare provider. Always speak with a doctor before starting, stopping, or changing any prescribed care or treatment plan. provides this reading material as a helpful resource, but it should never be a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment from a medical physician, a certified personal trainer, a therapist, a dietitian, or a nutritionist. If in a medical emergency, call a doctor or dial 911 immediately.