While there’s not a whole bunch we can do about the human ability to sweat, there are ways you can at least curtail if not eliminate the unwelcome effects of perspiring. Broadly, there are two approaches to dealing with sweat when it’s inopportune. Firstly, there are a number of preemptive things you can do to avoid sweat manifesting in the first place. Secondly, there are also a number of ways to manage sweating so that it becomes the negligible component of human existence it should be.
How to avoid sweating at the outset
- Consider swapping your deodorant for an antiperspirant. Although some people complain of antiperspirant’s tendency to make them itch, it does generally seem to be an initial effect only, after which the body adapts to the application. Broadly, deodorants mask the smell of sweat, whereas antiperspirants inhibit it pointblank.
- Good clothing materials that allow the body to breathe are cotton, linen and even silk. Fabrics that seem designed to provoke human sweat glands include acrylic and polyester. Apart from cotton, there are now also “wicking” fabrics making their entrance into the sporting world. These fabrics are also impacting on broad leisure and even work wear, and are made of a different, high-tech polyester that draws moisture away from the body. Unlike cotton, wicking fabrics are super-absorbent and act to pull moisture into the fabric and away from your body.
- Become aware of your body and even your temperature cycles that can be managed. For example, if you know you’re putting on a tux after your shower and are off to an evening event, cool that shower down drastically just before you jump out.
- Hot foods and sauces are a no-no if you want to keep your cool. Avoiding spicy or tangy foods and sauces might seem a terrible price to pay, but spicy foods typically contain capsaicin. It's the number one ingredient of hot or spicy foods and sauces that prompts your body to start a cooling sweat.
- Hot coffee deserves its own mention. Quite apart from the blunt mathematics of putting hot stuff into your body and thus prompting it to compensate by sweating, caffeine is also a central nervous system trigger that provokes sweating. If imagining skipping morning coffee makes you worry about staying sane, rather go for an iced coffee option.
- Watch your salt intake the sodium in an excessive salt intake is typically sweated out by the body, even before it gets around to other means of expelling it from your system. Rather reach for the soy sauce, it’s lower in sodium.
- Shaving your body can also help curtail excessive sweating. Although there is a large camp of men for whom this kind of pseudo-feminine metro sexuality might be unthinkable, there are at least as many men who have realised that hair and sweat tend to go together. Unless you’re bald by choice, there’s not a whole lot you can do about the scalp, but other areas like the legs, chest and even armpits should be kept trimmed if you want to minimise sweat in these regions.
If sweat is becoming a concern for you and you’d rather it just became minimal and manageable, any one of the above tips can help reduce its impact in your daily life. If a single solution doesn’t seem to resolve things, combine a few points above until you find a balance that works for you. If the problem persists then we recommend you see a health professional that can advise you on medical interventions for prolific sweating that might be becoming a social nuisance. If you consciously pre-empt sweating, you’ll find managing it a lot easier when it happens.
Date Published: 12 December 2018