Ultimate Guide to Sweat

Ultimate Guide to Sweat

I was delighted when Mark Holland of online fitness magazine Fitnessreview.co.uk contacted me about a detailed, visual and thought-provoking infographic he has created on sweat and ways we can can reduce sweat. The infographic focuses on:

- Two different types of Sweat

- Sweat Rates

- The problems of Sweating

- How we can deal with visible Sweat and Smells

The following words and advice from Mark discuss in detail the ways that we can reduce visible sweat and handy techniques that we can use and employ. Thank you Mark for your time and contribution.

High 5,


10 Practical Ways to Reduce Visible Sweat

Almost everyone knows we sweat to cool down, though the complexity of the systems involved in sweating are a mystery for most of us. 

Did you know that there are two types of sweat, which come from distinct types of sweat gland – or that a ‘normal’ sweat response for one person can involve twice as much liquid as a normal sweat level from another?

The infographic above covers many different aspects of sweat and sweating. This includes the primary techniques for reducing visible sweat. While sweating in the gym shows you have worked hard, in social and work situations those sweat patches are never welcome. 

On the above infographic you’ll find information on how to reduce visible sweat – from the easiest through to the more drastic measures.

Sweat Reduction Techniques: From the Easiest to the Hardest

#1 – Choose the Right Colours

Sweat shows up most on brightly coloured clothes. The easiest way to reduce those marks under your arms is simply to choose dark colours. Black and navy blue are best of all at concealing sweat. At the opposite end, plain white tops are also great concealers.


#2 – Antiperspirant 

Underarm sprays work by clogging the pores of your apocrine sweat glands. They form a temporary plug which physically prevents sweating. The active ingredients are aluminium chloride, or aluminium chlorohydrate. While over the counter brands are perfect for most of us, you can get super-strong versions on prescription too.  


#3 – Shave those Armpits!

This secret has been common knowledge for the ladies for decades – now men are finally waking up to the idea. Shaving helps in two ways. First, the hairs which trap moisture and sweat provide a feast for microbes which produce smells. Second, your antiperspirant will no longer be going to waste – you’ll have a clear run to the sweat ducts, and not simply be coating your hairs.


#4 – Smart Fabric Choices

Cotton might be comfortable and cool, though it will trap sweat easily. Man-made fabrics will disperse sweat much better. Traditionally, these had the downside of being easy for microbes to settle on – making them smell. These days, technology has really moved on. You can find breathable fabrics, which move sweat away from your body, where it can evaporate away. 


#5 – Absorbent Pads

For day-to-day (non-gym) use, discreet pads are ideal. These have sticky tape on one side, and work by literally soaking up excess sweat. If you prefer to avoid patches underarm while out socialising or at work, these can make a great investment.


#6 – Clean Eating

Apocrine sweat is used as a route to get rid of ‘nasties’ from your body, in addition to the primary cooling role. These include nitrates and ammonia. If you eat clean, with protein, vegetables and natural foods the key part of your diet – you’ll have less bad chemicals to excrete. Processed foods high in salt, sugar and trans-fats are terrible for your health, and can make you sweat more too.


#7 – Caffeine and Alcohol

That Grande Latte is going to contribute to your sweat in two different ways. First, it is hot, and raising your core temperature can easily trigger a generalised sweat response. Second, the caffeine is a stimulant, this can trigger your sweat via the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism. Alcohol can also trigger sweating. This dilates the blood vessels, increasing your body temperature. You’ll also need to excrete the by-products, which can include a lot of sugar.


#8 – Drugs (Prescription and Otherwise)

The most commonly prescribed drugs for hyperhidrosis (medically excessive sweating) is the broad category of anticholinergics. This reduces the nervous system triggers, especially for anxiety induced sweating. Beta-blockers, which are prescribed for high blood pressure have the effect of reducing sweat too. There are side effects to consider, so drugs are really for after practical interventions have failed. Recreational drugs including cocaine and amphetamines both stimulate the nervous system, increasing sweating.


#9 – Botox Treatment

Here we are getting to the more drastic measures – which are usually only used for people with serious medical sweating issues. Botox is poisonous (it is a variant of botulism). Injecting tiny amounts paralyses muscles by breaking the link to the nerves that control them. These same nerves carry the message to the sweat glands. This means injecting Botox into the armpits can stop sweating. This will need to be repeated every 6 months.


#10 – Surgery

When all else fails, a specialist surgeon can physically disconnect your sweat glands from your nerves. There are variations involving scraping away the glands, zapping them with lasers and simply snipping the nerves which connect to them.


About the Author: This post and infographic were provided by Mark Holland. Mark is a runner and general fitness enthusiast, and runs the online fitness magazine http://www.fitnessreview.co.uk


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