As Chet Manly, your personal fitness coach, I understand that staying fresh during your workout routine is as important as the workout itself. I'm here to guide you through some skin-safe methods to stay clean and fresh during and after your workout sessions. Let's dive in!
1. Embrace the Sweat
Sweating is a natural bodily function during exercise. It's a sign of your body cooling down and releasing toxins. But did you know that antiperspirants may increase the number of odorous bacteria in your armpits and intensify the underarm smell? It's true!
A small yet significant study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research revealed this surprising fact. It's better to let your body sweat naturally and focus on controlling the odour. How? Well, first, avoid foods that contribute to bad body odour like junk food and red meat. Secondly, choose the right fabric for your workout attire. According to a study in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, polyester clothes can smell more post-exercise than cotton ones. So, ladies and gents, it might be time to revamp your gym wardrobe!
2. Use Scents Strategically
Did you know certain smells can aid in your fitness goals? Research from Flinders University, Australia, discovered that the scent of eucalyptus can help curb cravings for high-calorie treats like chocolate. This can be especially helpful during strenuous workouts on the treadmill when your mind might wander towards indulgent post-workout snacks. Simply add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your laundry, and your workout gear will carry the scent of discipline!
3. Maintain Fresh Breath
Minty freshness isn't just for your mouth; it can enhance your workout too! A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that adding a drop of peppermint essential oil to a 500ml bottle of water can improve exercise intensity. If you prefer plain water, consider chewing peppermint gum to enjoy the same benefits.
4. Wash Your Hands
Regardless of whether you wear gym gloves or not, washing your hands thoroughly after your workout is essential, especially if you have a meeting or social gathering afterward. Research from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, suggests that handshaking can be a form of olfactory communication. Be sure to wash up and apply some hand cream to leave a lasting impression.
5. Keep Your Towel Handy
Does your workout shirt smell like ammonia? If so, you might be consuming excess protein. The human body processes all protein through the liver and kidneys, converting amino acids into ammonia, which is then converted to urea and mixed with water. If your sweat smells like household bleach, it might be time to drink more water and reassess your protein intake.
6. Choose the Right Socks
The unpleasant smell in your trainers is a mix of ammonia, fatty acids, and lactic acid. Researchers at Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea, found a solution to this problem: silver. Silver nanoparticles embedded into socks create an antibacterial effect, helping to reduce odour. Consider investing in socks with built-in nano silver particles to keep your gym bag smelling fresh.
7. Addressing Odor In the Absence of a Shower
Showering or rinsing off after a workout is the best way to remove excess sweat and odor. But what if you're short on time? Here are some quick tips:
- Wear breathable underwear made from cotton or moisture-wicking fabric during your workout. Bring a clean pair to change into afterward.
- Choose workout clothes that aren't tight-fitting or are designed with special dry-tech features to release excess heat and sweat.
- Use products like Summer's Eve® Active™ Daily Performance Spray and Summer's Eve® Active™ Chafe Gel for freshness and comfort.
- Even if you can't shower, you can clean your sweaty areas with products like Summer's Eve® Active™ Daily Performance Cloths before changing into fresh underwear.
8. Opt for Hygienic Cleansers
Choosing the right cleanser can make a significant difference in controlling workout odor. An antibacterial soap can kill bacteria and slow down their repopulation on the skin. Try products like Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Bar or Secret Freshies On-The-Go in Cool Waterlily for best results.
9. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can lead to dry mouth and bad breath. Ensure you're drinking plenty of fluids and replenishing your electrolytes. Use mouth rinses that contain xylitol (which can increase salivary production) and avoid ones with alcohol (which can cause drying).
10. Care for Your Workout Gear
Properly washing your workout clothes is crucial for maintaining freshness. Regular detergent can remove stains and dirt but may not kill lingering bacteria. Consider using hot water and laundry sanitizer for a thorough clean. If your clothes are particularly smelly, add distilled white vinegar to the wash.
By following these skin-safe tips during your workout routine, you can ensure that you stay fresh and confident. Now, let's get moving!