Don't sweat it

Hey Woodski!
Could my diet be affecting how much I sweat? Cause it is so much more than everyone else!   Sweat T. Athlete, age 16  (female, track & field hockey)

Dear Sweat T. Athlete,

While it’s natural to occasionally compare yourself with others, I love that you’re more curious than embarrassed. Everyone sweats, so no one needs to feel self conscious about it.

Whether your diet is affecting how much you sweat… the answer is “maybe”.

When eating foods that contain a lot of sodium (salt), your body gets rid of the excess through sweating. So less salt may result in less sweating. Your body needs some salt, though. So don’t try to eliminate it entirely.

Any foods that are difficult to digest could result in excess perspiration. The two most common culprits are fatty and processed foods.

Foods high in sugar or carbohydrates could also be partly to blame.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can keep your sweat in check. Include a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains to name a few. Avoid the worst offenders above.

Drink adequate amounts of water and avoid caffeine. When your body is properly hydrated, it doesn’t have to work as hard to regulate your body temperature.

And lastly, if you’re sweating a lot only during exercise, it’s probably nothing to worry about. The caring people around you understand – or maybe they don’t even notice!  We typically think our situation is worse than everyone else’s. While most everyone else is thinking the same thing about themselves!

If you are sweating a lot for no obvious reason, or if your sweat is especially pungent, these may be reasons to see a doctor. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. They’ve heard it all before. Talk with your parents or guardians first.


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The advice offered in this column is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor before making any changes in your diet, exercise or lifestyle choices.
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