The Healthy Hack

Sweat is odorless. Then why does your sweat smell? Poor hygiene is not the only reason. Body odor can be due to various other factors like stress, medications, and also the food you eat. Deodorants and alcohol also play a part in making your sweat smell.

Body odor can be reduced and taken care of by eating leafy greens, reducing stress, and avoiding the use of deodorants that can actually make you smell worse. Bacterial growth in the sweat prone regions can make your sweat smell bad. So rather than working on your hygiene, you may have to look into the other factors that can keep you from smelling good.

Here are 5 reasons why your sweat can smell bad:


In stressful events, aporcine glands found in your feet, underarm area, and genital area produce sweat full of proteins and lipids. Due to the bacterial growth on the proteins and lipids, there is body odor.

Also, when you are stressed, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol that causes sweating, that can have a bad odor.


As the name suggests, the function of a deodorant is to keep the body odor away. Contrarily, deodorants and antiperspirants may make you smell worse. They can affect the bacteria in your armpit, and increase the ‘bad’ bacteria that makes you smell.


Medicines can have various side effects on your body, body odor being one of them. Fish oil, antidepressants, medicines for headaches and migraines, and antibiotics can make your sweat smell, by making you sweat more.


The food you eat can greatly affect how you smell. In addition to spicy foods, foods that contain sulfur can cause body odor.

Your body needs magnesium to keep the internal body odor in check, including almonds in your diet can increase the magnesium in your body, and also reduce body odor. Also, leafy greens like spinach can keep your body odor in check.


Sometimes, you may smell like alcohol even the next day, or have a bad body odor. The body breaks down alcohol and enters the bloodstream, and is also excreted through our pores as sweat. This also occurs if you drink more than your liver can process, or if your liver is damaged.

To prevent the body odor, avoid drinking at a fast pace, and ensure that you drink enough water in between.


Hormonal changes can affect body odor. During puberty, new hormones are at their peak, that increases the moisture produced by the sweat glands. These new hormones contain different chemicals that produce strong odors when they break down.

Additionally, during menopause, there is a hormonal imbalance in the body, that causes the estrogen levels to fluctuate. This leads to excessive perspiration and body odor.