Sweat…happens. It’s the sign of a great workout for many of us, although not everyone sweats the same way. Maybe you sweat less while weight training than you do during a cardio workout session. But that doesn’t mean your body isn’t working just as hard.
I like to think of sweating as my internal air conditioner working. I also don’t mind it as much when I think of the saying: “Sweat is your fat crying.” But in reality, sweating is simply your body’s natural way of regulating temperature, cooling you down when you become overheated—whether from being outside on a hot summer day or enduring a tough workout.
If excessive sweating gets in your way, or embarrasses you, there are plenty of things you can do to address it. Here are a few suggestions for staying dry and fresh, naturally:
1. Groom before you go. Before workouts, make sure your underarms are clean and shaved. The reason for this is simple: underarm hair slows sweat evaporation, leading to buildup and odor.
2. Apply aluminum-free deodorant. Many mainstream deodorants are made with harsh chemicals that can irritate skin. I recommend using a natural, aluminum-free variety such as Herbal Clear Sport 24-Hour Sport Deodorant or roll-on Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal. Using Thai Deodorant Stone Pure and Natural Powder before you begin your workout can also help control wetness and eliminate odor. I keep some in my gym bag for touch ups, just in case.
3. Wear natural-fiber clothing. Unlike clingy polyester and nylon, natural-fiber fabrics such as cotton allow skin to breathe while you’re exercising. Make sure clothing is loose fitting so air can circulate around your body. Lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing is also a good option for keeping sweat away from your body.
4. Keep your face clean. Keep a small cotton workout towel with you at all times to pat off excessive sweat on your face. It’s best to keep your face clean and makeup free during workouts so pores don’t get clogged. If you’re headed for a midday or evening workout, use Earth Therapeutics Anti-Bacterial Complexion Pads to clean your skin before you start.
5. Freshen up when finished. After your workout, use a Crystal Essence Chamomile and Green Tea Mineral Deodorant Towelette for a quick wipe down, until you can hit the showers.
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.