Picture it: sitting down to a relaxing dinner of spicy tacos and a margarita, followed by an after-dinner coffee. Sounds lovely. That is, until you break out in a profuse sweat. All three of these food and beverages can cause excess perspiration.
Spicy food excites receptors, actually pain fibers, in the skin that respond to heat. When these pain fibers are triggered by the spice-causing chemicals in foods like chili peppers, the central nervous system gets tricked into perceiving the stimulus as heat. The body, as a result, acts accordingly to cool itself down using its natural mechanism of sweat.
Drinking alcohol can also leave you wishing you'd put on extra deodorant. Alcohol causes blood vessels near the skin to enlarge, prompting your sweat glands to start working. This can happen for a lot of people, but when the sweating seems excessive proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed, it is often a sign of alcohol intolerance, where people lack a special enzyme that breaks down alcohol.
And finally, caffeinated drinks and foods can also cause excess sweating. The caffeine molecule stimulates the central nervous system, causing your sweat glands to get activated. And before you know it, you're reaching for a towel to wipe excess sweat from your forehead.
In a total paradox, drinking alcohol can make you sweat, but stopping your consumption of it can also make you perspire extra. We'll tell you why next.